Seven Pembrokeshire women are currently waiting in Dover to begin a life-changing cross channel swim.

The super seven are all members of the Bluetit Chill Swimmers and include Bluetit founder Sian Richardson, her daughter Jemima; Makala Jones who completed a solo swim of the channel in July last year; Laura Voller, organiser of the weekly Whitesands swim; Pembrokeshire College lecturers Jackie Jones and Eva Rees and Jess Cox.

(Image: Bluetits Chill Swimmers)

The group has been planning and training for the swim for more than two years. All members had to complete a two-hour cold sea swim qualifier. They have also been putting in the miles in the pool both individually and as a team and getting in the sea for swims and dips to help with acclimatisation.

“There’s been an awful lot of metres swum,” said Makala. “We’ve probably swum the Channel ten times over between us.”

They are now waiting for the green light to start the 21-mile relay swim across the busiest shipping area in the world.

The Western Telegraph spoke to them after a swim on the beach at Deal.

“We are really excited and really nervous,” said Jackie.

“There have been all sorts of shenanigans in the past 48 hours,” added Sian. “We all know each other as we are all from Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion but the last 48 hours have been a bonding experience.

“We have met the skipper and seen the safety boat. We are sat here looking out over the channel. There’s a lot of anticipation. We are watching the weather watching the boats. It’s all part of the build up. It’s a great experience to all be together, a great thing for the team.”

Each team member will swim for an hour with Makala starting them off. They say that they have no idea how long the swim will take them, due to tides and currents, but have enough snacks to last two days.

(Image: Bluetits Chill Swimmers)

“If we get two swims each that would be incredible,” said Makala. “But who knows, we could take two days, we might be half a day.”

The team is raising money to provide water safety training to the 150,000 strong Bluetit flock across the world.

They also want to invest in a portable defibrillator for the Bluetit water safety team to take to events. So far more than £2,500 has been raised.

Jess is also raising money for Kidney Wales while other team mates are raising funds for Paul Sartori.

They thanked Adam from Pencarnan Farm, Colin and the Calm Seas Swimming coaches, Dipps for the dry robes and Simon Cox for the T-shirts, as well as friends, family and supporters for their encouragement, and all those who have sponsored them so far.

“The support has been overwhelming,” they said. “We have got so many people behind us. It is incredible.

“We are just here having a lovely time. Just an ordinary bunch of girls who are going to do something incredible.”

Good luck Bluetits. Speak to you on the other side.

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