Clonakilty’s Nathan Timmins successfully swam the English Channel on Friday, August 25 in aid of the Community Air Ambulance.
An outstanding achievement in itself, it was a fantastic accomplishment for Nathan, who only learned to swim seven years ago.
As the crow flies the shortest distance between England and France is 34 km or 21 miles, but when tides are added in, the distance that Nathan actually covered was 50km.
He started training for the challenge two-and-a-half years ago, gradually building on distance month by month until he was peeking at 50-55 km a week.
“While doing the swim I felt as if I were meditating,” says Nathan. “I focused on the task and totally shut off from everything around me. All the tiredness I was feeling before the start was gone, I relaxed, my stroke rate was steady and my breathing was calm. I made good progress.
“I was told I had to sprint to the finish and make land, so I sprinted for a full hour. At the end of the hour, I looked and saw that we hadn’t moved at all. Every time I tried to get closer, the current pushed me back. So the decision was made to turn and swim another 15km to a beach at the other side of the headland. By this time I was exhausted but I wasn’t giving up.”
Delighted to have completed his swim successfully, Nathan says that although it hasn’t really sunk in yet, he’s already thinking ahead to the next challenge.