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English Channel Solo Swim

23 - 28th August 2023

Mermaid Laura is going to take on the 21 miles between England and France by herself - the busiest shipping lane in the world, with supertankers, with bow waves the size of buildings, and jellyfish.  Using the same pilot, Eddy Spelling as the mermaids used for their EC relay in 2020.  

Laura will have to complete a 6-hour qualification swim in water under 16 degrees, she plans to do this in Cape Town in March, where the water is the right temperature.

The actual attempt will take place somewhere between 23 - 28th August, and could begin at any time of the day or night, Laura may take somewhere between 17 - 20 hours to complete the difficult swim.  Only in a swimming costume, googles & hat, Laura will be fed mainly liquid feeds from a fishing line.  She will not be able to stop, touch the boat, or get out.  She will be supported on the boat by Mermaid Joan, Lee Sudan (who swam the channel in 2022) and Derrick Frazer of Big Bay Events.  It is important to have a good support crew.  The crew will feed her, relaying, via a white board - messages from supporters, assess her speed, and Lee might even jump in and swim with her for a little bit.

Laura began her training in October, and distance will gradually build so that she is ready for the challenge.  She is being trained by Sophie Whitworth, where she religiously follows a regimented training plan.

She is doing this in order to help raise £1,000,000 for the Henley Community Hub which she founded.  HCH will be a community hub for use by the whole community, and a permanent base for Henley Music School, a local charity Laura also founded.


Henley Community Hub

Henley Community Hub are working, together with Henley Music School to bring a wonderful, characterful hall situated in the center of Henley, and built in 1908 back to life, so it can continue to be used by the whole community for another 100 years.


Including teaching rooms, peadiatric councelling services, after school clubs, family support, workshops, recording studio, flexible performance space, offices, instrument storage.  A safe place for the whole community to visit, with music at its heart. 

We hope that with help we will be able to raise the funds to ensure the hall is refurbished, futureproofed and sustainable.  

The amount needed is likely to be upwards of £1,000,000

If you are a charity, individual, or group and would like to pledge your support, get involved, or have any wonderful ideas for us, please get in touch.

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