Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is an independent international humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency medical aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters or exclusion from health care in more than 60 countries. Every year MSF sends around 3,000 doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, administrators and other professionals to work alongside over 25,000 locally hired staff. Together they run medical projects in more than 60 countries around the world. In emergencies and their aftermath, MSF provides essential healthcare, rehabilitates and runs hospitals and clinics, performs surgery, tackles epidemics, carries out vaccination campaigns, operates feeding centres for malnourished children and offers psychological support. When needed, MSF also constructs wells and dispenses clean drinking water and distributes materials like blankets, plastic sheeting and other basic necessities. Through longer-term programmes, MSF treats patients with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, sleeping sickness and HIV/AIDS and provides medical and psychological care to marginalised groups such as street children. MSF was founded in 1971 as the first non-governmental organisation to provide both emergency medical assistance and bear witness publicly to the plight of the people it assists. MSF is an international network with branches in 23 countries.
30 June 2014
Raising money for MSF by swimming the English Channel. Two 5 person relay teams to take on the challenge in June 2014.
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MSF English Channel Relay Swims
A group of 11 ‘medically affiliated’ individuals are being split into two relay teams to take on the challenge of swimming the English Channel between the dates of the 24th-30th June 2014. The main aim is to raise money for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) with a second to have fun and work within the teams towards an amazing goal-FRANCE!
When Mr. Jean Francois Bouloy, proprietor of ‘La Sirene’ Restaurant on Cap Griz Nez, France, brought some celebratory champagne to the swimmers who landed at his restaurant doorstep on successful completion of the English Channel relay, little did he realise just how much the Medecins Sans Frontieres relay squad deserved the plaudits. The MSF English Channel Relay Team swam the English Channel on the 28th September 2014 in a time of 15hours 45minutes on their fourth attempt on the swim!
In June 2014, two teams were prepared and waiting for the allotted ‘tide’ to swim across the English Channel. Unfortunately the conditions thwarted MSF 1 (With pilot Paul Foreman on ‘Optimist’) and 2’s (With Eddie Spelling on ‘Anastsia’) attempts to swim to France in June.
A summer of frustration and maintenance of fitness followed with an MSF 3 being called to Dover for a 4am start on the 20th September. This team was made up of swimmers from both teams who were available on the day. Kitted up, carbohydrate fueled and sleep deprived, the team met in Dover Harbor at 3am to be met by thick fog. This lead to Captain Eddie Spelling cancelling the attempt before even loading the kit onto the boat as ‘Anastasia’ could not leave the harbor.As the Channel swimming season drew to a close, a small weather window of hope opened up for one final opportunity to gather the ‘troops’. Six swimmers embarked on the adventure at 23:42 on the 27th September 2014, swimming an hour at a time to reach their goal of swimming to France and raising funds for MSF.
The final squad consisted of:
Robert FisherHowever thanks goes to all members of the team who raised money for this special cause. Over £20,000 has been raised for MSF and we are very happy to say that the MSF English Channel Relay Swimmers didn't give up and made it in a time of 15hours 45minutes.
After the disappointing non starter last weekend due to fog, we have been given a fourth and potentially final chance for the MSF Team to swim to France this evening. Starting at approx. 11pm this evening the team are meeting to board the boat and start their swim.
Tonights team consists of:
Please wish them luck on their adventure. Calm seas, warm air, let's get there team!
UPDATE 19th September 2014:
The weather Gods are looking down on us and have given us the green light to have a third attempt to swim across the English Channel tomorrow, starting in Dover at 04:30-05:00am. Please keep an eye out on the tracker. We are swimming with Eddie Spelling and his boat Anastasia.
The team consists of a mixture from the last two teams. The swimmers are:
with Sakura Adams as support crew.
Please keep your generous donations coming in for MSF and support us on our journey to France.
The teams are made up as follows (Individual Profiles-please see below!):
MSF Team One (Pilot: Eddie Spelling)
BACK AT WORK AFTER SWIM MONDAY 30TH JUNE FROM 0830 TIL 2130.
NO LANDING ACHIEVED BUT MANY MILES COVERED AND A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE.
SEE TRACK ON http://cspf.co.uk/tracking SELECT ANASTASIA BOAT
- Robert Fisher
- Vanessa Impey
- Angela Johnson
- Alice Davenport
- Claire Browse
- Andrew Robbins on boat team support
Thank you all for your amazing support. We were so sorry to be scuppered by conditions and were ready to swim further but was felt unachievable from our course by the fantastic and experienced pilot Eddie Spelling, who donated his time to the cause.
MSF Team Two (Pilot: Paul Foreman) SWAM FROM 0730 -2300 ON 26/06/14! A tremendous effort by all swimmers and many battles fought and won despite not being able to bring home a pebble for the mantlepiece.
THEIR TRACK ON http://cspf.co.uk/tracking SELECT OPTIMIST BOAT
- Mike Latham
- Clare Robinson
- Danielle Ruymaker
- Stephanie Chapman-Sheath
- Laure Latham
MSF is an amazing charity, with people working in challenging locations, bringing medical aid to people in countries being torn apart by war, natural disasters, poverty. Every penny that these two relays raise will be put to good use, be it in emergency campaigns, supporting Tuberculosis (TB) & HIV projects, maternity services and much more.
Please donate generously. The team members all have a connection with the medical profession and are raising money whilst continuing their everyday work. We cannot wait to attempt the challenge.
Special mention goes to Andrew Robins who is one determined fellow and has been aiming to swim despite having pneumonia. He is being sponsored by friends and family NOT to swim to alleviate the disappointment of being left on the bench / beach!
Please keep encouraging us all by donating generously.
The MSF English Channel Relay Teams
MSF Channel Relay Team Members:
Robert is our German in the gang as well as an old hand in the Channel, having swum a solo swim in 2013. He is looking forward to sharing his passion with new swimmers. By day he’s a psychiatric consultant in London. He is often to be found at the Serpentine; occasionally training!
Vanessa Impey (Mavra)
Vanessa is a mother of four and a paediatric registrar in Central London. Vanessa had never swum in open water before training this year and has learnt 'proper front crawl' for the challenge. Her husband Boris is a Channel solo veteran, going for his 5th solo this year, so clearly the best way to spend time together is to wave as they pass each other in Dover harbour! Much credit for the transformation in Vanessa's swimming ability goes to teacher Norman; Vanessa's dad Christo and Boris' parents for helping out with the kids to allow both parents to train.
Angela works as a Senior Manager in EY's Financial Services Advisory team in London, is a keen Serpentine swimmer and our token antipodean in the gang. Despite not being medical herself, she grew up in a home full of doctors, and has picked up more by osmosis more than most junior doctors would know! She has a background in surf lifesaving and triathlons in Australia and is a key members at the Serpentine Swimming Club. She dipped her feet in the world of cold open water swimming last year, when she successfully swam the length of Lake Coniston, and strangely she’s booked to do it again this September.
Alice is a Paediatric ST2 doctor in North West London, and is always looking for the next challenge. She has a background in running and triathlons. Having worked with and listened to Sakura’s tales of open water swimming, she was quick to take on the challenge of this relay.
Claire is a swimming teacher in the south of France and a nurse in a GP practice in London. This is her first foray into the Channel, but has recently had a 2-hour 'dip' in the Med to complete her qualifying swim and is very excited to be part of the relay.
Andrew is has been involved in open water swimming for a number of years, and among his notable swims is the Straits of Gibraltar. He is a paediatric consultant at the Whittington in London, who worries his juniors by attending morning hand over in a blue and shivering state. They don’t believe it’s just because he’s been swimming in Parliament Hill Lido!
Mike is a psychologist who lives in West Sussex but grew up in the far sunnier St. Lucia where his passion for the ocean grew. He has a solo Channel Swim planned for later this year, and is already training with his ‘posse’ in Bournemouth in the sea if you fancy training somewhere else.
Clare is a biomedical scientist who works in a haematology/blood transfusion lab. She has a few years of open water experience having completed the Ullswater and Windermere swims last year in 14oC water – ouch! She is booked for a solo Channel swim in 2015 and is therefore keen to experience the Channel as a relay in a brilliant team!
Danielle is coming from San Francisco to be part of our channel relay. She is a physiotherapist and a regular swimmer at the Southend Rowing Club in San Francisco’s Aquatic Park. She has recently completed her two-hour qualifier and is VERY excited about coming over to play!
Stephanie is a physiotherapist in Southampton looking for an open water challenge. She is a novice to Channel Swimming, however she has experience in swimming in her local lakes for the past couple of summers, and has also completed the Great London Swim in 2012.
Laure is a Serpentine Swimming Club member who is new to open water swimming sans wetsuit. The Channel Relay will be a big challenge but one she is taking on with full force. She is an outdoors writer and is keen to help on the fundraising front. Laure is our French contingent of the team and not a direct relative of Mike Latham in case you’re wondering!
Sakura Adams (Team Captain)
Sakura is a Paediatric Registrar in North West London as well as being a swimming and running enthusiast. She has completed numerous open water swims which include the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and a few others. She has currently taken an interest in long distance running, having completed her 5th Marathon this year. She is team manager and overlooking the running of both teams with an aim to raise lots of money for MSF
Nick Adams (Team Vice Captain)
When Nick is not being a teacher, he is a long distance swimming/Channel Addict, having swum the English Channel solo 9 times (one of those being a double). He is helping his wife, Sakura, support the team to ensure that she is getting it all right :) He will be found wallowing in the Dover waters over the weekends to support the relay members but also to train for his 10th solo swim this season.
Anonymous £80.00 (+ £20.00 giftaid)
03.11.14 Collected from Jacky Davis, Ben Lloyd & Julia at the Lido for Andrew's swim with MSF channel relay in September
Alexandra Pledge £20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)
25.10.14 Well done!
Sara hamilton £10.00 (+ £2.50 giftaid)
24.10.14 Well done team!
Chrissie T £20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)
20.10.14 Congratulations to all of you on a fantastic effort!
Ciara Murphy £30.00 (+ £7.50 giftaid)
Ben and Glynis. £50.00
06.10.14 Well done! What an achievement. X
bruce £10.00 (+ £2.50 giftaid)
02.10.14 Congrats on your epic endeavour! Very impressive!
Anonymous £105.00 (+ £26.25 giftaid)
02.10.14 Lewingtons Duncans Richard Smith Pizzeys Sheaths Paula + co
Julie Nash £20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)
01.10.14 What an amazing achievement, you all deserve every penny you raise. X
Anonymous £100.00 (+ £25.00 giftaid)
01.10.14 Well done at last!!
Pamela Lievesley £20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)
30.09.14 Well done. What a team effort.
Hazel Sangster £100.00
29.09.14 Many, many congratulations - great cause!
David Robins £50.00 (+ £12.50 giftaid)
28.09.14 Well done
28.09.14 Keep it up all the way guys! Supporting you all the way to France!
Louise Dunn £20.00
27.09.14 Don't know why Andrew Robins is not an option on the list of individuals,....but go team go!
Kate Mackay £25.00 (+ £6.25 giftaid)
27.09.14 Go Andrew & team! I hope you guys go tonight..... from (for those who know me) your fav olympian Ellie/Kate xx
Andy Pritchard £10.00 (+ £2.50 giftaid)
26.09.14 Well done to all involved for a great cause
The Dunlops £50.00 (+ £12.50 giftaid)
26.09.14 Third time lucky! Good luck xxx
Ann-Marie Buckley £20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)
22.09.14 Good Luck Dr. Robins. Stay well!
ben killingley (whittington) £20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)
Marilyn Roberts-Harewood £20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)
21.09.14 A very worthy cause
Leanne Goh £20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)
21.09.14 Dear Andrew, Inspirational - as always! Very worthy cause x Leanne
Deniz £20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)
20.09.14 Good luck, hope you raise lots of money for MSF, such a good cause xxx
20.09.14 Good luck Andrew and co!
Caroline Waldegrave £50.00 (+ £12.50 giftaid)
19.09.14 with the very best of luck Caroline