A WORTHING insurance broker hopes to become part of an exclusive club next month when he will attempt to swim the English Channel.
More people have climbed Everest than managed the epic swimming challenge but 53-year-old Phil Bristow is confident he can overcome the mental and physical feat.
After two years of training, he will attempt the crossing between September 15 and 21.
He said: “All you have got to do is get out there and swim for the bulk of the day. You’ve got to put your mind to doing that. There’s obviously more to it than that but that’s what you’ve got to do.
“I’m not remotely worried about the time. I just want to get across.”
Mr Bristow, who severely damaged his hip following a car accident in his 20s, got into swimming as it was one of the only sports he could do after his injury.
Over the years, he has built up his strength to enter triathlons and Ironman events and thought the Channel swim would be the ultimate test.
He enlisted the help of a specialist coach, who has helped him train for the occasion.
He said: “I’ve done an awful lot of swimming. The most I’ve done is an eight-hour training swim but the actual thing could take 16 hours.
“One of the biggest challenges will be getting used to the cold.
“It’s amazing what you can train your body to do.”
Mr Bristow has already been at the start line twice in the last few weeks but has not been able to start due to the poor conditions.
He hopes next month will be third time lucky.
He will be swimming for two charities – Chestnut Tree House and Dizzy – both of which he has done fundraising challenges for in the past.
“They’re both amazing charities,” he said.
“Visiting Chestnut Tree really puts things into perspective and Dizzy helps an awful lot of people.”
To find out more about his challenge and to donate, visit www.hiphiphooray.org.uk