Two amazing women from York are raising money for York Rescue Boat by swimming the English Channel this month.

Team The Foss and Ouse aim to be one of the first hundred teams to complete a two person Channel relay ever. Experienced swimmers Judith Kirk and Kristina Peat have been training hard for the last 18 months, with their final training session happening this week from Whitby beach.

The training has been somewhat 'bumpy', with pools and lakes being closed and travel restrictions during the Covid-19 lockdowns. As a result, training turned to weights, yoga, pilates and bikes. They have been hard at work making up for lost time in the sea, lakes and pools. This final training session will try to replicate the real thing, and as a Channel swim can take anything from 12 to 20 hours, that is a LOT of swimming!

Both Judith and Kristina are experienced long distance swimmers, having completed the length of the three longest lakes in the Lake District (Coniston 5 miles, Ullswater 7.5 miles and Windermere 10.5 miles), and Judith has even swum Windermere both ways, which is a whopping 21 miles! It's fair to say they love their swimming, and are incredibly saddened by recent deaths in our lakes, rivers and seas. Every one of them is a tragedy, which is why they want to raise money for the York Rescue Boat ; not just for the emergency response work that the volunteers undertake, but also the education programme to help us all understand and respect the impact entering cold water has on our bodies and our ability to swim.

Swimming outdoors in our rivers, lakes and seas is a growing pastime in the UK and can be immensely enjoyable, with many health benefits, but as with all sports there is a way to do it more safely. Skills are needed to assess risk and to know your own limitation - all of which the York Rescue Boat want to teach others.

Judith Kirk said : "We honestly can't remember how this journey began, nor who thought up this 'adventure', but I blame Kristina!". However it started, it's going to be one big adventure! Those involved include their support boat (Louise, Jane and its pilot Andy King), the crew of Judith and Kristina's husbands, as well as a Channel Swimming Association Observer on board to ratify the swim. They will be negotiating the busiest shipping lane in the word as well as seaweed and of course jelly fish. The swim will take place sometime from the 14th August onwards; when team "The Foss & Ouse" actually swim, however, depends on the weather and the tides.