Clare gives her all for UK swimming record

Clare Wookey (second right) with the rest of the Open Water Ladies Relay team who smashed the world North Channel swim record.
Clare Wookey (second right) with the rest of the Open Water Ladies Relay team who smashed the world North Channel swim record.

A college manager from Deeping St James has swum her way into the record books as part of a unique open water challenge.

Clare Wookey (45) was in a five-woman team that made history by successfully completing the 19-mile North Channel, two-way swim between Northern Ireland and Scotland in just 28 hours, 25 minutes.

The Open Water Ladies Relay Team saw Clare joined by Caroline Sims of Newark, Louise Stratford of Suffolk, Vicki Watson of Nottinghamshire and Sarah Hatland of Sheffield became the first all-women’s team to achieve the feat.

Clare said: “I was asked by Caroline, our captain, to join the team as a result of me having proven endurance, stamina and the ability to handle the cold water.

“We completed the challenging, two-way crossing in temperatures as low as 11 degrees celsius, wearing only our swimming costumes, hat and goggles.

“This challenge is considered the hardest out of the seven long distance, open water swims around the world and the first-ever successful two-way relay was completed just last year by a team of six men and one woman who did it in 29 hours, 57 minutes.

“The purpose of our swim was really to motivate other ‘middle-aged ladies’ to believe that anything is possible if you want it badly enough.”