channel swim


Giraffe MD - Andrew Ainge to swim Solo across the English channel July 2019


Thank you for getting this far. I'll try not to bombard you with too much information.

I decided to swim the English Channel 2 years ago. Not for charity but as a personal challenge. Since then my Ex Wife Sally and my Mother Ann Ainge were both diagnosed with terminal brain tumours literally within weeks of each other. Sadly Sally lost her battle in January 2019 and my Mother with her amazing amount of positive attitude is still kicking the cat around the garden ( even though she doesn't have a cat ). 

I've never done a fundraiser before. Even though I've done some pretty tough challenges from an Ironman to swimming a mile non wetsuit in ice water that was 3 degrees. It had to be something really challenging for me to be asking people to part with hard earned money when almost everyday you get bombarded with organisations asking for money. I think the Channel Solo is the correct choice for me. 

The Brain Tumour Charity is the world's leading brain tumour charity and the largest dedicated funder of research into brain tumours globally and I hope you can spare a few pounds.

I have personally covered the cost of my Channel Swim Journey ( over £8,000 but don't tell the wife ) so 100% of your donation goes to the charity. You're not funding my next set of union Jack budgie smugglers. 

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Photos from left to right. English Channel relay 2018 - GB IISA ICE SWIM - XMAS IN THE POND - UNION JACK SPEEDOS - VIKING PRINCESS THE PILOT BOAT

My Channel swim journey started back in 2016 after the 3.8KM Ironman swim went wrong. Well I mean it took a lot longer than expected. Anyway someone said " It took you a long time because you're a crap swimmer with no technique ". Great. So, I decided to take some advice and basically learn to swim again from scratch with coach and soon to be my channel crew Ann Chivers ( Chivs ). Hours and hours in the pool learning to float, breathe and the basics of swimming front crawl. Months later it all started to click into place and I entered a few events, 5KM open water Lake Windermere, then Coniston end to end 5.5 miles then a leap to lake Windermere 10.1 miles one way. So I had become ' a swimmer '. I then started to think about the next race or big swim and met someone that had attempted to swim the English Channel. Now that sounds like fun I thought. Fast forward to July 2019 and the last 24 months has seen me swim in the cold ice water becoming a IISA GB Ice swimmer and Ice Mile swimmer, swum across the Arctic Circle, swum in rivers, lakes and the Sea from the East Coast to the Channel and the chilly Irish sea. Distance covered well over one million metres of swimming.  I started more advanced coaching and joined Leeds masters swimmers at the Leeds Olympic pool and just got faster and faster. Since 2016 I have become an open water swim coach, pool swim coach and open water lifeguard. Not bad for someone that couldn't swim front crawl 3 years ago. Anything is possible. Bolt on some one hour strength and conditioning sessions ( around 50 I think )  in the room of doom with coach Ady Stott ( also my channel crew ) and some final swim technique with Joe Stott ( amazing swimmer ) and I think I'm ready to swim to France. Although I'm not a fan of Jellyfish.

How far is the channel swim? Good question. It's 21 miles from Dover to Calais but you swim with the tides so the average distance covered is around 35 miles. Swim times also vary between 10 hours and 22 hours. Plenty can go wrong and often does. It's cold. It's salty. It's Lumpy. It's full of Jellyfish. It's full of BIG boats and debris. It's often either dark when you start or when you finish or both. Only circa 1900 people so far in the history of channel swimming have ever made it across solo since Captain Webb in 1875 taking 22 hours. For more information google ' The Channel Swimming Association '. 

I could go on but I'm hoping you're still awake and will hit the donate button. Please feel free to follow my facebook page to follow the swim and learn more about the challenge. 

If you would like to sponsor me you can donate to my Just Giving page using the link below or purchase one of these limited edition English Channel Swim snoods in either the Winter or the Summer UPF50 textile.
100% of the proceeds ( after VAT and postage )  from the sale of these one off designs goes to the charity.


JustGiving - Sponsor me now!