A TRIUMPHANT team of sixth-formers are celebrating after swimming the Solent and raising an eye-watering £3,500 for armed forces charity, Help for Heroes.
The five young men from Portsmouth Grammar School, who have just finished their A-levels, set off from Gilkicker in Gosport on Sunday morning in heavy fog – and finished at Ryde on the Isle of Wight just over two hours later.
Accompanying them was head of outdoor pursuits John Baker, who almost cancelled the swim because of poor visibility.
Mr Baker said: ‘The decision to go was finely balanced on a knife edge but the Harbour Master took the view that visibility was good, so we went.
‘I am very pleased we pulled it off and now that we have, I have this huge sense of relief. Everyone did really well.’
Freddie Hooper, 18, said: ‘It was fantastic. The last mile was quite hard and I am quite sore across the shoulders now.’
Toby Finnneran, 19, added: ‘It was very frustrating not being able to see our target because of the fog and there was quite a swell in the middle which meant I swallowed quite a lot of sea water and felt quite sick.
‘It was a serious goal. We trained hard for six months and we did it!’
Freddie and Toby were joined by Dan Wickham, Max Yoward, and Rob Tusler, all 18.