Exmouth’s Jamie Page successfully swam the English Channel from England to France to become the second Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society member, along with Tara Dudley, to do so in 2012, writes Alan Franks.

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Starting from Samphire Hoe, Dover he completed the challenge in 12 hours 53 minutes, completing over 30 miles during the swim.

Jamie, 35, achieved his life time ambition after devoting the last three years to an intensive swim training program; he is absolutely thrilled all the planning and preparation came together on the day.

The swim commenced at 3.34am, he had to endure nearly three hours of swimming in the dark before the sun started to break through, added to this, the early cold autumn morning and easterly swell made the early hours extremely tough. Jamie was protected from the early chill by vaseline applied by his wife Christa and fellow channel swimmer Mark Westaway while aboard the escort trawler the Viking Princess.

As the weather settled and the sea state became calmer during the middle of the swim, this allowed Jamie to make good progress towards France. However, he encountered shoals of jelly fish, was stung, and had to alter course because of on-coming shipping that made for an eventful day of swimming.

During the swim Jamie was monitored closely by Coach Alan Franks and fed hourly on a combination of homemade flapjack, creamy rice and jelly sweets by Barry Westaway.

Having reached four miles from the coast of France in a little over eight hours the conditions worsened, the wind increased and the sea started to get rough, the final few miles took a further five hours to complete against a flooding spring tide. Though extremely tired and exhausted he was able salute his support team once he landed 800mtrs east of Cap Griz Nez.

Also supported by his dad (Roger), brother (Daniel), support crew Richard and Sam Lander, Jamie remained positive throughout the swim, stuck to swim strategy and never complained about the arduous nature of the swim.

On his arrival back in England Jamie was greeted by other family members and the following day was able to celebrate his success with Christa and his four-year-old twin daughters Millie and Nina, before travelling back home to Devon.

Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society now has a remarkable seven out of seven successful solo English Channel Swimmers, a phenomenal success rate considering that only one in ten swimmers normally complete this ‘Everest’ of swims

For more information on swimming in Exmouth visit www.exmouthswimming.org

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