What record are these newly weds trying to break next week?

Lily and Teddy will battle through freezing waters, jelly fish and floating plastic to cross the Cha

Lily and Teddy will battle through freezing waters, jelly fish and floating plastic to cross the Channel Picture: Lily Fletcher - Credit: Archant

A married couple from Suffolk will attempt to break the record for the fastest husband and wife crossing of the English channel to raise awareness of ocean plastic pollution.

The Fletchers have taken part in several open water swims and have been training for over a year Pic

The Fletchers have taken part in several open water swims and have been training for over a year Picture: Lily Fletcher - Credit: Archant

Lily Fletcher, 28, a management consultant and Teddy Fletcher, 32, a surgeon, who married in Woodbridge last September, will be attempting the 28 mile swim from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in Northern France.

The fastest time for a husband and wife crossing currently stands at 12 hours 21 minutes but the Fletchers are not just interested in beating that time.

• Which other swimmer is attempting a barmy crossing in Suffolk? Read here.

Mrs Fletcher said: “Initially that’s how things started until we had a rather unpleasant experience with some floating plastic whilst training.

“That’s when we decided we would use the swim as an opportunity to push our work colleagues towards the Plastic Oceans UK website and challenge them to live without plastic.”

The couple have trained for over a year for the event, diving into the North Sea at Thorpeness and Aldeburgh, and taking several open water swims.


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The Fletchers will head down to Dover on Monday, August 20, before waiting until the optimum tide window to start the crossing. Lily expects them to begin at 3am on Thursday, August 23.

The pair will take it in turns every hour to swim (in the dark for the first couple of hours) while the other stays in the official Channel Swimming Association boat ‘The Viking Princess.’ The swimmer will battle freezing temperatures before returning to the boat where they will likely suffer sea sickness.

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The gruelling task is fraught with dangers and the association has strict rules for the channel swim, one rule being that no wet suites are allowed.

Lily said: “They want to make it a three-fold challenge, it’s not only mentally and physically difficult but without a suit it’s physiologically a problem as well.”

The three-fold challenges Lily and Ted will face include hypothermia, two metre waves, force six winds and swarms of stinging jelly fish, to name a few.

Despite the challenges, Lily is hopeful, she said: “If we are successful we will be the youngest two-person Channel Swimmers and the second successful husband and wife attempt which is really exciting.”

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