Setting the Record


Caroline Till writes, The English Channel is a water way 21 miles wide and 350 miles long that separates Great Britian from France.

The English Channel is a water way 21 miles wide and 350 miles long that separates Great Britian from France. This story is about a relay of six twelve year old kids who tried swimming the 21 mile channel. They broke the world record for youngest relay team to ever complete the water way. The team is Wyatt Oerman, Maggie Cyr, Eirk Beirnat, Kianna Lee, Tim Soderlund, and Sara Nash. They call themselves the COWS. COWS stands for Colorado Open Water Swimmers. When the kids told people they were going to swim the English Channel, many doubted them. They doubted them because the success rate for a relay team to complete the channel is less then 10%.You could tell this team was very determined because of their practice schedule. The COWS practiced four days a week. Most practices consisted of about 7,000 yards. Practices could range from 15 minutes to 2 hours. The team practiced in reservoirs, such as Chattfeild Resevoir, or mountain lakes, like Lake Wellington and Turquoise Lake, that had a temperature of 55 to 65 degrees. The COWS did everything they could to get ready. The team even swam in a race from Alcatraz to San Francisco and a 6K in Colorado Springs to prepare for the English Channel. Later, everyone found out that their hard work and determination finally paid off.On August 9, 2007 the COWS started to swim the English Channel. That day the water was a chilly 64.4 degrees compared to about 80 degrees in a pool. Even though the water was extremely cold, the COWS were not allowed to wear wetsuits. Wearing wetsuits was against the rules because the first person did it without one. Each person rotated in the water for about a hour until they reached France. After nine hours and fifty-eight minutes, the team arrived in France well before their goal of fifteen to eighteen hours. Everyone was ecstatic, including their coach Voni Oerman, Wyatt’s mother.I met up with Kianna Lee and asked her a few questions about the swim. “When I first heard about the option of swimming the English Channel, I wanted to do it but I was nervous,” quotes Kianna. I asked her if she enjoyed the swim. “I loved swimming, but I did not like it on the boat. I got seasick four times,” Kianna says.These kids must be very proud of themselves. I know they will always remember setting the record for the youngest relay team to ever complete the English Channel.


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