Burnley Bobcat in English Channel challenge

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Burnley Bobcat in English Channel challenge

Accompanied by his trusty boat ‘Anastasia’ and team-mates Joseph Gillam, Michael Robinson, Angela Jamieson, Ben Nutter and team leader Simon Nutter, the swimming sextuple will make the attempt on a date between July 1st and July 6th in a relay format.

The group, who have been training in the plummeting temperatures of Lake Windermere, will be looking to raise funds for two causes; The North West Air Ambulance and the Bobcats.

Thomas, who recently embarked on an intense swimming course in America under the watchful eye of multi-Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps, said: “I do a bit of open water swimming so I should be okay. On Bonfire night we did some open water swimming in the dark; it was freezing and pitch black. I think I will be able to cope with conditions in the sea, I’m not really concerned about that. I’m just really looking forward to the challenge.”

Regular sessions will be held with the Bobcats to help tweak the team’s fitness and endurance levels while they will undergo medicals and health and safety drills with the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation to ensure they are fully prepared.

Thomas said: “Each of us will swim for an hour at a time then go again after a rest. It’s 36 km to get there but we’ve had plenty of practice. We won’t have a wet suit on when doing it so the air conditions will be cold when we get out of the sea. It’s a shipping lane as well so there may be time when we’ll have to stop so those of the things we’ll need to adapt to.”

For further details visit www.burnleybobcats.org.uk.