Hampshire & Isle of Wight

All-female Isle of Wight relay swim record attempt

The Lovelies were escorted by charter boat Dark Angel,
Image caption The Lovelies and their charter boat Dark Angel, skippered by Henry Hillier

Six women are waiting to find out if they have broken the world record for the first all-female team to swim round the Isle of Wight.

The women from Kent, West Yorkshire and Cumbria completed the relay swim, which started and ended at Ryde, in 17 hours, 50 minutes and 50 seconds on Thursday.

Known as The Lovelies, the group took it in turns to swim for one hour, until the 56-mile (90km) course was complete.

The record will be verified by Guinness World Records within six weeks.

A mixed team of four men and two women successfully completed the swim in 2000 in 16 hours.

The all-female team members were Becky Hedges, 35 and Paula Foreman, 43, both from West Malling, Kent; Rachael Cretten, 37, from Greenhithe, Kent; Kathy Batts, 51, from Strood, Kent; Liane Llewelyn, 30, from Bradford, West Yorkshire; and Lucy Donnelly, 37, from Appleby-on-Westmorland, Cumbria.

Ms Hedges said: "To say we are elated is an understatement."

'Somewhat choppy'

The route took the swimmers in an anti-clockwise direction round the island, through The Needles and on to St Catherine's Point, where Ms Hedges described the water as "somewhat choppy".

She added: "We then headed onto Bembridge where the tides were well and truly against us."

The majority of the swim, which started at 21:20 BST on Wednesday from Ryde Pier, took place through the night.

The Hampshire-based charter boat Dark Angel, skippered by Henry Hillier, escorted The Lovelies on their challenge.

The women completed an English Channel relay swim together last year.

Ms Llewelyn and Ms Foreman have also completed the English Channel non-stop solo swim, and Ms Llewelyn was a recent member of the Irish Channel swim.

The record attempt has been adjudicated by an observer on behalf of Guinness World Records, but is yet to be verified.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites