Having never swum in the sea before, at the age of 40 and suffering from three debilitating conditions, Rob Starr decided that he was going to swim the English Channel solo. The point of it was to raise money for the Starr Trust, the charity he had set up in memory of his beloved father to help children smile.
This is one of the toughest physical and mental challenges known to man. As well as the tides, the weather and the temperature of the Channel (around 12C in July), swimmers have to cope with this being the busiest shipping lane in the world. It is said that 80% of the challenge is mental ability and 20% physical. To date, three times more people have climbed Mount Everest than have successfully swum the English Channel.
Fro Rob, the challenge was compounded by the fact the he was suffering from rheumatism, osteoperosis and Crohn's disease, which stopped him putting on the weight he needed to survive the crossing. Would he ever be fit or fast enough to meet this massive challenge? Frank, funny and inspirational, Rob's diary account of what it takes to swim the English Challen is a real eye-opener.