Bob’s your uncle! Weymouth pensioner swims into the record books

Bob’s your uncle! Weymouth pensioner swims into the record books

One foot in the wave 2

Weymouth pensioner Bob Roberts has swum into the record books as part of the oldest team to swim the Channel – after an attempt last year ended in a row over the rules.
Bob, 75, joined a six-strong team with an average age of over 77 to clinch the record.
Last year, Bob was one of four Dorset-based swimmers attempting the record, which they believed they had clinched.
However the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation’s ratification committee refused to allow the One Foot in the Wave 2 team’s swim, saying they had broken the rules. They didn’t believe they had, but appeals fell on deaf ears.
They took comfort from raising over £10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society and two Dorset swimmers – Weymouth’s Linda Ashmore, now 76, and Affpuddle’s Bob Holman, now 78, didn’t take part in a second attempt. Linda could not, after an inury, but Mr Holman said: “We know we did it the first time.”
But undeterred, Bob Roberts and his Broadstone friend Robert Lloyd Evans, now 80, joined four others on a chilly Shakespeare Beach, next to Dover, at 2.40am on Sunday to give it another go.
After 17 hours and five minutes, at 7.45pm, Robert Lloyd Evans swam to the beach in France.
One of the team, Kevin Murphy, 74, said: “It was tough – there wasn’t much wind but it was still a bit choppy. Another team who went out about the same time as us, a swimmer swallowed so much water they had to go to hospital.”
As the oldest swimmer, Robert Lloyd Evans swam the sixth leg each time, but got to finish the attempt – swimming just five minutes in his last leg.
Kevin said: “It was pitch black – very difficult to see where you were going. Everybody was feeling a bit queasy for the first six hours – it was a bit lumpy and the boat was rolling a bit. But there didn’t seem to be any problems.
“They disqualified us last year but they can’t keep us down. We proved there’s life in the old dogs yet.”

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