Bath student ready to swim the Channel

A University of Bath student is set to swim the English Channel to raise money for cancer care.

Rob Archer, a 30 year-old postgraduate chemistry student at Bath, is waiting for fair weather and the right tides to embark on his 21-mile swim from Dover to Calais.

Rob and his younger brother, Phil, decided to attempt the Channel crossing in memory of their uncle, Ian Massey, who died of prostate cancer. They have so far raised £3,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Phil made his bid last week, and Rob swam alongside him for part of the endeavour, as permitted in Channel crossing rules. After 14 hours of swimming Phil was forced to abandon his attempt just three miles from the French shore because of severe cramp.

Rob said: "I saw first hand my brother's 14 hour struggle against sea sickness, weather conditions and cramp and of course it's made me really apprehensive about what I'm facing. He did brilliantly well though, so I'm just going to go for it too."

Rob began his training last October and has clocked up over 400 hours of swimming in the University's 50m Swimming Pool, plus open air swims in Bath's River Avon, dodging swans and rowers, and sea swimming in Cornwall.

He will wear a wetsuit as he describes himself as too skinny to cope with the chilly water temperatures of 17 degrees centigrade, despite attempts to fatten himself up ready for the challenge.

Rob is a keen surfer and sportsman but says this is the biggest thing he has done by a long way.

His dad and brother will be on board the support boat and it's messages from his family and friends that he says will keep him going. To make a donation please visit Rob and Phil's donation website

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