No Buoys Allowed

Congratulations to the young Felicity Challinor, a Serpentine club member who recently completed her third English Channel relay to France.

Three swimmer English Channel Relay Team

Three swimmer English Channel Relay Team

Katie Hodgson Felicity Challinor Alice Venkatesan

Six girls no buoys

It seems like yesterday that Felicity was part of the Six girls no buoys relay team who were coached by Rob Ouldcott. In reality, it was September 2013 when the then 14 year-old Challinor made it to France. 

Three Girls No Buoys 2020

Moving a few years on to the present, and Felicity reduced the number in her team to three swimmers to reach France in a fast 12 hours and 50 minutes.

Their swim was faster than Rob Ouldcott’s (the retired veteran English Channel soloist) 14 hours and 45 minutes solo swim in 2012, but not as nippy as the evergreen Stuart Bowman who this summer swam a solo in just under twelve hours. 

Felicity’s two relay teammates included Katie Hodgson and Alice Venkatesan. The Durham University student and her friends called the relay “No Buoys Allowed” and they started from Abbots Cliff on 15 September at 20:20 piloted by Maz Critchley aboard “High Hopes”. 

Congratulations team, and Felicity! 

First a six-swimmer relay, deduct three swimmers for a three-swimmer relay, then perhaps deduct two more swimmers… 

[John Tierney]

Swim route across English Channel taken by Felicity Challinor and her two relay swim mates

Swim route across English Channel taken by Felicity Challinor and her two relay swim mates