IT was fourth time lucky for Torridge businesswoman Carol Duncan when she and friends on Friday finally completed a cross-channel relay charity swim.
Carol, 61, of Stapleton Farm Yoghurts, Langtree, had been trying with professional photographer Debbie Rowe from London and four other friends to complete a channel swim since 2006, but everything, it seemed, had conspired against them.
The first team assembled were hit by the weather and had to abandon the attempt. The second time a team member suffered illness in the water and a strong current ended attempt number three when they were in danger of being swept down the French coast into a restricted area.
But they still raised ï¿½9,500 for a number of charities, the main ones being Cancer Research and Future Hope â€“ a childrenâ€™s orphanage in Calcutta.
â€œDebbie had been working out there and seen the orphanage and she had been overwhelmed by it and wanted to help,â€ said Carol. â€œWe raised the money, but had not finished the challenge and felt we must do so.â€
So they perservered, again and again and again, until finally it has now paid off.
This time Carol, the senior member of the team, and Debbie were joined by their â€˜four strong menâ€™ - Tullio Salvatori, Jim Boucher, a solo channel swimmer, and Richard Chattergi from London, and Kevin Maloney, a Birmingham jeweller, each taking hour-long turns in the water.
They finished their challenge in 14 hours and 57 minutes.
â€œI feel so very pleased,â€ said Carol. â€œIt was so beautiful to do, in absolutely perfect weather. We started at midnight and swam through the night. I was â€˜attackedâ€™ by garfish, which are apparently attracted by the light and were flipping all around and bumping into me. Another member of the team was stung by jellyfish and there was a moment when we were struck by large bow waves from a ship.
But we all took to the water together for the arrival in France to be greeted by a reception committee. We were mobbed by French holidaymakers as we reached the beach.â€
The successful swimmers are hoping this time to top ï¿½10,000 and have chosen cancer research and the RNLI as their charities.
If anyone wishes to help with sponsorship they can do so by going to
www.justgiving.com/fdrnli and www.justgiving.com/fdcancerresearchuk
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