A COURAGEOUS ice swimmer is ‘over the moon’ to have completed the goal of a lifetime after she managed to swim 21 miles across the English Channel to France.
Kate Steels-Fryatt had wanted to accomplish the feat since she was a young girl and after years of training, finally took to the water last Tuesday.
Setting off at 2am in the morning by Samphire Hoe in Kent, it took the mum-of-one 13 hours and five minutes to reach the rocks of Cap Blanc Nez, near Calais.
Describing the feeling, Kate told The News: ‘I felt over the moon straight away. Well, at first, I thought I was going to faint, as I stumbled on a rock, but then the feeling slowly washed over me and it was just amazing.
‘I had always wanted to do it as for me it was like my own personal Everest.
‘Swimming in the sea is a big part of who I am so I just felt that it was something that I had to do.’
I had always wanted to do it as for me it was like my own personal EverestKate Steels-Fryatt, 46
The 46-year-old, of Ashton Close, Bishop’s Waltham, is one of Great Britain’s leading ice swimmers, usually facing the sub-zero temperatures in Russia.
Kate is raising money for Naomi House and Jacksplace from the swim and has so far reached £1,342 for the hospices.
Kate was not alone during the marathon swim as she was assisted by a team in a boat that followed her along.
In the boat were Channel swimmers Rory Fitzgerald, Jon Ford and her good friend, Heather Massey, who displayed messages of support for Kate from fans all over the world, leading to the swimmer to praise them for their ‘immense support’ throughout the challenge.
‘When you’re out there, a lot of demons try to get in your head so it can be very mentally tough’, she added.
‘Just before I got there, I could see Roy getting very excited in the boat and I knew then that I was going to do it.
‘When I knew I had done it, the feeling was unbelievable.’
Kate’s swim was also supported by Paris Smith Solicitors and a spokesperson for the firm said: ‘Paris Smith was delighted to be able to play its part to support Kate in her challenge. It is a tremendous feat.’
To donate to Kate’s fundraising page head to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KateSteelsFryatt