Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
Graeme Lowe from Jersey became the first Channel Islander to swim the North Channel – from Donaghadee , Northern Ireland to Killantringan Lighthouse, Portpatrick, Scotland.
He became only the 26th swimmer to complete the North Channel.
Before his 12 hour 27 minute crossing, Lowe took a long road of preparation.
Sally Minty-Gravett recalls, “Graeme contacted both Wendy Trehiou and myself. We travelled over 2 weeks [before his crossing] to try then, but the weather was very unsettled so he never even got in. Quinton Nelson had said there was a small window, weather dependent of course. Later, when got the call from his Pilot Quinton, a resident of Donghadee, Wendy and I were sadly unavailable so Bianca Kempster was available. They travelled over at the very last minute to Belfast and swam [on July 22nd].
Graeme set off from Donaghadee at 5 am and finished at 5:27 pm so he was very fortunate to have a full daylight swim – which is much preferred as the jellyfish usually come to the surface at dusk and dawn.
It averaged between 12-13°C all day under sunny and surprisingly calm conditions. They were also very lucky not to see too many jellyfish and especially not the Lion’s manes jellyfish which are horrid and very toxic and have stopped so many swimmers succeeding on this swim. But Graeme he did have pilot whales around him, and especially a 10-foot one who swam alongside him for a while. And he did not even notice.
He also faced has the vicious tide, which turns a couple of miles off the Scottish coast any time from 12 hours onwards,making the finish particularly tricky and nail-biting. And Graeme’s crossing was no different at the finish.
He had a very tough swim and Bianca and his crew aboard the restored lifeboat ‘Claire and Guy Hunt’ must also receive equal recognition for the work put into this swim. We are immensely proud of his remarkable achievement; he has also become the oldest man as well to complete the North Channel.”
Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association