Eyeing up the English Channel
10 July 2018
Few people succeed - just 30% according to historical figures - and the challenge is known as "the Everest of open-water swimming". Now Glen Knudsen, Senior Manager at Marina Health and Leisure and Kings Premier Health Club is aiming to become a member of the elite club of individuals who have successfully swum the English Channel.
Glen, who is 60, was just a child when he first read about a man who had successfully completed the cross-channel swim. Names and details of the individual concerned have since been forgotten, but the drive to take on the challenge for himself one day has stayed with him throughout his life.
“I’m not a natural endurance athlete” he admitted.
“I’ve never even run a marathon, and while I have always had a good level of fitness thanks to my chosen career as a Personal Trainer, I have always gravitated towards shorter events like Sprint Triathlons.”
Glen is raising money for Hope for Guernsey, and has spent the last 20 months training, both on his own and with fellow sea swimmers locally. He hopes to complete the 21-mile crossing in less than 17 hours.
“Guernsey has an impressive heritage when it comes to Channel swims,” he said.
“Seven other swimmers from Guernsey who I know personally have conquered the Channel, and I know that there are many more. Their help, encouragement and advice has been invaluable and the members both at Marina Health and Leisure and at Kings have been similarly supportive. Both clubs are really close-knit and people are always asking how the training is going! As a Personal Trainer, I think it’s good to be able to walk the talk on what I am teaching my clients in terms of working towards their given goals.”
His cross-channel attempt will be made some time between the 20th and 27th July, starting from Shakespeare Beach in Dover and crossing some of the busiest shipping lanes in Europe. More than 600 commercial ship movements and between 80 and 100 ferry crossings are made between Dover and Calais each day. Glen’s skipper Lance Oram aboard support boat ‘Sea Satin’ is responsible for ensuring his safe passage to finish at Cap Gris Nez, which is a headland halfway between Calais and Boulogne.
There are also several rules and regulations to be adhered to in order for the attempt to be formally recognised. These include wearing an approved swimming costume and hat, which don’t offer any thermal protection or buoyancy and not to touch another human, which means that all food and drink throughout the swim will be handed to him via a pole.
It may be known as the Everest of open water swimming, but the most recent statistics show that around 3000 more people have successfully reached the summit of Everest, than have successfully completed a Channel swim!*
Issued by Roisin Gauson
Sales, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Kings Premier Health Club
Notes to Media:
*Figures provided by the Himalayan Database and Dover.uk.com show that 1832 different swimmers have successfully completed the cross-Channel swim and 4833 different climbers have successfully summited Everest.
Glen is available for interview / photo / filming opportunities. Please contact Roisin Gauson to arrange.
Follow the progress of the swim in real time on the day via a live tracker of Glen’s support boat ‘Sea Satin’. Details are available on www.cspf.co.uk
Donations to Hope for Guernsey in support of Glen’s efforts can be made via the Hope for Guernsey page on www.giving.gg