he Three Channels Challenge came about when, while out one evening with some Royal Marine friends, Darren had slightly too much to drink. Darren recalls that at times, alcohol can makes the mind somewhat easier to lead into avenues that would otherwise be avoided entirely. This particular evening would be one of those times and the resulting backlash of that evening would see Darren swimming acrosss 3 channels, in aid of 3 charities who in turn support 3 forces. The 3 rules for these swims were beautifully simple, as you would expect based on the inebriated and merry state that this sounding board were in:
1) No Stopping
2) No Wetsuit
3) No Stopping
It was the next morning that the headache dawned on Darren, he had to decide which 3 channels he was going to swim. He settled on Bristol, The Galloway and the St. Georges. Darren had signed up to swim a cumilative distance of 195 nautical miles (312 nautical kilometers).
In May 2011, Darren swam the first of his 3 challenge swims, he departed Ilfracombe and swam 31 nautical miles to Swansea. This was his first marathon swim and it registered as a swim of many lessons for Darren. It isnot unusual for most of us to consider the force of water, we can often find ourselves in awe or fear at the thought of its power. Darren describes that he now know's first hand that there is nothing that can prepare you for the force that water has when it moves. He also came within minutes of breaking Gethin Jones' record leading speculation to a second punt at it at a later date.
Decemeber saw the Galloway Channel swim come and go in disappointing fashion. Due to the weather fronts that were coming in the swim from Belfast to Stranraer was shortened and Darren swam into Pontpatrick instead. The swim distance was halved to 28 miles, a feat that is still mightily impressive, and the second marathon swim down.
2013 will see Darren take the plunge and swim from Dublin to Anglesey to Liverpool across the St. Georges Channel. He is expecting the swim to take between 44 and 46 hours and may represent a new record as the first person to swim that route before. Darren will complete this swim and his challenge in aid of three different armed forces charities. You can donate to his cause through this link or the one below and 'like' his Facebook page.
Help for Heroes: Our mission is to deliver an enduring national network of support for our
wounded and their families. We will inspire and enable those who have made sacrifices on our behalf to achieve their full potential.
The war in Afghanistan may be nearly over, but for those who have suffered life-changing injuries, their battles are just beginning. We will not let them fight these battles alone.
Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity: The Royal Navy and Royal Mar
ines Charity exist to provide a better quality of life for serving and former Naval Service personnel.
This includes the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Maritime Reserves, QARNNS (Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service), and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and former members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service.
The Big Salute raises money for 5 vital forces charities: BLESMA, Combat Stress, FAB, Veterans Aid & Blind Veterans UK.
You can donate to Darren's cause here.