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International swimmers put through paces in seas


By Kyle Ritchie


A group of hardy international swimmers returned to the Banffshire area for their summer camp.

The Kings Swimmers took to the seas at Banff Links recently to acclimatise to colder waters.

The group was supported by Banff Sailing Club who allowed the use of its club house, its facilities and RIB vessel.

Coach Kevin Murphy said: "The purpose of the camps is to allow swimmers to acclimatise to colder waters prior to either swimming the North Channel, English Channel as a solo or relay or other swims around the world."

Mr Murphy has swim the English Channel 34 times and North Channel three times.

The other coaches were Kathy Batts who has swum the English Channel and holds the record for being the oldest person to have swum the length of Loch Lomond; and Dana Batts a RIB operator, scuba diver and previous National Royal Life Saving Society champion.

Mr Murphy added: "We were assisted by Mark Donnelly of Banff Sailing Club with the RIB operation and his local knowledge of the waters along the Banff coastline have been invaluable.

"For the second year we have worked with local kayakers who have provided safety cover and include canoe instructors Norman and Alice Banks.

"All the swimmers and coaches stayed at The Castle of Park run by Rebecca Campbell-Stewart and made use of the wonderful endless swimming pool in the grounds."

The swimmers that took part in the camp were Monica Bender from California, who is training for an around Manhattan swim. She has already swum the English Channel and Catalina Channel as solos.

Hunter Charlton from London, who is training for an English Channel solo swim.

Sarah Dunstan from Virginia an Iron Lady and triathlete training for a Cattalina Channel relay in and a three-mile race in Maine, USA.

Maria Conceiaco from Portugal, who is training for an English Channel solo swim and is the first Portuguese woman to climb Mount Everest.

Vicki Carter from London, who is training for an English Channel solo.

Finally Tracy Nichols, Zoe Green, Georgina Weber and Elaine Cherry all from Bedfordshire who are members of a team attempting to swim the English Channel in a relay.



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