In September 2016 Taunton Preparatory School long-distance swimming club pupils are taking part in the English Channel Race. Three teams will leave Shakespeare’s beach near Dover en route for Cap Gris Nez in France. Starting in the early hours, the crossing will involve swimming in the dark and through the busiest shipping lanes in the world in sea temperatures of 16°C, almost half the temperature of swimming pools. The Royal Marines have picked up the gauntlet thrown down by TPS pupils to race across the Channel in aid of the Royal Marines Charity. Major Jim Lewis RM, the team captain, said he was very happy to accept the challenge of the brave boys and girls, especially as the school was supporting the Royal Marines Charity which works to help wounded Marines and the families of the bereaved. Earlier this year, Lewis Pugh, who has been dubbed the ‘Sir Edmund Hillary of swimming’, gave an inspirational talk to the young swimmers as part of their preparation. Lewis Pugh was the first person to complete a long-distance swim in every ocean of the world and he frequently swims in vulnerable ecosystems to draw attention to their plight. Last year Taunton Prep School pupils completed a swim across the Solent. Aged 11 and 12 at the time, they were the youngest ever group to succeed in the challenge and they recorded one of the fastest ever swim crossings.
Pictured with Lewis Pugh are, from left, Emma Hounslow, Poppy
Hutchins, Archie Sellick, Jonny Cole, Freya Tyler, Skyla Coate, Annabelle Lewes and Emily Lawton.