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Zone3 Victory Swim The Channel 2019: Solo and Relay swims announced
 Zone3 Victory Swim The Channel 2019: Solo and Relay swims announced

Kevin Proctor has confirmed he will attempt to swim the 21 miles of the English Channel from Dover to France alone to raise money for the Felix Fund, which helps bomb disposal and search workers and their families, offering financial help and welfare support, including assistance with mental health issues. 

Kevin will complete his swim between September 11 and 17 2019 and is set to take around 10-14 hours. 

Gloucester-based Proctor said: “I swam the Channel in 2018 as part of a relay team, raising almost £1,000 for the British Skin Foundation. But this, as a solo effort, is very different. I’m looking forward to helping this very deserving cause and raising awareness of its work.

“The temperature will vary between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius, and I’ll be swimming during spring tide, when the currents will be at their strongest, so it’ll be no mean feat.”

A keen athlete, Kevin is a member of Dursley Running Club and he trains regularly at Lake 32 at Waterland Outdoor Pursuits in the Cotswolds and Cromhall Quarry in Gloucester. Even with his past experience and continuous dedication to training, tackling the Channel as a lone swimmer will be a major challenge which will test both his physical and mental strengths to their limits.

The swim will be piloted by a boat called Rowena FE75, fully kitted out with all the necessary safety equipment. Kevin’s swim number is CSA2019/253.

The event is backed by Zone3, Europe’s award-winning triathlon kit brand. 


Trish Mansell is heading up the relay team, which will consist of herself, Captain James Wadsworth, Lucas Tompkins, Marcus Bennett, Dave Jarman and Chris Macneill.

They will attempt their relay swim between 6 - 12 September 2019.

The swimmers include:

Trish Mansell, based in Slimbridge, Gloucester, first experienced open water swimming in 2017 and was soon hooked. Her outdoor swim challenges include a 5k swim for Macmillan in 2017, The Great North Swim 5k in Windermere in 2018 and the Swim Serpentine two mile swim in 2018. This year, as well as the channel she is tackling the Bosphorous Cross Continental Swim from Europe to Asia in July.

Captain James Wadsworth, from Didcot, Oxfordshire, also only started open water swimming in 2017 when training for an IRONMAN.  Since then, James has completed several open water endurance swims with the longest to date being 7 miles.  As part of his ongoing fundraising efforts for the Felix Fund, James organises what has now become an annual event, the Zone3 Victory Swim The Lake on Thursday 6 September 2019. The event offers a number of distance swim challenges for swimmers of all abilities at Lake 32, Gloucester.

Lucas Tompkins is based in Stroud, Gloucester. At just 15-years-old, Lucas is currently ranked 8th in the Southwest for the 1500m in his age group and is the current silver medallist for the 200m fly for Gloucester County. He swam in the Southwest Open Water Championship the last two summers and this year, in the 3000m event, he took the gold medal for the County and only just missed out on making nationals. Lucas trains with Severnside Tritons Swimming Club.

Marcus Bennett from Exeter is an accomplished swimmer, who sea swims all year round and can often be spotted swimming just off the coast of Sidmouth. He has taken part in a number of Open Water competitive events including the River Dart 10k, Lyme Bay and Sidmouth.

Keen open water swimmers, Dave Jarman from London and Chris Macneill, will also make up the relay team.

Their swim number is CSA2019/265 and will be piloted by Stuart Gleeson and his boat Sea Leopard.

Both swims are recognised by the Channel Swimming Association (CSA) and supporters will be able to track the progress of them, live through the CSA website.

Together, the solo and relay swims aim to raise £50,000 for the Felix Fund. You can show your support by donating here.

Trish said “I’m really excited to be taking on this challenge to raise money for the 11 EOD community. I joined a relay team to swim The Channel last September, training hard throughout 2018, but unfortunately, the swim was delayed by number of weeks and I was unable to partake due to an injury.

“I look forward to swimming alongside Capt. Wadsworth, a real-life hero who has dedicated his life to save others.”

The swim is just one of various Captain James Wadsworth Challenges, in which participants push themselves to their limits by swimming, cycling and running in endurance events. 

Capt. Wadsworth enlisted in the army in 1995, was part of the Explosive Ordnance Display (OED) unit and was posted to Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2008, he received the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross. 

He said: “We’re delighted to have Kevin and the rest of the relay team swim for us, and hope as many people as are able to will think about sponsoring our incredible effort.” 



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