Henley Mermaids Complete Channel Challenge

Update 1730

They’ve arrived safely in France with Joan Fennelly doing the last leg.

Congratulations girls!!!! The unofficial time is 18 hours.


Update 1620

They’re nearly there – they can see Wissant beach.  Laura has just finished an hour.  She said, “That was singularly the worst, most horrific hour of my life.  To say this a challenge is a massive understatement!”


The Henley Mermaids, a group of five women from Henley set off to swim the English Channel last night at 11.30pm and they are over halfway there this morning.

The Henley Mermaids; Laura Reineke, Fiona Print, Joan Fennelly, Susan Barry and Jo Robb are all regular swimmers with the Henley Open Water Swimming Club and are raising money for Henley Music School.  The School offers inclusive music education in all its forms; from individual lessons, small group ensembles, school curriculum lessons, specialist autism piano lessons, HMS Sunday school, and Youthful Orchestra (an inclusive adult orchestra for the rusty older musician!).

Laura Reineke, Founder and Principal of HMS started off the 21 mile challenge and then the group are swimming in a strict relay with each swimmer swimming an hour at a time.  The team’s swim was put back from June because of Covid-19 but last week they got a call to confirm the swim and their pilot boat was to be Anastasia.

One of the challenges for the swimmers is to avoid jellyfish but they are enjoying the sunrise over France this morning and are all in good spirits.

You can track the swim here http://cspf.co.uk/tracking

If you would like to donate go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/laura039s-campaign-for-henley-music-school

We’ll update this story as the day goes on.  Go girls!!!