Jellyfish no bar to swimmer’s record crossing

Anna Wardley - 5 Islands Swim
Anna Wardley - 5 Islands Swim

Endurance swimmer Anna Wardley has become the first woman to complete the 17-mile crossing from the island of Cabrera to Mallorca.

Anna, 37, from Bradfield, was also the first recorded non-wetsuit swimmer to achieve the feat. She braved thick shoals of jellyfish and choppy seas to reach her goal in 12hrs 24min.

“It was a fantastic feeling!” she said, after picking up her €300 prize.

The swim was part of Anna’s training for the next leg of her Five Islands challenge. She will tackle the 41-mile swim around Jersey next month, followed by Hebridean Tiree (30 miles) in August and the Isle of Wight in September.

This final swim, of 60 miles, will be her toughest test: “I’m under no illusions…It’s three times the distance of the Channel and the tides are absolutely critical,” she said.

Anna swims without wetsuit or goggles to qualify for official ratification by the British Long Distance Swimming Association.

The Five Islands Challenge has been her life since she gave up her job in public relations three years ago to raise £50,000 for Samaritans, Sail Africa and the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

Her first taste of adventure came in 2002 on the Clipper round-the-world yacht race. Since then she has completed feats from the world ice swimming championships to a successful cross-Channel swim, raising more than £35,000 for charity.

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