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March 11, 2008

Cracknell’s ultimate challenge

CEUTA, Africa – Olympic Gold medalist James Cracknell has completed his toughest challenge yet, traveling under his own steam – rowing, cycling and swimming – from England to Africa in just 10 days.

With just four hours sleep a night and eating and drinking on the move, Cracknell has shown just how close Africa really is.

The challenge started on 27 February when James took to the water in his custom-built rowing boat. Crossing the English channel in just six hours, despite the horendous weather, Cracknell had a brief sleep before taking to his bike for the first 50km of the cycle through France and Spain.

Over the next seven days Cracknell cycled his way through France and Spain before reaching Gibraltar on 5 March, where he took a day off before tackling the 12-mile swim across the Strait of Gibraltar in a little under five hours. Comedian David Walliams joined Cracknell for the swim.

“The swim went much better than either David and I anticipated” Cracknell wrote on his live blog “it even gave me one of the best moments of the challenge so far when four pilot whales swam around us”.

James was armed with a Nokia N82 for the trek, which he used to regularly send his location (which was updated live on his website), pictures, videos, texts and web updates.

The team were raising money for Sport Relief and using the event to inspire others to sign up for one of the Sport Relief Miles.