Vital work of the local Community Rescue Service to benefit
A 42 year old South African hopes to become the first person to swim between the Mull of Kintyre and the Ballycastle coastline in the summer.
Many endurance swimmers have tried unsuccessfully to conquer this treacherous North Channel route – but Wayne Soutter believes he could be the first to complete the challenge.
Wayne hopes not only to achieve swimming glory, but to raise funds to help the vital work of the Community Rescue Service.
The dad of two, who heads up a computer software company, now lives in London and has already begun training. Having completed the English Channel last year, he was determined to find a more challenging quest.
Says Wayne: “No one has ever completed this 11 mile stretch and many would say it simply can’t be done. I would love to be the one to break this mindset and at the same time help the good work of the CRS. I know it won’t be easy but as they asy – you’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind! ”
Wayne got involved with the CRS on one of his reconnaissance trips and quickly decided that he would use the swim as an opportunity to help raise money for them. “This fantastic voluntary organisation carry out superb work in times of local need. They’re there for loved ones who get into difficulty and for their families and so I felt it was fitting for me to be there for CRS”
“I have already begun a rigorous training regime which will take me right up until next June. Then I fly to Cork to experience the major tidal currents there and after a short break the next stop is Ballycastle for what I hope will be the most successful swim of my life”!
As the build-up begins, the Community Rescue Service has praised Wayne’s fund raising efforts as Local Commander Sean McCarry explains: “We are delighted that all money raised as a result of Wayne’s swim will be donated to the CRS. It will enable us to continue the valuable work we do in organising searches and providing family support. Given that no one has ever accomplished this particular swim is indicative of the arduous nature of the stretch of water involved. Wayne could be in the water for up to 15 hours and to get to this level of fitness requires great determination”.
The big challenge is planned for some time in August where Wayne will try to find the optimum balance between water temperature, neap tides, the jellyfish population and calmer seas.
Leading Marine Scientist and CRS member Joe Breen is clear about the difficulties such a swim presents: “This is one of the most dangerous and volatile stretches of water in the world with many tides converging in the area. Apart from the prospect of searing pain caused by jellyfish stings, Wayne will have to navigate his way through rip currents and eddies which will test his stamina to the extreme – even on a good day.”
“For me it’s the challenge of swimming a stretch of water that no one else has managed to swim as far as we are aware. The fact that the Straits of Moyle are among the most dangerous waters on the planet is an added plus”, says the endurance athlete.