Doha: A team of seven Qatari athletes will aim for a place in history in July when they make an attempt to swim across the English Channel, one of the toughest physical challenges in the world.
It will be the first ever attempt by Qatari swimmers to cross the hazardous waterway that was only conquered by 1484 individual swimmers and 757 relay teams during the past 143 years.
Details of the ambitious endeavour were unveiled today during a press conference at Wyndham Doha Hotel.
The Team Qatar Channel Swim will include Dr Mohammed Al Kuwari, Dr Faleh Mohamed Ali, Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, Dr Khalid Al Jalham, Prof. Nasser Al Mohannadi, Fahad Al Buenain and Talal Al Emadi.
The attempt will take place between July 20 and 27 and is expected to last for a period of 18-20 hours as the seven swimmers cover a distance that exceeds 34km on a relay basis.
The English Channel, known in the Arab world as “El Manche”, a derivation of its French name “La Manche”, is a waterway between England and France connecting the North Sea with the Atlantic Ocean, and is considered to be the world’s busiest waterway.
Avoiding the dangers of crossing a canal that sees more than 600 vessels and 200 ferries passing through it every day, is not the only hazard facing the swimmers, as they will also have to deal with low water temperatures (14-18 °C), strong tides, cold wind, waves, oil slicks, jellyfish, fog and possible rain or lightning. In short, the channel swim can be considered the Mount Everest of open water swimming.
All members of “Team Qatar Channel Swim” have achieved great success in their careers in the fields of medicine, business, entrepreneurship, Oil & Gas, law and management, while, despite being amateurs, they also recorded impressive results in sports competitions that require endurance like long distance running, cycling, triathlon and Iron Man.
The prospective attempt will start at or near Shakespeare's Cliff or Samphire Hoe (between Folkestone and Dover), and the aim is to finish at or near Cap Gris Nez (between Boulogne and Calais). The team will be escorted during the swim, with an experienced pilot, captain Pete Reed, and his boat Rowena. Both are certified by Channel Swimming Association (CSA), the organization responsible for observing and authenticating Cross-Channel Swims.
The Team Director and Head Coach is Ryan Bowd, an experienced coach with proven results in the field of endurance and adventure sports, while the team’s Channel Swim coach is Tim Denyer, a world-class long-distance swimming coach, who made a successful solo crossing of the English Channel himself in 2005.
Fadi Barakeh, General Manager of Al Asmakh Real Estate Development, the Gold Sponsors of the team, said "We are proud sponsors. Giving something back to the community is a large part of what, Al Asmakh Real Estate Development Company, believes in; we are, therefore, pleased to actively support Team Qatar Channel Swim, in their new quest to cross the English Channel, trusting and believing that this new achievement will once again position our beloved nation on the international sports’ map”.
Abdulrahman Muhamed Al Emadi is the CEO of Dr Mohamed Abdulla Al Emadi Medical Group which is sponsoring the Qatari Team that will swim across the English Channel, through “BMI Fitness Center” as Golden Sponsor, “Al Emadi physiotherapy Center” as Silver Sponsor, “Regime Nutrition Center” as Silver Sponsor.
The partners list for the event also includes Al Kass Channel (Media Partner), Intaleq (Technology Partner) and PRO TV (Communication Partner).