Dorset Spotlight had the pleasure of talking to Jason Croucher, part of ‘The Dorset Knobs’ duo who swam across the Channel for the Dorset Blind Association.
DS: Hi Jason! Congratulations! What an epic challenge you completed; tell us why you chose to support the Dorset Blind Association?
Jason: “Our team, ‘The Dorset Knobs’, consisted of myself and Mike Alderson. We decided to raise money for the Dorset Blind Association as each of our families have been affected by eyesight problems.”
DS: What happened on the day of the challenge?
Jason: “We met our pilot, co-pilot, and the official observer at Dover Harbour, on Wednesday 16th June at 1.30 am. From there we went, by boat (Suva), to Samphire beach, Folkstone.
Mike started the swim, but before he could start he had to swim in the dark from the escort boat back to the shore. Thankfully, we have both swam in the dark many times so this didn’t really worry us too much. Once on shore, Mike raised his arms and the official clock started. We rotated every hour after and finally landed in France 16 hours and 40 minutes later.
We had trained throughout the winter in sea temperatures of 5-7 degrees, the water temperature on the day went from 13 degrees up to the warmer waters in France of 17 degrees.”
DS: Were you presented with any challenges?
Jason: “We started off okay until each of us had done three swims and then the cold and seasickness started to get to us. Once your core body is cold, it is very hard to warm up in a short amount of time i.e, 60 minutes! The sea was quite lumpy, so we didn’t eat a lot for fear of it coming back up again.
The worst part of the challenge was having to get back into the freezing cold sea. That was mentally challenging!”
DS: Did anything special happen whilst you were swimming?
Jason: “We swam with some big ships, spotted a dolphin, and we were accompanied by a seal in French waters for some of the time!”
Jason and Mike’s Channel Swim raised £4000 for the Dorset Blind Association, an amazing amount of money for a great local charity. Congratulations to you both – a fantastic achievement!