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World Record Attempt 14 x Lake Windermere Swim Cumbria UK

Dr. Julie ‘Madfish’ Bradshaw MBE  - The Original 'Madfish' since 1976, is making a splash to add an extra world record to her collection this summer by taking on another tough challenge. On Monday 11 August 2014, Julie (50), of Loughborough, will lead an international team aiming to complete the world’s longest lake swim by a standard relay team of six. Between them, they will swim 147 miles non-stop in just 86 hours – which is 21 miles further than the current record set in 2011.

If successful, this will be the 21st personal long distance swimming world record that Julie has secured. The team will also be seeking sponsorship for the challenge, which will go towards Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People in memory of Susan Taylor. Susan lost her life while attempting to swim the English Channel for Rainbows last year. Susan, who was also a close friend of Julie’s, had planned to be part of the team.

Julie said: “I am really excited about this challenge and have a great team, having coached all of the swimmers. The swim will take place over three days which means we are in and out of the water overnight and will get little sleep whilst staying on the boat for that time.  I have done various long relays in the past and know how tiring it gets. But teamwork will get us all through.

“Although Susan isn’t around to swim with us, I know she will be there in spirit and I will be thinking of her all the way. The relay swim will also be an extra birthday present for me as I turned 50 this year. Fourteen Ways of Windermere in 2014, the lake where I began my swimming career back in 1977 and we aim to complete it on the 14th (August) as well. It will certainly be a Happy 50th.”

Other team members are Bridgette Hobart, USA; Georgina Tuffin (UK), Daniel Bryson (UK), Andrew Koval, and Lisa Auchinvole (UK), Each participant will swim for one hour in relay succession until 14 laps, starting from Ambleside to Lakeside return, are complete.

Julie added: “The relay will be done under Channel Swimming Association and British Long Distance Swimming Association rules which only permit a standard swimsuit, hat and goggles. There will be no wetsuits.”
About The Swim & Why

On 14 July 2013, Susan Taylor lost her life while attempting to swim the English Channel to raise money for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

As a group of long distance swimmers, we know the incredible sacrifice that goes into preparing for such a feat, as well as the huge mental and physical challenge of the swim itself. It is incredibly sad when someone pays such a price after giving so much, especially when its in aid of improving the lives of many others.

In memory of Susan, we have formed a team which will aim to complete the world’s longest lake swim by a standard relay team of six. Between our team, we will swim almost 150 miles (240kms) non-stop – involving 14 laps of Lake Windermere. This will be 21 miles (34kms) further than the current record set in 2011. Susan was originally planning to be part of this world record attempt.

The swim is expected to take around 85-90 hours (3.75 days) and each swimmer will swim approximately 25 miles (40kms); which is almost the distance of a marathon.  The water temperature will be around 16 degrees, and no wetsuits are allowed!

The team of swimmers taking on this world record attempt are Bridgette Hobart (USA) and Andrew Koval (Australia), as well as British swimmers Georgina Tuffin, Daniel Bryson, Lisa Auchinvole and Julie Bradshaw. Julie currently holds 20 swimming world records, including a solo butterfly crossing of the English Channel. 

Any donation is greatly appreciated, and is going to a fantastic cause!

Wish us luck!
Update & Outcome

Between 11th and 14th August Dr. Julie ‘Madfish’ Bradshaw and her swimmers attempted to become the first team in the world to achieve 14 lengths of England’s largest lake, Windermere (10.5 miles each way). Back in 2007, Julie’s Ladies team had began the idea of multiple swims of Windermere completing the first ever Six Way Windermere swim in 32 hours and 32 mins which still stands as the world record and ‘Madfish’ Julie herself had swum Windermere solo four ways in 1981.  

At 810am Julie and her International Team, began the daunting challenge, and what a swim it was to be. They were doing it for Rainbows Children’s Hospice and in memory of Julie’s friend, Susan Taylor, who tragically died attempting to swim the English Channel in July 2013.

Julie’s was an International team comprising Bridgette Hobart (USA), Georgina Tuffin (UK), Lisa Auchinvole (UK), Andrew Koval (Australia) and Danny Bryson (UK). All swimmers were either accomplished solo English Channel swimmers or with Channel swims coming up

They started on Monday 11th at around 8.10am and fought bravely against Hurricane Bertha winds and torrential rain. After 7 legs, they were well on course for a new world record for a 12 way and no doubt the longest freshwater relay record in the world. Julie’s amazing team was 3 hours ahead of the previous time when nearing the end of their 11th leg (57 hours in the water and over 116 miles covered of the 147 mile swim) one of the team members became ill and collapsed.

That team member was taken to shore and paramedics called to check them out. Fortunately, the swimmer was given a satisfactory ‘bill of health’ after the ordeal. The swim was obviously aborted due to health and safety reasons.

However, Julie and her team are delighted to have raised so much money for Rainbows. For further donations please visit the Team Just Giving page: