Youngest relay team swims across English Channel

27th July, 2018

The Sea Gals, six girls from East London have become the youngest relay team to swim across the English Channel. The Gals crossed in 13 hours and 23 minutes after leaving Samphire Hoe Beach in Dover at 4am.

The team, Eve Napier, Lucy Sims, Amelie Noor and Sasha Vinnicombe, all 13 and Grace Radford and Ruby Greer, both 14 – successfully became Channel swimmers last week. They have raised almost £6,000 for their chosen charity, Child Poverty Action Group.

Photo: Teri Pengilley

 

The Gals were supported by the boat Viking Princess, then spent an hour at a time in the water, in relay order, until they arrived in France. The team battled sea sickness, fatigue and jellyfish. Amelie had recently had her appendix removed, just five weeks before the swim. Grace got a jellyfish caught between her legs and the parents were back in England, waiting for news, worrying about hypothermia or things going wrong.

Photo: Teri Pengilley

 

The team landed on Cap Gris-Nez, Amelie’s third swim got the Gals to the shore. “I barely ate anything on the day apart from some porridge and ginger bread,” says Ruby. “On the way back we all had the idea that we were really hungry and wanted pizza and that we should take advantage of the fact we had just swum the Channel to get what we wanted, so I phoned my dad to ask him if we could have pizza on the beach and he said YES!”

Photo: Teri Pengilley

Photographer Teri Pengilley was on board Viking Princess capturing the memorable day. Teri’s photo essay can be found at The Guardian online.