Retired Kingfisher Coach Sharon Bellamy tackled a gruelling cross channel swim when her team of six was cut to three.

After retiring as Head coach of Kingsbridge Kingfishers Swimming Club, having three wonderful children and building her home with her husband, Sharon wanted a new challenge, Open Water swimming.

She started to dip her toe again down at south sands beach Salcombe, then Tinside Plymouth and progressed to Open water swim camp down in Cornwall run by Kate and Sam. With this new bug she joined a six person team to swim the channel.

With the call from the pilot she set off to Dover for a 5 am start on Monday August 22.

This swim was going well, however was aborted following a swimmer becoming ill.

Undeterred by the disappointment, Sharon contacted Kate and Sam to find out what’s next, and within a few hours they had sourced a new team who were one swimmer short. Within 24 hours of returning to Malborough, Sharon returned back to Dover to join a three person team, doubling her swimming time.

The new team was made up of Jo, Ken and Sharon, called ‘Randoms’, Sharon started again at 8.13am Wednesday morning from Samphire Beach, Dover.

The route the team swam (Sharon Bellamy)

Jo started the leg, with Ken swimming second and Sharon bringing up the rear, each swimming hard for an hour at a time.

With strong determination the trio eventually reached French waters, Sharon said: “like Sam and Kate said, this is when the swim really starts Powering through strong tides, darkness and the odd jellyfish!.

The team touched the French beach of Wissant and were met by two French police monitoring the channel for Migrants.

Following a quick hello and bonjour, Ken swam back to the boat and the challenge was complete.

The team managed and incredible time of 13hrs 55mins.

Sharon recalled: “In the words of Sam, “Find your comfort zone and then leave it behind”

Following this exceptional swim, Sharon aims to enter more open water events across the country and lets see what happens.