Wyton serviceman sets sights on unique swimming challenge

Wyton's Ross Wisby, centre, after winning the 5,000m at the East Region Open Water championships in

Wyton's Ross Wisby, centre, after winning the 5,000m at the East Region Open Water championships in 2016. - Credit: Archant

An RAF serviceman is aiming to complete a unique feat this summer by swimming a two-way crossing of Lake Windermere.

Corporal Ross Wisby, 31, who is based at RAF Wyton, is no stranger to swimming, having enjoyed time as a competitive open water swimmer before joining the RAF.

As the open water swimming manager for the RAF’s official swimming team, Ross is looking forward to the challenge, having competed in a number of events, including the British 10Km Open Water Swimming Championships and Lake Zurich swim.

In 2015, Ross set a new record for the fastest circumnavigation of the island of Jersey, with a time of 9 hours 26 minutes 5 seconds, beating the previous record by three minutes.

Ross said: “I used to compete at national level before joining the RAF, but an injury knocked me out for two years.

“On joining the RAF, I was introduced to the RAF swimming team where I’ve managed to compete in some incredible events, including a relay race around the island of Jersey in a new world record time.

“It really rekindled my interest in long distance swimming, so I’ve always been looking for the next big challenge.

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“Training for the two-way crossing is going well, and I’m feeling confident. The biggest challenge will be deciding what to eat and drink – it could make or break the swim for me.”

The challenge takes place on August 23, and Ross will be raising funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Although the distance will be a taxing 21 miles, Ross’ swim this summer isn’t his only challenge, as he hopes to capture an even bigger accolade next year.

“When I discovered the two-way Windermere competition, I saw that the most crossings ever completed in one event was four – so I set myself the challenge of completing five crossings in 2018. The two-way crossing this summer will be good practice.”

Mark Quinn, regional director for the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “Ross is really going the extra mile for us with his challenge. He may be an accomplished swimmer but to take on something of this magnitude really is something special. The RAF Benevolent is hugely grateful for his support, and I hope he smashes his target time.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/ross-wisby.