Six teams of 10 to 13-year-olds drawn from schools across Somerset and Devon recreated an epic overnight Channel swim in a 6 person relay at Wiveliscombe Outdoor Community Pool this weekend.
The annual event was organised by Wivey Pool, in partnership with Taunton School, to raise monies for the continued operation of the pool. To complete the 22 miles from England to France the teams had to swim 1291 lengths. In total, they managed 7,746 lengths with some teams swimming for nearly 13 hours.
The winning team, in a new record of 9 hours 47 minutes and 5 seconds, previously held by a team of local residents, was Taunton School Long Distance Swimming Club, closely followed by Exeter School.
The team was led by Year 8 pupil Ollie Heard, who with Darcie Coleman and Helen Hounslow, are attempting to swim around the island of Jersey in August. They were joined by twin brothers Jack and Oliver Butler and Amalie Thomas, in Year 7, who are starting their first season of open water swimming.
When resting pupils camped out poolside watching the exploits of Ross Edgley as he swims around Britain on a big screen.
Taunton Prep School Headmaster Andrew Edwards, who presented the cup, medals and certificates to all, said: “It was wonderful to see the staff, parents and pupils at Wiveliscombe Pool for the Channel Relay Challenge. The pupils are clearly relishing the swim challenges laid out before them and their hard training and dedication pays off when they achieve so much in these big events.”
Senior pupils from the first two schools to complete the challenge go head to head next week in the Henley Elite Schools Classic, a 2km dawn race up the River Thames.