Former Dereham Otters swimmer part of team which completes English Channel relay in under 10 hours
PUBLISHED: 18:00 03 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:36 04 October 2018
A former member of Dereham Otters has taken part in an English Channel relay event, swimming between Dover and Calais as part of her university team.
Lauren Burton, from Dereham, swam with the Otters for 11 years before leaving for St Anne’s College at the University of Oxford and took part in the relay challenge as part of a team of five.
The biennial event usually pits a team from Oxford against a team from Cambridge, however due to the event needing to be rescheduled, Cambridge could not field a team for the event.
Miss Burton said: “Competing in the channel relay was a huge mental challenge and I’m so proud of myself and the team for showing such resilience, supporting each other so well, and achieving such a quick time.
“The teams are usually comprised of eight members but due to the rescheduling we were only able to field a team of five.
“Only having five members worked quite well in the end, as we each completed two swims and we finished four minutes before the end of final swimmer’s second hour.”
The team set off at 1am on September 27, with each member swimming for an hour in a set order which repeats until the team reaches France.
Miss Burton swam third, between 3am and 4am and 8am and 9am, with the team setting off at an early hour in order to catch the tide, making it safe to swim.
She added: “We were being pushed south by the tide as we were approaching France, so we had to swim quicker than the tide was pushing us to reach land. We eventually reached the French shore at Pointe du Nid de Corbet 9 hours and 56 minutes later.
“We clocked the fourth fastest channel relay of this year and our pilot and observers made sure to tell us how impressive this was given the strong tide and how we had five swimmers.
“We were all able to swim the last 300m into the beach together and this was probably my favourite moment of the day.”