Varsity Channel Relay Swim - Oxford

Help fund the Oxford Varsity Channel Relay team to swim across the English channel while racing against Cambridge.

We did it!

On 22nd Apr 2016 we successfully raised £2,040 with 30 supporters in 56 days

About Our Project

Between 2nd - 7th July, 6 Oxford University open water swimmers will race against the Cambridge team as a relay, to cross the English Channel by swimming from Dover to Calais on the French coast.

Following a piloted boat to guide the way, we will be swimming in one hour stints, with the rest of the team crossing the channel alongside the current swimmer and supporting them from the deck.  After an hour the next swimmer will enter the water and each hour the team rotates with each team member swimming once or more, until the French coast is reached - typically this takes 7 to 12 hours! Wetsuits are not allowed, so the challenges that face us include the cold, waves, jellyfish, and maintaining the determination to just keep swimming!

As a team we will be training for months beforehand in Queenford Lakes and Port Meadow in Oxford, and also in the sea. This is to build up resistance against the cold, increase our long-distance fitness and encourage each other as a team - strengthening each other’s will-power.

We need your help to train even harder, to pay for the cost and to actually get us to the startline, and hopefully to France!


Why We Need You

Every two years since 1998, Oxford have competed against Cambridge in this Varsity Channel Relay Swim. This year, in July 2016, this will be happening for the 10th time in history, and we are counting on your support to make this happen and support us in our endeavour. It is an amazing opportunity for each swimmer to stretch themselves to their limits, and to compete against Cambridge.

Through supporting us by any amount, you will be helping us to cover the substantial cost of £3000 for the pilot boat (the guide who decides the best course and the boat on which the rest of the team travels alongside the swimmer), as well as the registration cost for the swim with the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation, our transport to and accommodation in Dover for the week. Why a week? The pilot of our boat will be choosing the most appropriate time during this slot to start our swim, as conditions of sea and weather are so variable, adding another challenge and anticipation to the race.

As a reward for your support, you can follow the boat via a GPS tracker online, and regular twitter updates, in this way joining us on the swim. You are also extremely welcome to meet us at our training sessions in the cold water in Oxford and further afield . As a thank you for especially generous pledges, we have set up a number of personal gifts and rewards that you can choose from - ranging from a postcard with a personal thank you message to the gift of an Oxford University Swim hat.

Thank you so much from the Oxford team!

Naomi, Dan, Tilly, George, Steph, James and Laura

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