White Cliffs to Cap Blanc – the chicken method


02/08/2013 by Carl Reynolds

Success in achieving an endurance swim (or, in many cases, surviving) is dependent on the swimmer (you’d be surprised), the pilot and the support crew. Lone Swimmer’s written about choosing a crew recently, but before you click through, consider the story of Ms Sarah Tunnicliffe, aka Chicken. Who swam the English Channel on Thursday (serendipitously also Yorkshire Day) in 16hours and 30ish minutes. The exact time is yet to be precisely verified.

Sarah’s been training and immersing herself in the art of swimming for a few years. The Channel Bug infected her a few years ago; a secret at first, and then out in glorious determination to succeed. She swam in rivers, lakes; went on trips for coastal swims in places various; dived into Ned’s Hard and Soft Core camps. Regularly coated herself in mucky Dover Harbour. Swam in a 3 person Channel relay as a Cake Pigeon in the brisk waters of late June and then one day arrived at a van on Varne Ridge. And looked to those other white cliffs and thought, I’m coming over. By myself this time.

For those of you who know her, I’ll let her tell the story story. For the rest of you, a few pictures of the day. We started just before sun up. We had two teams of two on four hour shifts. It worked and we all came together when needed. Sarah’s stroke rate was a metronomic 50spm all the way over; she fed every time, blubbed once and was the perfect combination of stoic determination and Yorkshire wit. It was a privilege to play a small part in her success.

Sarah Tunnicliffe, Channel Swimmer, 1 August 2013, 16hrs 32mins

2 thoughts on “White Cliffs to Cap Blanc – the chicken method

  1. Rebecca says:

    THANK YOU So much for sharing this with us! Especially the pics, they brought a lump to my throat :D

  2. Sarah you are a star. Well done!!! And well done the team.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address in the box below,
then click Follow to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 117 other followers


  • 249,991


%d bloggers like this: