Big Rick’s Chicks to Attempt Medley Relay Across the English Channel

A team of women from Big Ricks Swim Team in the UK will be attempting to swim a medley relay across the English Channel on August 26. 

The team, known as Big Rick’s Chicks, is composed of Melanie Holland, Claire Thorn, Lucy Lloyd-Roach, Sarah Hempenstall. 

Holland has crossed the channel individually in 2018 and 2020, while the rest of the ladies have participated in relays across the channel. 

During the swim, the team will rotate through a traditional medley relay order, with each person swimming in the water for one hour at a time. 

The order will be:

  • Melanie- Backstroke 
  • Claire- Breaststroke
  • Lucy- Butterfly
  • Sarah- Freestyle

Without the rotation, each swimmer would end up doing 5.2 miles of the swim. However, with the rotation the freestyle swimmer will most likely cover the most distance out of the group. 

If the team completes the 21 mile swim across the channel from England into France, they will become the first all-women’s medley relay team to do so. Big Rick’s Swim Club has already had 3 all-men’s teams and 2 mixed relays cross the channel since the team began in 2011. 

Through the swim, the ladies are raising money for Surfers Against Sewage, which aims to “inspire, unite and empower communities to take action to protect our oceans, beaches, waves and wildlife.” They also received assistance from HEAD Swimming UK, which donated swim kits for the ladies to use as they cross the channel. 

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3 years ago

What’s the tolerance for swimming the strokes legally? For example, is the whole swim DQ’d if the butterflyer has one incidence of non-simultaneous arms during their hour-long stint? Is there a stroke judge watching?

Claire Thorn
Reply to  Ferb
3 years ago

There are official observers on the boat and will act as stroke judges.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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