Taunton School Main Building at Dusk

Taunton School students announce English Channel swim challenge

Posted: 25th March 2024

Taunton School has announced its plans to complete another swim of the English Channel in August 2024, with its Prep School Headmaster, Ed Burnett, leading the training regime alongside Head of Geography and leader of Taunton School’s long distance swimming team, Hamish McCarthy.  

With 49 students having now completed the swim, Taunton School is delighted to be giving 12 further students aged 12- and 13-years-old the opportunity to complete the challenge, in which money is being raised for the Barnaby Webber Foundation. 

Leading the training programme is Taunton Prep School’s new Headteacher, Ed Burnett. Ed has been part of the long-distance swimming club at Taunton School since 2015 and regularly trains with the students, even during their early morning sessions which start at 6:20am.  

Ed Burnett, Taunton Prep School Headteacher and leader of the channel swim training, said: “Swimming the English Channel is the Everest of the open water swimming world. 

“That 12- and 13-year-olds set their sights so high and are prepared to brave the cold, the dark, the jellyfish, and the waves of one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes speaks volumes about them. 

“We are fortunate to have enjoyed a number of successful channel teams, but we take nothing for granted, success will be achieved through courage borne of hard work.” 

Swimming the 21-mile route across the English Channel is one of the toughest water-based endurance challenges and requires months of intensive training. Taunton School students involved in the swim, known as Channel Titan IV, have recently began the acclimatisation element of their training in Wiveliscombe outdoor pool where the water temperature is currently around 16 degrees Celsius, similar to what it will be in the English Channel in August.  

The Barnaby Webber Foundation has been chosen as the team’s charity of choice in honour of former Taunton School student Barnaby Webber, who Hamish and Ed both had close connections with in an academic and pastoral role.  

Categories: News