The English Channel Swim

Two weeks ago, three outstanding young men departed Sydney for England to embark upon the 34 km swim they had prepared to undertake for the past six months. Brothers Matt and Chris Watson together with close friend Sam Gilbert, had opted to swim the English Channel, and in doing so to raise funding and awareness for the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, and the Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation for sarcoma research.

Only one solo swimmer made it across the English Channel on the 8th of July, and that swimmer was one of the CRBF/Poche Centre trio – Chris Watson. Due to the ferociousness of the current sweeping them up to the North Pole, swimmers had to push themselves to the absolute extreme to make it to France. It is thought that had Chris have taken 2 minutes longer, there may have been no solo crossings at all.

Chris touched France after 13 hours and 25 minutes battling 34km of treacherous water, negotiating freezing temperatures, aggressive currents, and feisty jellyfish on his way.

On the 14th July, Matt and Sam received news they would also swim, when after a week of turbulent tides, currents and weather patterns, they had all but given up on this being the case. They successfully completed the course as a relay, touching the shores of France in the outstanding time of 11 hr 6 minutes.

We extend our infinite thanks to Chris, Matt and Sam for their willingness to undertake this superhuman feat, for the $25,000 they raised for sarcoma research, and for shining a much needed spotlight on sarcoma.