Thanks to the generosity of the Guernsey community in response to Adrian Sarchet’s successful 24 hour swim challenge, Vive La Vallette are delighted to announce that the fundraising target of £150,000 has been reached.

The funds raised will cover the newly installed assisted access facilities at La Vallette and also provide £15k of funding towards the work of Guernsey Disability Swimming

Adrian Sarchet, aka The Sea Donkey swam nearly 60km in the Ladies Pool over the 24 hours period from 20th-21st August.

During the cold of the night he entertained thoughts that he might not make it. But these feelings were always squashed by the knowledge that failure might mean that the challenge didn’t reach the fundraising goal.

‘We absolutely had to reach the fundraising goal, paying for the enhanced accessibility features at the Ladies Pool was simply too important, so that meant failure was not an option. I was able to draw upon all my Oceans Seven experience and skirt the boundary between healthy and hypothermic, measuring my effort so that I could last the 24 hours.’

He warmed up considerably during the latter part of the swim and wasn’t too bad at the end of the swim. However “not too bad” has to be interpreted against his experiences last summer in Lake Baikal at 4 degrees C and previous ice swims … so it still meant that he could barely walk, had to be supported by his crew and had 5 people engaged in the post swim rewarming process! Adrian said that the hardest part of the challenge was being awake the entire time.

‘On my previous marathon swims, I’ve been very successful at “zoning out” (i.e. entering that Zen space in my mind where I can’t feel my body and time has no meaning) only to find that hours have passed. On this swim, having to tumble-turn every 50 metres, meant that I couldn’t zone out, and instead of losing hours, I think I counted every metre!’

The Sea Donkey 24 Hour Swim Challenge was organised by a team of volunteers on behalf of local charity, Vive La Vallette.

Dave Warr, Chair of Vive La Vallette paid tribute to all the volunteers, supporters and swimmers, including the 17 corporate teams who took part in the challenge. He said:

‘We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Adrian, he is a remarkable individual, passionate about sea swimming and supporting Guernsey Disability Swimming. Furthermore he is a wonderful ambassador for Guernsey and we count ourselves fortunate for the encouragement and support he has given us as we continue to develop the facilities at La Vallette into a thriving community space where all feel welcome and valued. Our thanks also to the team of volunteers and participants who helped make this unique event such an outstanding success.’

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