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Page last updated at 09:20 GMT, Thursday, 12 August 2010 10:20 UK
Channel world record challenge for Gloucestershire kids

Alex Chantler-Mayne and Rebecca Sheppard are part of the relay team
Alex (l) and Rebecca made the final team after a tough selection process

Two youngsters from Gloucestershire are hoping to break a world record by swimming the English Channel.

12-year-olds Alex Chantler-Mayne and Rebecca Sheppard are part of a relay team, which is hoping to become the youngest to ever swim the 21 mile stretch from Dover to the French coast.

Alex from Quenington, who first started swimming at three months old, trains for 11 hours a week and enjoys distance swimming.

"I compete at county and regional level," he said. "I'm hoping to get to the ASA nationals in 2010."

Talking about the BEST (Bristol English Channel Swim Team) challenge, he added: "I jumped at the chance and I am very excited to have been selected for the BEST team.

"I am very much looking forward to training for the English Channel swim and very much hope to be one of the lucky six who actually swim in the relay.

"It is a real privilege to be part of this team".

'Brilliant experience'

Rebecca, who is from Tewkesbury, has been training with the BEST team since the beginning.

"I am so excited to have the chance to be part of the team after completing my two hour qualification swim," she said.

"The training is very hard work but also great fun to be with my BEST friends.

"I have been swimming competitively since the age of nine with Tewkesbury Swimming Club at County and Regional level.

"It is all a brilliant experience."


More than 40 children applied to become part of the BEST team.

Following a tough selection process, the youngsters were whittled down to a final team of eight - including six swimmers and two reserves.

The Channel challenge will take place on 17 August 2010 at 3am.

It could take anywhere from eight to 20 hours, depending on the weather, tides and the children's individual performances.

As well as darkness, the children may well have to overcome jelly fish stings, sea sickness, salt ingestion, the cold, fatigue, ferries and "floating debris of the unsavoury kind".

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