Between 9 and 10 August, Jersey resident Wendy Trehiou became the first person to complete the 36-mile swim between St Malo in France and Jersey, completing the swim in 24 hours and 7 minutes. Wendy swam home to be greeted by many fellow swimming friends, supporters and family.
But her success was not without challenges. Having completed a two-way English Channel crossing in 39 hours and 9 minutes in 2013, Wendy knew the difficulties she would face – but she didn’t expect to confront mental obstacles just three hours into the swim, having already swum through a flotilla of over 100 sailing yachts.
“Mentally, this is the toughest challenge I have ever had to deal with,” said Wendy. “I wanted to get out after 3 hours but with my crew’s constant encouragement and reassurance I got my mental toughness back after about 9 or 10 hours”.
Jellyfish also proved a challenge. Wendy was badly stung by nettle sting jellyfish, but she battled on. As she swam at night she was accompanied by several pods of dolphins, swimming underneath. Despite the pain from the jellyfish, she said she “really was in a happy place”.
Wendy’s crew were critical to her success. In 2014, Wendy was part of the first ever relay to complete the swim. For her solo attempt she was once again piloted by Matthew Clarke, who was joined by English Channel pilot Sam Jones. Navigating the course is complicated by the notorious Les Minquiers Reef near the mid point and St Malo’s 14m tidal range. The rest of her crew comprised Dee Richards, Sarah Pierce, David Le Clercq, Martin Powell, Chantelle Le Guilcher and Tasmin Powell.
After completing the swim Wendy promised that she would be taking a year out from swimming, but within 24 hours she had changed her mind: “I am already planning my 2016 challenges.”