Six swimmers with an average age of 75 are getting ready to swim into the record books, with an epic Channel relay planned between September 8-15.
The swimmers – four of whom are from Dorset – are raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK with their attempt to claim the record for the oldest six-person English Channel relay.
Bob Holman, 77, from Affpuddle, first swam the Channel aged 47 in 1992, gaining the trophy for the most meritorious swim after a gruelling 18 hours 40 minutes in the brine.
Bob, who turns 78 in October, said: “This is not the first time we have done such a swim and as we get older our thoughts are with those who will benefit from our endeavour.”
He added: “Over many years, the sport has given me great joy, pleasure and lifetime friendships. My swimming buddies seem to get younger each year just like policemen and doctors, but I can cope with this so long has I don’t take himself too seriously!”
Mother of three and grandmother of eight including identical triplets Linda Ashmore, 75, from Weymouth, fulfilled a childhood dream of swimming the English Channel at the age of 60, becoming the oldest woman to achieve the feat.
She said: “I then started Ironman triathlons at 69, did another Channel swim at 71 to regain my title, and am still going strong at 75!”
Bob and Linda will be joined by a further two Bobs – Robert Lloyd Evans Poole turns 80 in October and Bob Roberts from Weymouth, who is 74.
Bob Roberts said: “I have been keen on water activities all my life from swimming and diving competitively in my younger years, to water polo, surfing, scuba diving and sailboarding. In later years tennis and open water swimming have taken my interest, which has included swimming the Dart 10k (x3), Henley Marathon, English Channel relay (2015), numerous Plymouth Breakwater swims and Sharkfest swim in Rhode Island.”
The final two team members are Kevin Murphy, 73, and Parviz Habibi, 70, from London.
Kevin was a member of a team in 1965 which set the then relay record and has swum the English Channel 34 times, including three two-ways.
n To sponsor them for Alzheimer’s Research go to justgiving.com/ fundraising/ofitw2