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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Surgeon, 70, swims the Channel

A 70-year-old retired surgeon has become the oldest person to swim the English Channel.

Roger Allsopp set off from Dover at 8am and swam for 17 hours and 51 minutes to claim a new Guinness World Record.

At 70 years and four months, he beat the current record holder, George Brunstad, the uncle of Hollywood star Matt Damon, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Allsopp, from Guernsey, who had to postpone his bid several times because of the weather, was inspired by an inscription at a pub in Dover marking Mr Brunstad's achievement.

His swim raised money to fund world-class medical equipment to help advance cancer research at the University of Southampton.

He said: "I do feel an immense sense of achievement and relief that I have been successful.

"This has been an incredible personal challenge for me and my focus has always been to help raise money for Hope for Guernsey and Wessex Medical Research, a cause that I am extremely passionate about.

"I've never been one to sit on my laurels. Retirement has been wonderful but I know how important it is to keep active in mind and body to live a healthy retirement and so I set myself physical challenges to ensure that I keep as fit and healthy as I can."

Guinness World Records adjudicator Anna Orford said: "To swim the English Channel is a great challenge and to do it at the mature age of 70 years is astounding!"

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