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  1. ITV Report

Young swimmers conquer the Channel

Emma Hounslow swimming the Channel in style Credit: Taunton School

A team of seven 13-year-olds from Taunton School in Somerset have achieved their dream of crossing the English Channel.

It took them 15 hard-fought hours but they beat a team of staff by 50 minutes but were pipped to the coast by a group of Royal Marines - just three minutes ahead.

The roll of honour:

  • Emma Hounslow
  • Emily Lawton
  • Skyla Coate
  • Ollie Halliday
  • Imogen Childs
  • Jonny Cole
  • Annabelle Lewes

For the last 200 metres, all the children swam to shore together.

Olympian Rebecca Adlington and adventurer Sean Conway have inspired the young swimmers Credit: PA

The teams were spurred on after receiving messages of support from Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington, endurance adventurer Sean Conway and the world record holder for swimming the English Channel Trent Grimsey.

The great Channel swim Credit: ITV News

The race began at 9am on Monday (19 September) and they swam in relay, taking an hour each at a time, from Shakespeare’s Beach to Cap Gris Nez.

It ended in the early hours of this morning in the dark on the shores of France.

Celebrating their achievement in the relative comfort of their support boat Credit: Taunton School

All the children were very tired this morning but are proud of their achievement - having raised an impressive sum of money for the Royal Marines Charity.

My young boys and girls were magnificent last night. They gave their all, showed selfless commitment and much courage in getting across the Channel - 4.5 hours of which was in total darkness.

To come within 3 mins or 120 metres of beating the elite of the British Military has simply left this old soldier speechless with pride.

– Hamish McCarthy, Head of Geography and Former Soldier

The teams were accompanied by three boats and an official observer from the Channel Swimming Piloting Federation.

  • Video from the challenge can be viewed on the school's Facebook page
  • Anyone wishing to sponsor the event should visit the teams Just Giving page
Annabelle Lewes giving it her all Credit: Taunton School