Former Olympian, Sports Scientist, and coach to the stars, Professor Greg Whyte will attempt to complete 125 miles of swimming in under four days with the aim of setting new World Record in July. He is also raising money for the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), plus increasing awareness of water safety education in schools and beyond.
Working with and supported by a dedicated team, including Le Boat (No.1 provider of inland water boating holidays in the UK, Europe and Canada) Greg will take to the water on Tuesday 12 July and cover approximately 30 miles per day, over four days. He will be in the water for about 20 hours at a time, with only four hours (per day) set aside for sleep, sports therapy, and rest. This is the first time anyone has attempted to swim this iconic stretch of British water as quickly as possible and is the culmination of many hours of gruelling training. While many epic swims have focused on distance, this one combines endurance with fast-paced swimming.
Whyte is no stranger to endurance challenges. He’s competed in two Olympic Games, battled it out at World Championships, and was the coach who helped David Walliams complete an epic swim of the River Thames for Sport Relief in 2011.
Greg says: “125 miles in four days is a gargantuan challenge, which I’m weirdly excited about. For me, combining endurance with speed will be interesting – this is without doubt the toughest challenge I have ever attempted. The key message for me, is this: one person drowns every 20 hours in the UK and water safety is central to reducing this figure. Unfortunately, only one in five children have received any formal water safety education. By tackling this enormous challenge, I am aiming to raise funds to support the RLSS and RNLI to improve water safety education and reduce the tragedy of drowning”.
Greg has set a goal of £50,000 on his crowdfunding page and these vital funds will go directly to the RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society) as well as the RNLI.
Lee Heard, Charity Director at the RLSS UK says: “We have worked with Greg for many years and his work to spread the message around water safety is invaluable. We are very proud to be sponsoring Greg’s world record attempt and are extremely grateful to be chosen as one of the charities that the challenge will be raising money for. We, at RLSS UK, are all looking forward to following Greg’s challenge closely and cheering him on. We know he will secure the World Record!”.
David Walliams, who completed the swim in eight days and raised over £1 million for charity with coaching and guidance from Greg, says: “I wish Greg success in his challenge to set a World Record for the Upper Thames, a swim I know only too well. Let’s hope he navigates the poo without incident!”.
The swim will begin at 9 am on Tuesday 12 July in Lechlade, the start of the ‘swimmable’ Thames and is hoped to finish at 7 pm on Friday 14 July at Teddington Lock, the final point of the Thames where swimming is permitted. Greg is encouraging other swimmers to join him for a mile of swimming and to donate to the appeal along the way.
Greg’s support team will be monitoring his progress on board Le Boat’s Magnifique, allowing them to keep a close eye on him throughout his heroic challenge. The Magnifique is part of Le Boat’s Comfort Range, offering good quality, stylish and well-equipped boats. With four cabins, sleeping up to 10, the Magnifique also features a sun deck, built-in speakers for music, and a welcoming dining table with padded seats.
Cheryl Brown, Managing Director of Le Boat says: “We are proud to be supporting Greg with this epic challenge. Greg is raising money for such an important cause, helping to increase awareness and education of water safety – safety is our top priority at Le Boat”
“Maybe next time Greg is on the River Thames he will be enjoying some R&R on one of our boats, rather than swimming alongside. The whole team at Le Boat are behind Greg and his world record attempt on the River Thames.”
About Le Boat: Le Boat is the No.1 provider of inland water boating holidays in the UK, Europe and Canada, bringing together 50 years of experience, expertise, and memories. The operator has a fleet of large self-drive cruisers, allowing entire families, and groups of friends, to stay on board and explore their chosen region. During a boating holiday on the River Thames, holidaymakers can explore the western section of the river, where moorings are easy to find and the distance between locks is greater than at the river’s eastern end.
Go there: In 2022, Le Boat is operating on the Thames until 31 October. Book before 31 July 2022 and save up to 25% off a summer staycation*. A seven-night self-catered stay on the River Thames starting and finishing at Le Boat’s base at Benson, on board the Caprice (sleeping up to six), from 23 July 2022, is priced from £324pp based on six sharing, £1,949 total**.
* See the Le Boat website for offer terms and conditions. **Transport to and from the base not included.
To plan your Le Boat trip: Call 02392 801125 or visit www.leboat.co.uk
About Greg Whyte: Professor Greg Whyte is the UK’s leading sports scientist and represented GB at the Olympics in Modern Pentathlon. He has coached many celebrities for Sport Relief challenges including David Walliams, Davina McCall, Jo Brand, Eddie Izzard and more. He is passionate about drowning prevention and the importance of all children having access to swimming lessons.
To follow the challenge, see Greg’s social handles below and to donate go to: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/whyte-water .
For interview opportunities email firstname.lastname@example.org
This challenge is to raise funds for the RLSS as well as the RNLI and is supported by HUUB, Elliot Brown, 220 Triathlon, U Perform, Beyond Swim, Le Boat, CDT Marine, Luxury Sports Breaks.