Wymondham student to swim the English Channel in memory of his dad

Wymondham College pupil Riley Cork who will be swapping the warm school pool to swim the channel.PHO

Wymondham College pupil Riley Cork who will be swapping the warm school pool to swim the channel.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A teenager is swimming the English Channel in memory of his dad who died from a brain haemorrhage.

Riley Cork, 16, will attempt the 21-mile swim as part of a relay team in aid of Nelson's Journey.

The aspiring pilot, who lives in Beeston, is going to attempt the challenge with his mum, Maria, who works as an internal communications manager, a family friend and her daughter, who is a triathlete, on September 15 next year.

Each person will take to the water for an hour at a time.

Riley, who is studying economics, physics, biology and psychology at Wymondham College, has chosen not to wear a wetsuit for the challenge and will cover himself in goose fat to retain heat.

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He said: 'I am feeling OK at the moment – I have already improved since I first started training.

'At the moment I am swimming four miles a week in the pool at college.

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'I can swim two miles in one go but in order to swim the channel I have to be able to swim six miles in a lake.

'I'm not worried about the tide but I am worried about jellyfish and the shipping lane.'

About 100 ferries cross from Dover to Calais every 24 hours and the team will also have to battle cold water temperatures, debris and sewage.

Riley and his mum are aiming to raise £10,000 for Nelson's Journey – a Norfolk-based charity which helps bereaved children.

Riley's dad, Neil, died in 2007 after suffering a brain haemorrhage.

'My dad passed away when I was 10 and the charity supported me. I went away on one of their residential weekends and it helped a lot so it made a lot of sense for us to support them.

'My mum taught me to swim when I was four years old.

'She was a cadet and swam for England at one point. Swimming the Channel is something she has always wanted to do.

'We were on holiday in Greece earlier this year and mum asked if I would like to swim the channel. I said yes and she booked it straight away using the wi-fi at the hotel.'

The challenge – which is referred to as the Everest of swimming – was first completed by Captain Matthew Webb in 1875. It took him 21 hours and 15 minutes.

To donate, email rileycork@ymail.com

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