It took 14 hours, 46,600 strokes and three jellyfish stings, but an Aylesford dad has become the first man of the year to successfully swim the Channel.
Nick Alford swam the 21 miles from the English to the French coast last week to raise money for charity.
But somewhat surprisingly for a health and safety boss, there was one thing the 41-year-old missed off his meticulous checklist – a towel!
He is the first man to complete the crossing under Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation rules in 2014.
Nick said: “I can’t quite believe it’s over. It took me 14 hours and apart from being a bit battered and bruised and the three jelly fish stings, everything is all good. Despite months of planning and prep, as I got back on the boat having finished, I found that I had left my towel at home!
“I checked my JustGiving page when I got home that day and saw that I had already beaten my target by nearly £400. It’s up to £2,890 now so I am delighted. At the end of the day, what I went through is nothing compared to the work these charities do, so that’s all that matters.”
On his swim he burned more than 20,000 calories, offset by eating six bananas, seven energy gels, 14 pints of carbohydrate drink, two family packs of jelly babies, one tin of peaches, one tin of rice pudding and honey and two pints of sweet tea.
The money will benefit Demelza Hospice, in Sittingbourne, and Harrison’s Fund, which is helping to pay for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Hannah Shotton, community fundraiser at Demelza, said: “A huge well done to Nick from all at team Demelza for this incredible feat and also all his amazing fundraising.
"Demelza cares for hundreds of life-limited and life-threatened children across Kent, south -east London and East Sussex and Nick’s support will help us reach out to even more families who desperately need our support and advice.”
To donate visit uk.virginmoney giving.com/NickAlford.