Preparing to swim Channel

SWIM TEAM: From left, Manx Minkes Christine Howell, Silla Parnell, Heather Mattocks, Brandon Ellis, Johanna Barkwith and Jill Bunyan. PHOTO: John Maddrell JM120520 (5).

SWIM TEAM: From left, Manx Minkes Christine Howell, Silla Parnell, Heather Mattocks, Brandon Ellis, Johanna Barkwith and Jill Bunyan. PHOTO: John Maddrell JM120520 (5).

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THIS is the swim team aiming to become the first group from the Isle of Man to cross the English Channel.

Dubbed the Manx Minkes, after the whale most commonly spotted in local waters, the group comprises Johanna Barkwith, Jill Bunyan, Brandon Ellis, Christine Howell, Heather Mattocks and Silla Parnell, with reserves Mark Gorry and Beth Swaine.

The attempt will raise money for the charity Aspire, which helps people with spinal cord injuries, and they hope to raise at least £10,000.

They have just had their first training weekend in Dover and hope to complete the swim in the second week of September.

The shortest crossing distance of the Channel is 22 miles, but tides and currents can make it much more.

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