Anna Wardley starting her Round the Island Swim. Picture by Robin Crossley.
UPDATED SATURDAY 13:25A PERFECT calm greeted the start of endurance swimmer Anna Wardley’s attempt to become the first woman to swim around the Island.
Anna, 37, has trained for two years — including a recent 13 hour swim half-way around the Island — to prepare for her challenge.
She started in perfect conditions with the weather set fair.
If she succeeds she will achieve a feat only completed by three other people — the most recent in 1985.
Aboard a support boat in the Solent was Kevin Murphy, also known as the King of the English Channel for the number of times he successfully swam between England and France.
Kevin succeeded in swimming around the Isle of Wight 41 years ago on his third attempt
Anna walked into the water at Ryde Sands at 10.15am and began the swim from just east of Ryde Pier at 10.30am.
She anticipates it will take her about 30 hours to complete.
She is on the verge of reaching her target of raising £50,000 for The Samaritans, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Sail Africa by successfully swimming around three other islands including Jersey.
Her only failure was Tiree in the Inner Hebrides where she was beaten by hypothermia.
Donations can be pledged at www.annawardley.com
The Yellowbrick Anna-tracker will be up and running throughout the swim at: http://yb.tl/fiveislandswim2013 so you can follow her progress in real time. Her position is updated every ten minutes.
15:41 FRIDAY - She was on-track to pass the Needles at 5pm having encountered slightly stronger than predicted winds at 14 knots from the south and southwest but a water temperature of 16.8C — considerably warmer than Tiree’s 13.9C.
At 2.30pm she swallowed a high tech gastric core temperature pill which sends a radio signal to a monitor to allow scientists to read her temperature.
13:25 SATURDAY - Anna has made it to Ryde, becoming the fourth person to swim around the Isle of Wight. She was met by cheering spectators as she arrived at Ryde Pier just after 1pm, after completing the swim way ahead of schedule in 26 hours, 33 minutes and 28 seconds.