MAKING HISTORY: Sam Penny will be the first person in history to attempt the English Channel swim in winter. Photo: Patrick Woods
MAKING HISTORY: Sam Penny will be the first person in history to attempt the English Channel swim in winter. Photo: Patrick Woods

Swimmer’s bid to be first to swim English Channel in winter

SAM Penny is accustomed to people questioning his sanity at this stage of his life.

The Buderim man has successfully attempted some of the most extreme swims on offer and is no stranger to water below 4C.

"I get called crazy every day," he said.

But Mr Penny's next challenge is his most outrageous yet, writing the father-of-four into the world's history books.

He will push through the pain of numbingly cold water in a bid to become the first person to attempt a crossing of the English Channel in winter.

A feat most consider to be impossible, Mr Penny doesn't blame others for questioning his somewhat insane goal.

"To me, what I'm doing doesn't feel that crazy," he said.

"But when I try and take myself out of my own shoes and see it from their perspective, it is."

Yet Mr Penny's rigorous training schedule has left him feeling prepared for the adventure ahead.

Sam Penny loves the water. Photo: Patrick Woods
Sam Penny loves the water. Photo: Patrick Woods

"You look back on your preparation, and there's always things you could change," he said.

"But I still feel confident that I've done what I need to do.

"And as monumental as this goal is, it's a step up from my previous goals.

"This isn't just going off the bat, with every one of my past achievements, people have said it's ludicrous.

"I've spent the last few years of my life training my mind and training my body to get to this point."

Although Mr Penny feels solid in his preparation, he remained humble for the December adventure.

"I rate my chances as 50/50, but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it," he said.

"Someone has to be the first to try it, and whether I'm successful or not, I'll still be the first.

"I think extreme swimmers of the world will look at this and say it's actually possible, and now I've taken the first step, they'll try."

As an ambassador for Just Like Jack, a not-for-profit that enables children with special needs to experience their own adventures, Mr Penny said his latest challenge was inspired by those kids.

"The smile on these kids faces when they cross a finish line to a cheering crowd makes this swim very worth it for me," he said.


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