Explorers Connect

Great Big Monster Sea Swim

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

The Great Big Monster Sea Swim is about five ordinary blokes doing something as a team that they could never achieve as individuals. A relay swim from Guernsey to the South Devon Coast. The swim team is: Paul Irwin, Dr Bruce Hughes, John Jameson, Jon Parker and Karl Whittaker.

In addition we have a truly world-class support team: Dr Duncan Bardner open ocean kayaker, Dr Andrew Hockey, marathon runner, is his wing-man. Zara Davis is our fitness coach - she is also the fastest woman in the world on a windsurfer. Colin Strachan is our Nav Man with whom we've trusted our lives - he's always come up trumps. Jackie King is our swim coach - and has turned five ordinary men into swimmers with self belief and endurance to match. We'll be shepherded by Peter Thorn and Mario Manley, our kayak support team. This will be a first - no-one has attempted this swim before! The route is 81 miles as the crow flies ... with the tides and wind we'll swim well over 100 miles. We plan to leave Ocean Village in Southampton given fair weather on 21st September on board Enigma - our support boat.

On reaching Guernsey, we'll be shepherded safely to shore under the super-experienced Pierre Noordam of IRV. The swim will commence asap and we'll track every millimetre using the HydrotrackerGPS unit. The detailed log of our route will be automatically uploaded to our social media feeds by Yellowbrick. The swim relay will run continuously until we reach South Devon coastline - including overnight. You can follow the progress of the team in the run up to the event and live while we're swimming, on Twitter. We're doing this for a great cause - Teenage Cancer Trust- the event is also the headline activity in a corporate programme to ignite inner belief and personal performance within Sanofi UK. Our swim has caught some critical acclaim... Mark Foster, olympian and 6 time world champion swimmer and Steve Munatones, legendary open water swimmer have both wished us well. The event is closed but we're happy to discuss the strategies we've followed in order to set up develop and fund this project. We're making valuable contacts every step of the way, and the while it's not the first time we've done this kind of endurance adventure swim, we never stop learning. Our previous experience lies in triathlons and endurance sports ... but somehow the need to move outside the boundaries of existing events became just too strong.

We were the first to swim the crossing between Lundy Island and Woolacombe Bay in North Devon in 2009 - raising 10k for the Children's Hospice, this Guernsey project is a logical next step, another first but bigger than the last. Who knows where we'll be going next... The training is gruelling, but in many ways, the swimming is the easy bit! We've got support from amazing sponsors follow their links below: SanofiTheir trust in us to act as leaders in the organisation is inspirational. sailfish wetsuitsTruly the best wetsuits for open water swimming. Island Rib Voyages - GuernseyThe safest and most fun way to see Guernsey from a unique perspective. Saltrock Surfwear - They'll be keeping us warm at sea, a true partner in our wildest adventures. Enigma ChartersEnigma, possibly the most awesome support vessel a swimmer could have. FinisincGPS tracking for open water swimming - safety and innovation. LifedgeTaking our technology into hostile environments with their help! OralyteHydration sorted. Walnut Grove ClinicZara Davis, an outstanding sportswoman in her own right acting for us as fitness consultant.

Jackie King Our swim coach through the dark cold months of winter and beyond. Do please support us by visiting our website and pledging a donation to Teenage Cancer Trust here, and please please leave a comment as the support we get here is hugely important to us. Follow the adventure live on Twitter... Paul Irwin.