Cross-channel swimmer sets off from Dover for sixth time

A cross-channel swimmer is due to set off from Dover for a sixth time, having done it over six consecutive decades, which will be a record breaker.

Sally Minty-Gravett's swim was postponed twice over the last two years due to the pandemic and other factors, so she hopes this will be third time lucky.

She's been swimming in the 70s, 80s, 90's, Naughties and Teens.

She first took on the task in 1975 and having swam in the 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s she's now set to tackle the grueling challenge in the 2020s. Credit: Sally Minty-Gravett

However one person who will be noticeably absent from her swim this time around is her husband Charlie, who sadly died in 2020.

"Charlie's ashes are buried here, they were thrown in the sea. We've got a plaque here to him, so it's been an emotional rollercoaster over the last couple of years. It's been hard."

In 2016, not content with her 21 mile swim, she actually turned around and swam back again, giving her not only the world record for the most decade swims but also making her the oldest woman to complete the two way.

Sally is raising money for the Jersey Lifeboat Association and Dementia Jersey and has so far raised more than £17,000.

"I've wanted to cement that record for the decades. My career never started our planning this, it's just evolved. I know nobody else will do five decades, so if I do six I'll be in the history books forever and ever."

Although she insists this is her retirement swim, the oldest woman to ever swim the channel was 71, and she is 64, so Sally says: "Never say never".