Chris Eynon (shown on left) is not only planning a personal attempt on the English Channel in September 2009, but he is also part of a committee that is planning to select, guide and train a team of young open water swimmers. These young athletes aim to break the existing world record for the youngest relay team to successfully swim across the English Channel.
The BEST (Bristol English-channel Swim Team) held its initial recruitment days in February and March 2009 with a total number of 36 young aspirants.
The swimmers, who were all either 10 or 11 years old, and their parents were provided a comprehensive explanation of what is to be expected. The swimmers then completed a 1000-meter timed pool swims, several of whom were impressive.
A group of 30 swimmers will be selected who can then proceed to the next selection criterion: an open water session in Henleaze Lake in north Bristol in July. From this group, a final team of six swimmers with two reserve swimmers will be selected and then trained for their attempt in August 2010.
BEST’s head coach is Penny Porter a former national swimmer and record holder, and one of the Great Britains national swim team physiotherapists. Chris won the 2007 British Long Distance Swimming Association Lake Windermere 17.5K Championships in 2007 and bronzes at Britain’s ASA National 5K Grand Prix competitions in 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as participated in a successful English Channel relay at the age of 16.
The current record is held by a team of six 12-year-old British swimmers from The Royal Tunbridge Wells Monson Swimming Club, who crossed in 1968, in a time of 12 hours and 45 minutes. A video of the current record holders can be seen here.
We will follow these young aspirants throughout the remainder of their selection process, training and attempt.
All the BEST to these young swimmers and their support team.