A woman is swimming solo across the English Channel in aid of two charities.
Lauren Whiting, 34, from Bexhill, decided to undertake the 21-mile feat for Sea Shepherd and the Marine Conservation Society.
She said: “I have always been a water baby since day dot, but I never wanted to swim competitively despite being spotted, aged 11.
“I also surf and windsurf, run and cycle.
“I have always had an affinity with the water, and for me there is no place on earth I am happier, whether swimming, windsurfing or surfing, in the sea I am truly at home.
“I have always been drawn to endurance events. The races and challenges I love the most are the ones where it is between me and nature, not against other individuals. So, to marry up my two passions – the ocean, with solo endurance – this seemed like an obvious choice.”
She completed a half ironman in 2016, cycled 187 miles unassisted in one day in 2017, and ran a trail 50km ultra marathon last year.
Lauren is currently training every Sunday with the Dover Channel Training group in Dover Harbour, as well as doing weight training, pilates and yoga in the week.
Lauren, a sports massage therapist at Bexhill Leisure Centre, had to undergo and complete a six-hour qualifier swim in water less than 15.5°C in order to be allowed to swim the Channel, which is a requirement of the Channel Swimming Association.
She will be swimming from Dover to either Wissant or Cap Gris Nez, depending on the tides.
Her support team on the boat will be boat pilot Andy King and his son James, her father Lawrence and her three friends.
The swim is estimated to take 15 to 17 hours.
Every hour Lauren will have to eat pieces of banana, tinned peaches and flapjack, and take a warmed high carb drink called CNP.
Lauren said: “I have chosen two marine-based non-profit charities who I would like to support equally, namely the Marine Conservation Society and Sea Shepherd, which I feel do such incredible work to protect and repair our beaches, oceans and the beautiful animals that inhabit them.”
Lauren, who has raised more than £3,100 so far, has set up a Just Giving fundraising page online, which can be found at www.justgiving.com/teams/laurenswims.
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