Congratulations Alex Fordyce, English Channel Solo Swimmer

Alex Fordyce, a Serpentine Swimming Club member, started his heroic solo swim across the English Channel on Tuesday 27 August, from England to France.

He dove into English waters at 07:29 from Shakespeare Beach, and was escorted by 'Gallivant' piloted by Mike Oram.

After 15 hours and 51 minutes of swimming, an elated Alex walked up the beach in France.

England to France

Cheered off by his family, Alex started his swim from England to France at 07:29 from Shakespeare Beach, and after almost 16 hours Alex successfully walked up the beach at Cap Blanc Nez in France.

As well as family, Jeki his loyal four legged swimming buddy was there to see him off. 

Good luck mate don't be ruff on yourself

Good luck mate don't be ruff on yourself

Alex Kirstin and future crew

Alex Kirstin and future crew

Solo Swimmer

Solo Swimmer

Crew horoscopes

Crew horoscopes

The start ...

The start ...

Crew

His crew included two fellow Serpies, Katie Berlyn Holmes, and Kevin Blick, and also his siblings Angus and Steph as well his best mate Sam.

Alex’ wife Kirstin had a good reason not to be onboard, more of which later. Overall, the swim crew were prepared and relaxed. 

PROGRESS

At 14.10 Alex entered the separation zone. This was after approximately 6hours and 40 minutes of swimming.

The feeds went well… Happy feed time

And the crew had time for arty photos. 

The Artful Doggy

The Artful Doggy

Messages of support were delivered from all angles, Here was one retrieved from his dog ‘Jeki’! A Serpentine swimmer who owns a dog is clearly a positive sign of a top notch swimmer.

Alex looking great

Alex was in good form the whole swim and was still smiling throughout.

While smiles belied the committed and whole hearted efforts of the swimmer in the water, Katie and crew made the excursion look like a pleasant fine dining experience...

Nice Bucket Challenge?

It was warm enough for Katie to find time for the Nice Bucket Challenge.  Not sure if this counts as a support swim?

At its peak, the water was not exactly ice bucket temperatures at 19.6C, while the air was 24.1 C.

The genial support crew did their best to make it look like a tough gig... but that was before sundown.

Where am I?

Where am I?

As it got dark, crew feedback was that he was going well, and still chirpy. But for the first time all day, Alex had just started to ask how long to go! For when the sun goes down, the tough bit starts, but Alex was 100% prepared.

Into the dark

Nighttime and the air turned chilly! But the crew’s sacrifice is nothing compared with the swimmer’s and also that of his other half, Kirstin.

Alex had a great finish at Cap Blanc Nez, a sandy beach (but still with some pebbles!)

Kevin managed to find some rocks and store them in his ample Speedos as he swam back to the boat…whereas Katie found 2 pebbles of substance.

Essential Channel Swimming souvenir memorabilia

Essential Channel Swimming souvenir memorabilia

No whiff of Mike Oram's mid channel midwifery skills

Alex’ wife Kirstin is expecting in three weeks, and they worried that the baby might arrive early, so Alex had to swim as quickly as he could to get back in time.

Had Kirstin been on board, we might have had to rely on the skipper’s Midwifery ability on the boat as she was expecting (and we weren’t sure of Mike Oram's Midwifery skills... although he claimed he had delivered on board before!) Midwifery and mid Channel and breaking waters were just pushing too much.

Happy English Channel solo swimmer

Happy English Channel solo swimmer

Alex had trained well, and Jeki, his loyal dog had practised beach finishes for Alex in anticipation of the big day. Preparation clearly works.

Thanks

Thanks to his siblings Angus & Steph who were excellent support crew along with his good mate Sam (who refused rest or to put any warm clothes on as it got dark in solidarity with Alex!). They managed the feeds brilliantly and were very attentive and on point with encouraging words throughout the swim.

Congratulations Serpentine Swimmer Alex Fordyce, English Channel Solo Swimmer.

[Finally, Alex is fundraising for the children's charity Second Chance.]

Photos: Katie and Kevin

Text: Katie & Kevin, and posted by John Tierney 

Nice one Alex, nice one Swum, Nice one Alex, let's swim another one.

Nice one Alex, nice one Swum, Nice one Alex, let's swim another one.