Anna took up swimming in 2006 when she was 31 with a mission to swim the Channel after reading a newspaper article about someone who had done just that. Ignoring those who told her it was an unrealistic goal for someone who had never swam more than a kilometre and could only swim breaststroke, she set about preparing herself for her first open water event, four miles around Brownsea Island in Poole harbour, a massive challenge at the time.
Despite an unsuccessful Channel attempt the following year when she was pulled out a couple of miles from the French coast after 14.5 hours and rushed to hospital, she achieved her goal in 21 hours and 20 minutes on her second attempt in 2009 and was awarded the Channel Swimming Association’s Van Audenaerde trophy for the greatest feat of endurance as a result.
Since then 38-year-old Anna has completed a range of swims including the Gibraltar Straits, the Midmar Mile in South Africa, the Cabrera Channel in Spain, the Hellespont Strait and a 21-mile Double Windermere raising in excess of £50,000 for her chosen charities in the process.
In 2012 Anna embarked on her Five Island Swim Challenge, a project which saw her attempt to swim 150 miles around Dragonera (Spain), Portsea (UK), Jersey (Channel Islands), Tiree (Inner Hebrides) and the Isle of Wight (UK) over two years.
She successfully completed all the islands except her bid to be the first to swim round Tiree, a challenge she aborted due to the extreme cold and lion’s mane jellyfish after covering 22 miles in 16 hours in August 2013.
In June 2012 she became the first person to swim solo around Portsea Island (13 miles) under the British Long Distance Swimming Association’s rules, a particularly memorable swim that required a huge amount of planning and permission-seeking as she had to swim through one of the UK’s busiest commercial and naval harbours.
Having completed her Five Island Swim Challenge, Anna is now focusing on running her communications business and sharing her swimming experiences with others through public speaking, writing and organising fundraising swims on behalf of charities. She is also looking forward to returning to Mallorca to work for SwimTrek for a second year as a guide on its long distance training camps.
As a relative newcomer to open water swimming, Anna loves to support others in achieving their goals and to see people pushing themselves to exceed their own expectations. She also enjoys sharing her experience of dealing with unsuccessful attempts, organising her own swims and logistics, fundraising and sponsorship, and helping people to find their own way of preparing for big swims. Having had so much support in realising her own goals, she now feels very privileged to be able to help others to fulfil their own ambitions, whatever they might be.