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Hythe Aqua quartet Jason Ransley, Paul Hancock, Greg Wood and Stuart Parris are swimming the English Channel

Four friends will attempt to set a new cross-channel swimming record for charity on Monday.

Jason Ransley, from Hawkinge, and Paul Hancock, from Hythe, will be joined by Greg Wood (Brook) and Stuart Parris (Hastingleigh) as the quartet – all accomplished pool swimmers – take on their biggest challenge.

All four men are members of Hythe Aqua Masters and they’re targeting the four-man relay record of 8hr 48min from England to France.

Paul Hancock, Greg Wood, Jason Ransley and Stuart Parris are attempting to raise £7,000 by swimming the Channel
Paul Hancock, Greg Wood, Jason Ransley and Stuart Parris are attempting to raise £7,000 by swimming the Channel

So far they’ve raised more than £3,000 for the Northwood Charitable Foundation, which supports research into pancreatic cancer but are keen to hit the £7,000 mark.

Ransley, 39, is determined to succeed but he admits swimming the channel is a daunting prospect.

He said: "I’m excited and nervous. You go through a rollercoaster of emotions.

"Can we do it? Will we be lucky enough to get the right conditions? On a personal level, will I be swimming more than twice? Will it be three times? Could it be four?

"It’s so mentally challenging. Other people have said it’s 80% mental and 20% physical and I’d agree with that. When you’re swimming in cold water, your mind starts playing tricks on you.

"One came up with the idea and then it became two out of the four. Those two somehow managed to convince me and the other one that we should give it a go.

"I was a bit more reluctant than any of the other three. I’ve done a lot of triathlons and have run the London Marathon but swimming without a wetsuit in cold water is difficult.

"You swim an hour and then change. On paper, the record looks feasible but you just don’t know. It depends on the weather and tide on the day.

"If it all goes for us, there’s a good chance we can do it but it’s a big challenge."

Click here to donate and read the full story in the Folkestone & Hythe Express.

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