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Bike boat v. swimmers in race to Sark for charity

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PERFECT conditions are forecast for an unusual race between Guernsey and Sark on Friday in aid of charity.

Graham Glass is aiming to take his pedal-powered vessel BoatyMcbikeFace to Sark on Friday to raise money for the Sarah Groves Foundation. He will be racing against swimmers Jacqui Hunt and Doric Steer. (Picture by Juliet Pouteaux, 21960447)

Graham Glass completed a journey to Herm last September on his bike-cum-boat, nicknamed BoatyMcbikeFace, in 45 minutes to raise money for the Sarah Groves Foundation.

But this time he is raising the stakes – and the distance – by riding to Sark, while at the same time trying to beat swimmers Jacqui Hunt and Doric Steer.

The group are set to leave the harbour at about 3.30pm on Friday and will head to St Martin’s Point, where the race begins.

The swimmers will get a head start of about 45 minutes, with Mr Glass setting off at about 5pm.

He said everything was ready.

‘There is a bit of water to cross, so I am a bit nervous,’ he said.

Support boats and kayaks will be on hand to ensure everyone stays safe during the attempt.

Miss Hunt said she was not worried. She did an 18km swim in the Scilly Isles earlier this year, where the water was just 11C.

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The sea around the Channel Islands is currently around 17C.

A competitive atmosphere has started to grow between the swimmers and Mr Glass.

‘In a cheeky way, there is a competitive spirit,’ Miss Hunt said. ‘There has been a bit of banter.’

Mr Glass has been busy training. On his bicycle he is covering about 500 miles a month and he is riding up all the hills he can find to try to build up his muscles so he can propel his machine through the water.

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He is aiming to complete the ride in two hours and 15 minutes. The group will have a big spring tide helping them along, but they need to complete the challenge before the tide turns.

They are aiming to reach any point on Sark’s west coast.

‘The forecast is looking excellent at the moment,’ Mr Glass said.

A trial of the bike at Ladies’ Bay went smoothly on Monday and now they are preparing for the big event.

n To give your support, visit the JustGiving page at https://bit.ly/2uai68h.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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