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Weston's Vikki Chester sets sights on English Channel swim by 55th birthday

A keen swimmer has set her sights on completing a length of the English Channel by the time she turns 55.

Vikki Chester, 53, of Weston, vowed to complete the 21-mile swim between the UK and France during lockdown after completing a cold water course.

Vikki Chester, 53 (42592660)
Vikki Chester, 53 (42592660)

“I have always wanted to swim the channel, but it is one of those things that somebody else does — not me,” said Chester.

“So, I thought about it, and I am just going to go for it.

“I love outdoor swimming and after doing a cold water course, where I met Caroline Sims (a channel swimmer from Balderton) who pushed me towards doing it.

“Fast forward two weeks and she is my coach.”

Chester said she had to relearn how to swim as her technique wasn’t correct for long-distance swimming.

VIKKI CHESTER in the River Trent.
VIKKI CHESTER in the River Trent.

In total, she will have to swim the equivalent of 1,352 lengths of a 25m swimming pool.

Chester completed the Coniston Chillswimm, which is roughly 5.2 miles — a quarter of the channel challenge.

“It was a learning experience,” she said. “The rain was coming down, it was windy and I had waves from the boat spraying into my face — it was exhausting.

“In total, it took me five hours and four minutes, which it shouldn’t have done because we were aiming for under four hours, but that’s what it was for. It was a learning experience.”

Chester hopes to complete the swim in 2022 and has been training for roughly three months.

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