Charity swimmers set to take the plunge

Open water swimming at Delph Watersports Centre
Open water swimming at Delph Watersports Centre

An all-female team are attempting a two-way swim of the North Channel in the Irish Sea to raise money for charity.

Included in their number is Jane Hardy, who lives near Alnwick (between Craster and Rennington).

She also swam the Freedom Swim and dodged great white sharks off South Africa back in April.

Another member of the squad is Sylvia Bland from Morpeth,

The Ocean Walker Ladies Relay team is led by veteran swimmer Caroline Sims, and compiled of ladies ranging in age from 34 to 50 who will face a gruelling 36 hour, 70km swim through 10-14 degree jellyfish-infested waters.

The challenge, which will take place during the tide window of August 21 and 25 and will take the team from Belfast, Northern Ireland to Portpatrick in Scotland and then back to Groomsport in Northern Ireland.

It has been organised to raise money for three worthy causes: The RNLI, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) and Parkinson’s UK.

The ladies are also hoping that they can inspire women of all ages and from all walks of life to exercise more and challenge themselves in new ways.

Funding for the event comes partly from sponsorship provided by environmental consultancy Delta-Simons; Lincoln-based outdoor activity centre Activities Away and sports event management company One Step Beyond Promotions.

The ladies have set up a Virgin Money Giving page for online support and donations http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=oceanwalkerladiesrelay and hope that their charities will benefit greatly from their efforts.

Ocean Walkers Ladies’ Relay team is comprised of six experienced open-water swimmers: Caroline Sims (41), Sarah Taylor (50), Vicki Watson (44), Louise Stratford (34), Sarah Gatland (39) and Sylvia Bland (47) with reserves Fiona Hoare (49) and Jane Hardy (48).