Richard first came to Aspire in 2016 when he took on the Relay Channel Swim, an experience he hugely enjoyed. He says it was this that gave him the confidence to push his boundaries in sea swimming and seek new challenges:

"After an Aspire training weekend in Dover, I was having a conversation with Aspire's Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Paul Parrish, about swimming challenges that had not yet been attempted, and we mentioned Sealand. I’d been fascinated by Sealand since studying International Relations and always dreamed of visiting, but never considered swimming from it! Within days of that conversation I’d contacted Prince Michael of Sealand and gained permission to attempt the swim. 

It took two years and a lot of organisation and determination to actually make the swim happen; I had to learn about the tides and specific local sea conditions and find a support boat and pilot. It felt like things were going wrong right up until I got in the water - we had to change boats the day before as we realised our first option wouldn’t be able to get close enough to the structure. The winch lifting me onto the platform then broke when I was half way up! 

Nevertheless, the swim itself went perfectly and I couldn’t have wished for better conditions. This led me to finish in a much faster time than I expected. I was really pleased to have Paul Parrish and a former Aspire Eels teammate on my support boat too. To top this all off it was great to be able to raise some money for Aspire. Without being part of the Aspire Relay Channel Swim team a few years ago, this swim would never have happened."

If Richard's Swim has got you wanting to start your own journey you can always start where he did, with our Relay Channel Swim.

Aspire's Relay Channel Swims

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