Newlyweds become youngest married couple to swim English Channel
- Credit: Archant
Lily and Teddy Fletcher, from Woodbridge, have become the youngest husband and wife channel swimmers.
A newlywed couple from Woodbridge have become the youngest husband and wife to swim the English Channel.
Lily Fletcher, 28, a management consultant, and Teddy Fletcher, 32, a surgeon, completed the gruelling channel swim together in 15 hours 30 minutes, arriving at Calais just after 4am on Wednesday, August 29.
The immense 28 miles of water from Dover to Northern France was fraught with dangers including rough storms, 15C water and scores of stinging jelly fish.
But the duo were unperturbed as they completed the swim in a relay system, each doing an hour at a time.
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Mrs Fletcher said: “Once night came the swim was horrendous, it just got colder and colder.
“That feeling of touching French sand after hours and hours at sea in the darkness, exhausted, freezing, almost numb and physically beaten was second to none.
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“We are, officially, the 21st British pair to make a successful English Channel crossing and only the second husband and wife ever.”
Despite their accolades, the Fletchers were lucky to even reach France due to the awful weather conditions.
The couple travelled down to Dover on the Monday, August 20 in order to wait for the best neap tide, the easiest tide for swimmers, before they could set off.
Unfortunately the pair were forced to wait for 10 long days down, as storms and swell continued to rack the coastline before they decided to brave the more dangerous spring tide.
Mrs Fletcher said: “Spring tides are notoriously stronger and can be more dangerous, especially at full moon, so we were fearful of this additional obstacle. Swimmers almost always swim in the neap tides.”
The couple were in serious danger of getting disqualified from the swim all together as the French inshore waters almost swept them off course to Calais Harbour, where the French coast uards would have aborted the swim.
To make matters worse, just four miles from the Calais coast, a pilot informed them they were not going to make it due to the 4.5ft swell.
Thankfully the Fletchers are made of stronger stuff and they were able to complete the task all without the aid of a wetsuit, as per the rules set by the official Channel Swimming Authority.