Gosport endurance swimmer Anna Wardley sets her sights on new record

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SHE became the first person to swim non-stop around the Isle of Wight in three decades.

Now Gosport endurance swimmer Anna Wardley is gearing up to set a new record.

Anna Wardley during her Balearic Swim Challenge   Picture: annawardley.com

Anna Wardley during her Balearic Swim Challenge Picture: annawardley.com

The 39-year-old is training in preparation for a Balearic SwimChallenge in May.

She will attempt to become the first person ever to complete the swim from Menorca to mainland Spain, via Ibiza – a gruelling 215km journey.

The first stage of the swim will see Anna swim from Menorca to her training base island of Mallorca.

The 37km leg is expected to take her between 16 and 20 hours but will still be the shortest journeyof the challenge.

Stage two sees the swimmer leave Mallorca on the 88km trip to the island of Ibiza, a trip that will last around 36 hours.

The final stint of Anna’s challenge will be the 90km, 40 hour, swim from Ibiza to Denia on mainland Spain, during which she will have to cross one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

The main danger for Anna however is exhaustion and jellyfish.

The swim gives the Portsmouth native another chance to raise money for her chosen charities,Marine Inspirations, Palma Aquarium and Joves Navegants.

Training for the swim could not be going better according to Anna: ‘I’ve chosen to base my myself in Mallorca as it is the best place in the world to train as an endurance swimmer.’

However, while her physical preparations are going well, there is some doubt about the financial- side of the challenge.

‘As always, I’m raising money for charities through my swims,’ she said.

‘But without the funds to cover the costs I won’t be able to do more than the first leg from Menorca to Mallorca, which would be such a shame when I’m fit and ready to go.

‘I don’t fit the criteria for conventional sports funding such as Sport England streams as enduranceswimming is not an Olympic Sport and so few people do what I do.’

To donate to Anna’s charities, visit annawardley.com.