Mermaids Attempt to Swim Bristol Channel Was So Close

Henley Mermaids who set off at 7.30am yesterday morning to swim the Bristol Channel from Ilfracombe to Swansea attempting to be the first all-female team to complete the challenge were thwarted by the tides at 11.30pm last night with just 6km to go.
Setting off in beautiful sunshine and the sea looking calm, the team of five Mermaids, Laura Reineke, Jo Robb, Joan Fennelly, Susan Barry and Fiona Print swam alongside dolphins, porpoises and seals with the girls were making good progress for most of the day and were well supported by over 200 people on the Whats App group from all over the world.  Throughout the day the girls posted videos, photos and commentary from the swim.  The best video was at around 7.30pm with the girls have a mini disco on the boat!
The girls were raising money for Sunrise for Brain Conditions which is a not for profit organisation which provides a platform for events and fundraising for four charities in Ireland which supports Parkinson’s, Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Huntington’s Disease.  The team have also partnered with four sister charities in the UK that support these brain conditions  – The Huntington’s Disease Youth Organisation, Cure Parkinson’s, The MND Association and The MS International Federation.
Laura said, “Well, after 60k and 14 hours the tides conspired against us. We’ve been pulled with 6k to go. With the tide change we’d have been ripped back out into the channel. We will complete this swim and hopefully this year. In usual Mermaid style, we are still the best of friends and will always be a team of slightly podgy, middle aged, gin drinking swimmers. Who in possibly the worst 18 months ever have raised over £50k for charity – not too shabby really.”
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