Ex-student Chris Astill-Smith has been in to give an inspirational talk about swimming the English Channel

in August to raise money for Dreams Come True.

Chris did not have the best start to his bid to cross The Channel after a problem with his support boat meant his bid was delayed by ten days due to a freak accident when the prop shaft came off the engine of his boat just before he started his swim.

He finally took to the water on August 25 and despite finding it hard to motivate himself after the setback but finally made it to the French coast after 11 hours 43 minutes in the water.

He said: "As much as I tried to motivate myself I just didn't feel the same as I did that night on the 15 August.  I was relieved that I had another chance this year and so soon after the boat problems but it just didn't feel right. That whole week my shoulders and elbows had been giving me pain and I feared that they wouldn't last the swim.

"When I jumped in the water at 2am I was very scared. I had to swim off the boat 100 meters to Samphire Hoe Beach in Dover I couldn't see anything, my heart was pumping, I had so much adrenaline and my head was all over the place. Those next three hours of darkness were horrible, I couldn't get into a good rhythm, I got stung in the face by a jellyfish and I couldn't see much."

But once the sun came up Chris realised that he was not in pain and became positive that he would succeed.

He said: "After nine and a half hours I could clearly see France and knew the tides were turning so I had to push hard and so I picked up the pace and landed on Cap Gris Nez. When I finished I was very relieved, excited, but it strangely felt like a dream."

He has so far raised more than £16,000 for Dreams Come True


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