Swimmer Anna set for her final island challenge

POWER Anna Wardley during the truncated swim around Tiree
POWER Anna Wardley during the truncated swim around Tiree

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AMAZING Anna Wardley is set to start her final island swim next week.

Endurance swimmer Anna, of Gosport, is just days away from jumping into the Solent and swimming nearly 60 miles around the coast of the Isle of Wight.

As reported, the 37-year-old embarked on her Five Island Swim Challenge in May last year, swimming around the island of Dragonera.

She has since swum around Portsea, Jersey and much of Tiree in Scotland, but was forced to quit that swim after completing 20 out of 30 miles on August 13 due to sea conditions and trouble with jellyfish.

For Anna, this is far from a failure and she is in great spirits after completing a 13-hour training swim from Sunday to Monday.

She said: ‘I felt great. The water feels so warm compared to Tiree.

‘Tiree has served a brilliant function. It now makes this feel so much considerably easier than it would have done.

‘It almost feels like a hot bath and in 13 hours I didn’t see a single jellyfish.

‘And I’m in home waters, which is the critical thing. These are waters I swim in all the time, it’s familiar and it feels like home.’

Anna won’t be dipping into the water for extended swims until the big one, which could start any day between next Thursday and Sunday, subject to sea conditions.

She has turned to pilates and short swims at Stokes Bay, Gosport.

‘When I get in the water to start [I want] to be absolutely full of energy, wanting to start,’ she added.

‘It’s not just me by any stretch of the imagination who puts all the work in.

‘There are so many people who have given up so much time over such a long period of time.’

A meteorologist keeps Anna up to date with the forecast for the swim.

If the swim does not take place next week, it is due to happen in October.

Anna, sponsored by Navitus Bay, is aiming to raise £50,000 for charity and is holding a charity auction on Friday at Southampton Boat Show.