Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Friday, 8 September 2006 16:56 UK

Surgeon beats Channel age record

Roger Allsop
Roger Allsop said the support of Guernsey people drove him on

Retired Guernsey surgeon Roger Allsopp has officially become the oldest Briton to swim the English Channel.

Mr Allsopp, 65, who has lived in Guernsey since 1975, swam the channel last month and raised £15,000 for a cancer research project.

He completed the swim in 15-and-a-half hours despite challenging weather conditions.

The record was confirmed on Friday by the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation.

Mr Allsopp said he had to complete the swim because he could not bear to let supporters down.

I've never had that feeling before and I'll never have it again
Roger Allsop

He said: "I didn't really want to come back having not done it."

He added: "I started out focusing on the plight of women who get breast cancer and have to have chemotherapy.

"At the start I was really very sick, but I focused on the suffering of the women who have chemotherapy for six months and are sick all that time."

Knowing he had the support of friends, family and local media in Guernsey helped raise Mr Allsopp's morale.

"I seemed to get a lift from the people back home, the people of Guernsey, and I felt I was not going back and there was no question of not completing it.

"I've never had that feeling before and I'll never have it again. It was extremely powerful."

Freda Streeter, an adviser for Channel Swimming which confirmed the record on Friday, said: "Roger's achievement is absolutely amazing, particularly given the weather conditions on the day.

He was clearly not at all frightened by a few waves and despite being sick for the first two hours the rest is history."

The oldest ever person to swim the English Channel is American George Brunstad, who made the crossing aged 70.

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Why is swimming the channel so hard?
02 Jun 06 |  Magazine

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