INCREDIBLE Anna Wardley has racked up an impressive number of miles in the water ahead of her final island swim, which she is due to start today.
But the 37-year-old from Gosport was only ready to swim around the Isle of Wight after having her nails emblazoned with her lucky island swim design.
Bounding with energy at Stokes Bay and looking out to the island, Anna told The News finishing this last 56-mile swim will be a huge achievement.
She said: ‘I’ve got my lucky nails on, I’ve got everything ready to go now, once my nails are in place I feel ready to go.
‘The overwhelming thing is excitement.
‘I’ve got a big support team, loads and loads of supporters – there’s a lot of excitement building and I’m right in the middle of it.
‘It will be a relief to get in the water and actually start swimming after the last few days.’
Her little fingers have to remain clear so her team can check her circulation.
As reported, Anna began her Five Island Swim Challenge two years ago.
She has already raised £50,000 for Samaritans, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Sail Africa.
Anna has since swum around Portsea, Jersey and much of Tiree in Scotland, but was forced to quit that swim after 20 out of 30 miles on August 13 due to sea conditions and trouble with jellyfish.
Today’s swim is due to start off Ryde Sands at around 10.30am and should finish on Saturday afternoon, some 30 hours afterwards.
Supporting Anna is a dedicated team who have given up much of their time to see through each of the five swims.
Michelle Navay feeds the endurance swimmer and gives her mental support during the swim.
Michelle said: ‘We’re all very excited. I give her all the instructions when she has to go faster or slower, go left or right.
‘She relies on us an awful lot, there’s a lot of time put in by everybody, a lot of long training hours and running around getting things organised.’
The team have been based at Gosport Sea Cadets’ headquarters in Cooperage Green, Royal Clarence Marina, and spent much of last night getting the final preparations finished.
Only three people have completed the swim around the island before – the last was in 1984.
If she completes the challenge, as Anna and her team hope, she will be the fourth person to complete the arduous task.