My name is Beth French and I’m an avid ultra-marathon swimmer. Having been in a wheel chair at 17yrs old with ME, my childhood love of the water and swimming was put on hold, as with everything else. However, the dream of walking into the water and swimming straight out, keeping on going til I reached another country was something that kept me going through times of being bed ridden. It became almost a mantra that one day I would…
I completed my solo English Channel crossing in July 2012, then went on to become the first British woman to swim the Molokai channel in Hawaii in December 2012. Last summer I became the first person ever to make it all the way across from cornwall to the Isles of Scilly- against the current. My time in the wheelchair now helps me through the long swims as once the fantasy of swimming kept me hoping for a time when I could.
My next project is another world first- the swimming equivalent of the seven summits. Oceans seven tests every aspect of a swimmer- cold, current, wildlife and extreme endurance in turn. 5 people to date have tackled the 7 channel list in their lifetime, I intend to do it in a single year. The swims are: the English Channel, the north channel (from Ireland to Scotland), the straits of Gibraltar, the Cook straits of New Zealand, the Tsugaru channel in Japan, the Catalina channel in California and the Molokai channel in Hawaii.
I am proud to be part of photographer Anita Corbin’s national project first women uk celebrating 100yrs of women’s suffrage. I am fortunate to have been approached by a documentary maker, looking to chart my journey in all its glory and lack of glamour. We will be highlighting environmental issues as we go- channels are often hotspots for seeing environmental impact close at hand, being funnel points between bodies of land. He is planning on making a 90min cinematic release about our very human relationship with water and its affect on us as we try to navigate it as a species and as an individual swimmer.
I am seeking sponsorship to cover aspects such as kit, crew, travel and logistics and offer a range of sponsorship packages in return including blogs, kit reviews, talks, meet and greets, social media presence, swim sessions and a variety of endorsement opportunities. This pioneering swim challenge seeks to tackle what it means to be human in our ability to recover- alongside our oceans. It will stretch what is currently believed possible at a time when endurance sport is breaking boundaries on so many fronts.
The Scilly swim was covered by itv and bbc regional tv news and radio as well as local and national papers.
My Hawaii swim was filmed for TV- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOkhPF9_ZVI