18 Sep 2010

Cross Solent swim achieved at last

2010 news Comments Off on Cross Solent swim achieved at last

Favourable, though still somewhat choppy sea conditions in a brisk southeasterly breeze on September 1st, made it possible for Gordon Osborne, Ryde Inshore Rescue and Isle of Wight Marlins Swim Club, to pilot Jenny Ball across the Solent on their fourth attempt this year due to inclement weather.

Jenny 72, is now the oldest female swimmer recorded by the Solent Swimming Club to do the crossing. The previous age record being held by Vivienne Cherriman when she was 70. Vivienne, remembered by many, was the founder of the Masters swimming on the Island and holder of many Masters records. This was Jenny’s sixth crossing in the last 12 years. The oldest male swimmers to swim the Solent are also members of the Marlins club, Charles Ambler from Ryde, when he was 80 and Barney Miller at 77.

Setting out by open boat from Brading Haven Yacht Club, piloted by Gordon Osborne MBE, who was in constant contact with the Queen’s Harbourmaster, Portsmouth and the Port Authority, Southampton, the swim started from Ryde Sands. The three and a half miles to Southsea Memorial was completed in 2 hours 28 minutes, slowed a little by the prevailing wind.

Accompanied by Mike Hardy in canoe, Jenny was joined in the water over the last mile of the swim, by Jane Dodd, herself a cross Solent swimmer and who provided a boost of enthusiasm for Jenny. The pebbly, seaweed strewn beach at Southsea never felt so good under Jenny’s feet!

An increasingly strong wind made the return crossing to Brading Haven Yacht Club a very sloppy trip, soaking the two swimmers and their gallant canoeist for the second time, only this time fully clothed!

A total of over £200 has been raised for Ryde Inshore Rescue through very generous sponsorship, most from regular customers at the Heights Leisure Centre where Jenny trains.

A huge thank you to all these people.

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