Deborah Herridge

Deborah's English Channel Swim for The Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation

Fundraising for The Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation
raised of £1,000 target
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We provide holidays for families in need to give them respite and a beak they need.


Update: I did it! I swam to France on 2 September 2017, it took mw 17 hours and 23 minutes and was pretty hellish. But I'm swimming it again with a team of 4 amazing women, leaving tonight at 11am (16 July 2019). 

Fundraising: I've now raised £21,000 over all of the swims I've done, the one way Solent swims, the inaugural two-way Solent swim, my solo Channel swim, and this relay with the Sharketts 222.

Sometime between 28th August and 4th September 2017 I will set off from Dover and swim 21 miles across the English Channel to France. Exciting, and just a little bit scary... but I'll be doing everything in my power to be ready for this massive challenge, lots of training, taking part in events and also making sure I rest enough so I stay fit and uninjured. 

The Channel is famously unpredictable and one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. I will have a pilot boat alongside me guiding my way, and once I start the swim, I will not be allowed to touch the boat or a person until I step on French sand/rocks. I'm told that more people have climbed Mount Everest than swam the English Channel.

There's a likelihood that the swim will cover many more miles with the tides pushing me sideways as it changes every 6 hours. Most swimmers paths are an 'S' shape because of this. The swim will take around 14 - 16 hours depending on the weather and conditions on the day. I hope that with all my regular training and hard work it will take less, but the Channel is like a wild mistress, so it may take much longer if she becomes tempestuous on the big day. If I miss the infamous French tide it could add hours to the swim as I'm pushed along the coast, if that happens my determination will see me through. .

This year I will be, training regularly every week in the pool, and then I'll start back in the see soon for some dips and then begin upping my training in the sea around April/May, gradually building up my distances back up again in the cold sea. I completed a 6 hour qualifying swim last October in water that was 15 -15.4C, and I will do another 6 hour qualifier this year, as well as some weekends where I'll do 7 & 6 hours swims, and possibly one longer swim of 10 hours. A friend will be taking me out on his boat for some practice out at sea and also some nighttime swims.

As always, I just swim in my swimsuit, cap and goggles, and have no assistance from the thermal qualities and buoyancy of a wetsuit, and they're not allowed under the 'Channel Rules'. Which means I have to keep moving to stay warm and not become hypothermic.

I hope to raise lots for this wonderful charity and all the children they help with life threatening illnesses, so if you can sponsor me I would be very grateful. 

And I'll never give up until I reach France! I'll be praying the weather Gods allow me to swim across without too much drama. :-)

Any questions, just ask.

If you want to follow my progress, follow/like -

Twitter - @DHerridge68

Instagram - @deborahschannelswim

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About the charity

The Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation provides respite breaks at two Haven parks in England for children suffering from life threatening illnesses. Our caravans are well equipped and away from the normal routine children can enjoy a short break with holiday type entertainment for the whole family.

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