Bognor Regis Swimming Club challenged themselves to ‘swim the Channel’ – but in the pool – to raise awareness of swimming and funds for the club.
Club chairman Sarah Boote-Cook said: “It came as no shock to me that our swimmers smashed this challenge and instead of swimming the 1,408 lengths anticipated, they carried on tirelessly all day to achieve a massive total of 5,459 lengths which works out at 86 miles.
“In other words they swam to France and back twice! It was truly amazing – I’m so proud of them all.”
Swimmers aged six to 60 took part. Some swam a few, some swam a lot, but every length was vital. Three club swimmers swam more than 500 lengths each, while the highest number of lengths achieved by one person on the day was 570.
A fabulous crew of support volunteers provided refreshments, washed cars and made cakes. The Arena Sports Centre continued their backing of the club by sponsoring the event.
* Chichester Cormorants kicked off their National Arena League campaign by clinching fourth place, with 233 points in a stunning division-two south gala in front of a noisy crowd at Waterlooville.
It was one of their best performances in recent years.
Chichester were second to Wycombe at the halfway mark with impressive first places from the girls’ 9-11 freestyle team, the boys’ freestyle and medley teams, then Seb Hadnett with two first places in the 9-11 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly, Jemina Laurence in the 9-11 50m freestyle and Adam Long in the 13-15 100 breaststroke.
Between them they achieved many Sussex winter championship qualifying times.
The competition was tough with several of the other clubs having been in division one last year. Chichester Cormorants saw themselves pitted against strong teams from Farnham, Hart, Windsor, West Wight, Worthing, Wycombe and Littlehampton.
Worthing and Farnham closed the gap and by the end of the gala just overtook Chichester’s points advantage. However, Chichester’s swimmers were not disappointed as it had been a spectacular performance.
They are now looking forward to round two in November and the finals in December.