Beth French is supported by the GLL Sport Foundation with a training membership in Taunton Deane and really is a remarkable woman.
In September 2016 Beth will embark on a ground breaking swim series that sees her test the boundaries of what is possible in the endurance swimming world. To date, only 6 people have completed the Oceans7's gruelling list over their lifetime. One woman managed 4 in a year. Beth will tackle all seven of these epic swims in a single twelve month period to become the first person in history to complete oceans seven as a swim series. The list challenges every aspect of a swimmer, from frigid cold water to exhaustingly warm swims, rough seas, fickle weather, strong tides, vicious currents, busy shipping lanes and abundant wildlife. The logistics of this project are not for the fainthearted, let alone the swimming!
The schedule for Beth's swim is as follows:
Channel 1 North Channel – Ireland to Scotland. W/c September 6th 2016 Distance approx 18miles, average temp 14'c. Challenges: Strong currents, cold temperatures, rough seas, jellyfish, strong tides and fickle weather.
Channel 2 Catalina Channel – California. October 12th 2016 Distance approx 21miles, 22'c dropping to 14'c for the last 3miles. Challenges: Strong currents, abundant shark life.
Channel 3 Molokai Channel (kaiwi) – Hawaii. Late November 2016 Distance approx 28miles, 24'c water. Challenges: Strong Pacific current and swells, abundant wildlife, energy sapping warm water.
Channel 4 Cook straits – New Zealand. March-April 2017 Distance approx 21miles, 16'c water. Challenges: Rough seas, strong winds, abundant wildlife.
Channel 5 Straits of Gibraltar – Spain to Morocco.
Late May 2017
Distance approx 10miles, 16'c water. 10mile sprint challenge with 3knot current against Challenges: busy shipping lane, possible great whites.
Channel 6 Tsugaru Channel – Japan.
July 3rd 2017
Distance approx 18miles, 16'c water.
Challenges: Very strong currents, busy shipping lane strong winds, rough seas, abundant wildlife.
Channel 7 English Channel-England to France.
W/c 21st August 2017
Distance approx 22miles, 16'c water.
Challenges: Very strong tides, strong currents, cold water, very busy shipping lane.
Each of these swims is a major feat in itself. Some have only ever successfully been achieved by a small handful of swimmers. Attempting all seven in a single year will test the limit of what is currently believed physically possible in terms of endurance and recovery. This extraordinary challenge is set to be followed by award-winning documentary makers for a cinematic release film showing what it takes to go beyond our limits and captures our unique relationship with the sea.
Beth is currently crowdfunding for her support crew – if you would be interested in pledging for this amazing project please see here.