A FORMER Kimbolton School pupil has raised £18,500 for charity after becoming the youngest person this year to swim the English Channel. Edward Williams from Pertenhall spent a year training and crossed the channel in just 14 hours. An accomplished swimm
A FORMER Kimbolton School pupil has raised £18,500 for charity after becoming the youngest person this year to swim the English Channel.
Edward Williams from Pertenhall spent a year training and crossed the channel in just 14 hours. An accomplished swimmer he had been planning the 21 mile swim since he was 14 years old. Last year he was fastest 19-year-old old featuring in the National Masters Championships in Sheffield in the 200m backstroke and 50m butterfly. He was also the youngest ever captain of the St Neots Swans swimming club at the age of 14.
Edward, who is studying degree in film studies and drama at Anglia Ruskin University, said: "This was the journey of a lifetime and I experienced both agony and ecstasy. It was incredibly tough. It's not the distance that is challenging but the extreme and varying conditions of the channel."
He left Shakespeare Beach in Dover at 9.40am and reached Cap Griz Nez just south of Calais at 11.40pm. He had to swim in the dark and often found himself battling four metre high waves. But the last stretch was the hardest for him.
Edward said: "I could feel my eyes rolling in my head as hypothermia started to set in. I felt myself touch rock. I held onto that rock as hard as I could and pulled myself out of the water with my last ounce of strength.
"This will undoubtedly be one of my greatest achievement and I am delighted to have joined the ranks of the elite group of cross channel swimmers."
The money he raised will go to Prostate Cancer Research, which is a disease that his father, Grant Williams, devoted much of his career to then contracted himself. While his father has now beaten the disease it still affects 40,000 men in the UK every year, 11,000 of which are fatal cases.
INFORMATION: To sponsor Edward's swimming channel visit www.edward-williams.org.uk