The Jersey office of Appleby, a leading provider of offshore legal, fiduciary and administration services has stepped up to the mark and will sponsor the opening event of the visit to the Island during the period 15th – 22nd July by ‘Battle Back’ a six-man team of severely disabled British Servicemen who will be attempting a relay swim around Jersey in order to raise funds for Holidays for Heroes (Jersey) a local charity which provides holidays on the Island for similarly disabled fellow Servicemen and their families. ‘Battle Back’ are based at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court at Epsom in Surrey where minor miracles are carried out daily on the broken bodies and minds of our nations Servicemen and women returning from the front line. Several of the swimmers have lost limbs, one having lost both legs and an arm and yet the enthusiasm to which they dedicate their energies to such rehabilitation methods is testament to their courage and determination to return to some form of normality, if not front line Service. Several of the team have already completed successful Channel relays.
It is unlikely that too many of the Islands population will actually be able to take to the high-seas to encourage the team during the actual anti-clockwise Round Jersey swim although strategic vantage points are well strung out around the Islands circumference as they battle with a fully able bodied Army open water swim team and a team drawn from Jersey’s 28 English Channel solo and relay team conquerors. Therefore a taster session has been set up, whereby the people of Jersey can come and show their support for the swimmers at St Catherine’s slipway at 6.30pm on Friday 15th July. This will be swum as a ‘fun’ event in order to acclimatise the visiting team to Jersey’s clean, clear coastal waters. This will see ‘Battle Back’ swim across the Bay to Archirondel Tower and back, a comparatively short distance of a mile and a half whilst fending off swimmers from the two other teams along with a team of JLDSC Juniors who will be following in the Round Jersey wake within just a few weeks after the main event and a team of JLDSC Ladies with similar ambitions. The mass start of all 28 swimmers will ensure a great mixture of talent and courage as the combatants vie for position. The able bodied swimmers will of course be restricted to a basic costume, cap and goggles, whereas the ‘Battle Back’ swimmers will be permitted any necessary ‘equipment’ to set a level playing field.
It is hoped as many local folk as possible can get down to St Catherine’s boosting the team and swelling the collection for Holidays for Heroes (Jersey).
Weather permitting the main 41 mile Round Jersey event, although not a race, will be fought with as much enthusiasm as any Olympic event, will be swum on Sunday 17th July starting from Elizabeth Castle breakwater at 0611 and is expected to finish within ten to twelve hours. The able bodied Army squad are intent on taking the course record from their arch rivals the Royal Air Force Swimming Association who set their record of 9 hours 43 minutes 35 seconds in August 1999. The swimmers as a collective unit will come ashore after their epic circumnavigation on the old Ro-Ro ramp alongside the ‘George Sullivan’ RNLI Tamar Lifeboat on the Albert Pier shortly after the last team is recovered from the waters at the end of Elizabeth Castle breakwater from where they set off earlier in the day.
The organisers and swimmers are indebted to Appleby for their generosity and support of this event.
Michael O’Connell, Group Managing Partner Elect of the Appleby Group commented: “We are very pleased to be able to offer our support to such a worthwhile cause. The swimmers are inspiring, and we look forward to being a part of this event. This sponsorship forms part of our ongoing commitment to community-based projects and initiatives in Jersey. We hope our sponsorship will go a little way towards helping Holidays for Heroes continuing their excellent work.”