English Channel swim

The Tenacious Turtles are taking on the English Channel

The Tenacious Turtles, a team of four swimmers based in Dorset, are planning a swim relay across the English Channel this summer to raise funds for Dementia UK

A team of four women who call themselves The Tenacious Turtles are planning a swim relay across the English Channel in July to raise money for Dementia UK.

Throughout winter the Dorset-based relay team – Liz Rowden, Karen Peedell, Sarah Swift and Karen Clarke – have braved early morning, cold sea swims alongside warmer pool training. They’re hoping for more comfortable sea temperatures for their challenge in July.

Liz Rowden is excited about the challenge. “We’ve come together as a group of women of a similar age and outlook who want to take on one of the great physical and mental sea challenges,” she told us.

“The Channel is never easy. You’re at the mercy of the tides and under the direction of the pilot. We can train and plan as much as we do, but at the end of the day, we just have to get our heads down and push through the waves.”

We asked Liz if there was anything in particular she was looking forward to.

“I’m excited to see the sunrise over the boat and hope we don’t see it set again! I’m also looking forward to getting back to Dover and sitting in a pub having a drink with a proud smile on all of our faces,” she said.

And anything the team are daunted by?

“None of us are fans of jellyfish so hopefully they’ll stay low and just encourage us to swim a little faster.”

The Tenacious Turtles hope to raise £5,000 for Dementia UK, a charity that’s close to all the team members’ hearts.

“All of us have had relatives who have been affected by Dementia,” Liz told us. “To see someone you love change beyond recognition is like a long, long grief. It’s tough to see and emotionally impossible to manage. This is why we are raising money for Dementia UK.”

The Tenacious Turtles are raising money for Dementia UK through their JustGiving page and raffles offering swim-related prizes.

Fancy taking part in a relay swim across the Channel yourself? Give it try with the Mencap Marvels.

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Abi writes swimming news stories and features for the Outdoor Swimmer website and manages the social media channels. She loves to swim, run, hike and SUP close to her home in Herefordshire. While she’s a keen wild swimmer, Abi is new to the world of open water events and recently completed her first open water mile. She has previously written for The Guardian, BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC History Magazine and Ernest Journal.