Team Qatar Channel Swim are making final preparations ahead of their historic bid to swim across the English Channel, the first attempt of its kind by Qatari athletes. The team arrived in UK on Wednesday and set up their base in Dover, ten minutes away from Folkestone, where they are expected to kick off their attempt in the early hours of Saturday.
The swim will start at some point near Samphire Hoe Park, at 04:00 a.m. UK time (06:00 a.m. Doha) and the team is expected to take around 20 hours to cover a distance that can reach 40-50 kms on relay basis. The finish point will be near Cap Gris Nez between Boulogne and Calais on the French coast.
Fans can track the inspirational journey minute-by-minute through the official website www.swimqa.org.
Team Director and Head Coach, Ryan Bowd said: “We already had intensive training camps in Qatar, Croatia and UK since the start of the year, and the team is mostly relaxing ahead of the big test. Since our arrival to the UK, we had two training sessions per day in Dover harbor to climatize and to simulate the relay repetition; each swimmer took a 5-6-hour break between the two sessions” he said.
The team is made up of seven amateur athletes, who include doctors, engineers and lawyers. They share a passion for endurance sports and are aiming to make history by joining the list of elite swimmers who successfully made it across the busiest waterway in the world during the past 143 years. It includes only around 1500 solo swimmers and 660 teams.
The team members are Dr. Faleh Ali, Dr. Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari, Dr. Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, Dr. Khalid Al Jalham, Prof. Nasser Al Mohannadi, Fahad Al Buenain and Talal Al Emadi.
By taking this challenge, they hope to inspire the Qatari community to make practicing sports an essential part of their daily lives and encourage them to lead healthy lifestyles, by proving that having full-time jobs and family responsibilities, did not stop them from practicing sports at the highest levels.
Besides swimming between huge container ships and battling strong tides in water that can reach a temperature of 10 °C, the team might also face cold winds, waves, fog, oil slicks, jelly fish, rain and lighting. A combination that makes swimming across the English Channel one of the most difficult physical challenges in the world.
Team Qatar Channel Swim’s list of sponsors includes Al Asmakh Real Estate Development and BMI Fitness as Gold Partners, in addition to Al Kass Channel (Media Partner), PROTV Qatar (Communication Partner) and Intaleq (Technology Partner).
ProTV is the appointed media support services provider for the event.