Old Elizabethan completes round-island swim

ONLY two islanders are known to have swum around Guernsey non-stop and on Monday Dave Bisson, 61, became the eldest.

swim
Swimmer David Bisson, foreground, completed his round-island swim in 11 hours 35 minutes with the help of his support crew, left to right, Jon Chandler, Ann Bisson (Mr Bisson’s wife), Sally Le Poidevin, Josie Chandler and Roger Le Poidevin. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 19035653)

Old Elizabethan Mr Bisson, who has one leg, returned to the island this week to complete the long-held ambition and did so in the impressive time of 11 hours 35 minutes.

The last islander to swim the 21.1 miles was 36-year-old Adrian Sarchet in 2011 in a time of 11 hours 25 minutes.

A keen sportsmen while growing up in the island, aircraft tester Mr Bisson lost his leg in a car accident aged 23.

Mr Bisson completed the swim with neither his prosthetic leg nor a wetsuit. ‘It was just a challenge, part of that challenge was to do the swim without a wetsuit.’

The support team and Mr Bisson set off at 6.30am from St Martin’s Point, aiming for the best conditions possible during Mr Bisson’s planned week-long stay.

‘The water was a lot choppier than we had hoped for,’ said Roger Le Poidevin, an old school friend of Mr Bisson, who helped to guide the anti-clockwise route.

The hardest part, Mr Bisson said, was in the stretch from Fort Doyle to Rousse where the conditions were at their worst. ‘About three-and-a-half hours in I thought about packing it in. But thankfully Roger was alongside supporting, saying there were only a few hundred feet more of that to go. I didn’t mention that was how I was feeling and from then on I took it 30 minutes at a time.’

*The headline for this article has been changed

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