Tallulah-Mae swims to Herm at the age of 12

PERFECT sea conditions and 10 hours of training a week set the scene for 12-year-old Tallulah-Mae Rautenbach on her swim to Herm, but ultimately it was her determination that pushed her through.

Tallulah-Mae Rautenbach, 12, was too young to take part in the main Herm swim, so did a solo swim in one hour 33 minutes.
Tallulah-Mae Rautenbach, 12, was too young to take part in the main Herm swim, so did a solo swim in one hour 33 minutes.

Keen swimmer Tallulah-Mae wanted to take on the swim to push herself out of her comfort zone, but she was too young to take part in the main event and so took on the challenge alone.

‘I decided to do this because it would challenge me physically and mentally and I knew it would be harder than anything I had done before,’ she said.

‘I started in St Sampson’s Harbour and ended just to the left of the harbour in Herm, at that stage I just wanted to hit land. It took me one hour 33 minutes and 38 seconds.’

Tallulah-Mae is a competitive swimmer with the Guernsey Swimming Club, training for 10 hours a week.

About 10 months ago she started discussing with Sea Donkey Adrian Sarchet about swimming to Herm and a couple of months ago they got into the Bathing Pools for a few swims, and then did a swim from Havelet.

‘Adrian Sarchet has made her dream become a reality, but he has also made her believe that so much more is possible,’ said mum, Chantal.

‘I am extremely proud of all her swimming accomplishments, but I think the swim to Herm takes true grit and determination, and that makes me incredibly proud.’

Mr Sarchet started the swim with Tallulah-Mae at St Sampson’s Harbour, then jumped onto one of the support boats as they left the harbour.

‘After struggling with the tide coming up to the last kilometre, the cold really started to hit me and I started to get a headache and it was at this stage that Adrian Sarchet jumped into the water to swim alongside me,’ she said. ‘This was a huge help getting me to the finish.’

In the future, Tallulah-Mae would like to attempt swimming to Herm and back, and also to Sark.

‘I am hoping that I will be able to try both swims next year when I am a little older and stronger, and then the next year maybe Alderney,’ she said.

‘Hopefully one day I will swim the English Channel.’

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