Hi, I'm Paul, - or The Sadist as
has called me more than once. Wayne
Quite where this all started is a bit hard to pin down. Certainly it seems that
’s 2010 Wayne English Channel swim ignited a burning coal in his skull – that place where a formerly
logical and rational brain used to function. Fanning the flames might have been
a bit of madness brought on by the English weather, a smidgen of mid-life
crisis and definitely too much testosterone-infused-talk combined with Guinness
intake. Because it was in a pub (isn't it always?), on a winter’s night, six
months later, where we identified that:
had a burning desire to do another swim, Wayne
2. He wanted it to be significant, or put another way, he wanted his Andy Warhol-esque 15 minutes of fame,
3. He felt confident to do something similar in length to the
4. A glance at Google Maps on his phone suggested that the gap between the Mull of Kintyre and the north east corner of Northern Ireland seemed to fit the bill, and
5. It appeared that no-one had yet successfully completed this swim.
So far, so good.
Interesting facts which were not apparent on that hazy evening, but which have subsequently come to light include:
· That stretch of water is exceptionally treacherous - it's not just a case of strong currents but of conflicting strong currents moving against each other, the opposing sheets of water causing tempestuous races and whirlpools,
· The water temperature's significantly colder than at Dover,
· When the water's warmest (relatively speaking...), it's also full of jellyfish (which really are a genuine issue, multiple jellyfish stings are biggest reason for failure of the swims that are attempted on the 'traditional' route further south)
· Occasionally, (and it is just occasionally
), orcas are spotted in this channel of extraordinarily cold, deep and
turbulent water. Wayne
However, blissfully unaware of any of this, another round of drinks was purchased, backs were slapped, glasses were clinked and a challenge was born.