Today, UN Patron of the Oceans and renowned endurance swimmer, Lewis Pugh will commence his latest challenge – The Long Swim – an attempt to swim the full length of the English Channel.
The swim marks the start of a worldwide campaign called “Action for Oceans”, an initiative calling on governments to fully protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. Starting at Lands’ End in Cornwall and finishing in Dover, towards the end of August, Pugh will cover 560km of English coastline – the equivalent of crossing the Channel from Dover to Calais 16 times over.
The Long Swim is also part of Speedo’s #WaterBabyForever campaign, to preserve the oceans for future generations, as well as an urgent call on the British Government to protect seas around the UK and British Overseas Territories. Speedo is an official partner of the swim, with Lewis wearing Speedo swimwear, cap and goggles to complete his challenge. Commenting on the partnership with Speedo, Pugh said: “It’s great to be partnering with the world’s leading swimwear brand again, not only to supply my equipment but to help to raise vital awareness of the critical need to focus on the health of our oceans.”
Around 1,800 people have swum across the English Channel since Captain Mathew Webb first did so in 1875. However, no-one has ever attempted to swim the length of the Channel. Ahead of the challenge, Pugh said: “The Channel is the world’s busiest shipping lane and has plenty of jellyfish. There will be bad-weather days when I simply won’t be able to swim. The English Channel has very strong tides, so I’ve got to get the timing right or I could be going backwards.”
Over the past 30 years, the British swimmer has pioneered swims in the most challenging environments on earth including the Antarctic, the North Pole and the Himalayas. He has campaigned for some of the world’s last pristine marine wilderness areas. Now he is bringing his message home.
Opportunities to get involved
Surfers Against Sewage, one of the UK’s leading marine conservation charities, partners of both in The Long Swim and the Speedo #WaterBabyForever campaign, will be hosting regular beach clean-ups along the swim route.
Speedo will also be working with inner city community swimming group, SwimDemCrew, to host a community swim in Plymouth on Saturday 21st July to inspire more people to enjoy the fun and freedom of life in the water.
The Speedo x Surfers Against Sewage Beach Cleans are open to the public and take place on the following dates:
· 20th July – Bigbury-on-Sea, Plymouth
· 12th August – Stokes Bay, Portsmouth
· 19th August – Brighton Beach, East Sussex
· 30th August – Celebration Event in Dover, Kent
Full details can be found on the Surfers Against Sewage Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SurfersAgainstSewage