Bristol BEST attempt

A committee is planning to select The BEST (Bristol English-Channel Swim Team) young open water swimmers who aim to break the existing world record for the youngest relay team to successfully swim across the English Channel.

36 young swimmers aged either 10 or 11 years old have attended initial recruitment days in February and March 2009.

The swimmers and their parents were given a comprehensive explanation of what is to be expected. The swimmers then completed 1000m timed pool swims. A group of 30 swimmers will be shortlisted for the next selection criterion,  an open water swim in Henleaze Lake in north Bristol in July.

From this group, a final team of six swimmers with two reserves will be selected and trained for their Channel attempt in August 2010.

BEST’s head coach is Penny Porter a former national swimmer and record holder, and one of GB’s swim team physiotherapists. Chris Eynon is also involved and planning his own English Channel swim for September 2009. Chris won the 2007 British Long Distance Swimming Association Lake Windermere 17.5km Championships in 2007 and bronze medals at the ASA National 5km Grand Prix competitions in 2006, 2007 and 2008. He has also been part of a successful English Channel relay at the age of 16.

The current record is held by a team of six 12 year old British swimmers from The Royal Tunbridge Wells Monson Swimming Club, who crossed in 1968, in 12h 45m. See video of current record holders below.