Young trio take on Channel challenge

North Norfolk Vikings Swimming Club members, from left, Romilly Hammond, 13,  Noah Buchan, 10, and brother Isaac, 12.

North Norfolk Vikings Swimming Club members, from left, Romilly Hammond, 13, Noah Buchan, 10, and brother Isaac, 12. - Credit: Supplied by the swimming club

Three young swimmers who had to practice their sport in Norfolk's rivers during the lockdowns have set themselves a channel-wide challenge.

Romilly Hammond, 13, Isaac Buchan, 12, and his brother Noah,10, will attempt to swim  22 miles - the width of the English Channel between Dover and Calais - over about 12 hours in a relay.

The trio are all members of the North Norfolk Vikings Swimming Club. They hope to raise £2,500 through the attempt to be shared between the club and the Norfolk Rivers Trust. 

Sarah Buchan, the boys' mum, said: "They want to raise money to help the club survive through Covid, and they chose the rivers trust because they had to start swimming in rivers when all the pools were shut, so they want to help protect them."

The trust is also the charity being supported this year through fundraisers at Beeston Hall School - which is where the young swimmers will make the attempt on May 15.

Mrs Buchan the distance worked out to be 1,770 lengths of the pool. Romilly, Isaac and Noah will swim in turn for an hour, meaning they will each spend about four hours in the pool.

Mrs Buchan -who herself swam the Channel once solo and twice as part of a relay - said it would be a tough challenge, but the youngster could do it if they were well disciplined. 

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"I was in the navy and we used to race the army and air force across the Channel," she said.

"They're very excited. I think physically they'll be fine, but mentally it becomes quite tough towards the end - getting back in for that third and fourth swim. It's also quite difficult swimming on your own for a long period of time."

The swimming club said it would put any money the children were able to donate to them through the challenge on pool expenses so they would not have to put up fees for participants. 

The rivers trust - established in 2011 - is engaged in creating aquatic habitats, conservation, restoration and land management. 

To find out more or to donate to the appeal, visit