A MAN from Chipping Sodbury completed his challenge of swimming to France.

Chris Townsend, 39 and originally from Iron Acton, completed the swim across The Channel in 13 hours and 49 minutes.

The challenge was expected to start on Saturday, August 4, however was postponed until Monday, August 6 due to bad weather that forced two other people attempting the swim to pull out part way through.

The father of two said in the build up that he was looking forward to the challenge, however it proved to be a very difficult effort.

"I got pushed around by the tide near the end of the swim, meaning the last 4 hours I only swam 2 miles," he said.

"The last 4 hours was mentally tough, carrying on going when you feel like you aren’t making nay progress was difficult.

"Then being asked to sprint was tough, but the thought of not completing it was my biggest fear.

"I kept thinking that the current would stop me from finishing, in reality this was never the case, but its hard not to start letting negative thoughts creep in.

Chris was hoping to complete the swim in around 12 hours, with the average this year being 15. However the conditions and the current soon ruined that dream.

"The sprint for the last 2 hours increasing my stroke rate from 48 to 56 strokes per minute was tough.

"I had to do that to avoid being pushed back by the current."

Father of two Chris has undergone months of training for the attempt

The achievement is made all the more impressive following a number of recent injuries that Chris had sustained in the build up to the swim, including a number of ankle knocks.

"It is fantastic to have the pictures to look back on because it's all a bit of a blur now, especially given the fact I only slept for 48 minutes the night before," he said.

"Apart from that part and some jelly fish stings the swim went well.

"The first 10 hours was amazing, the conditions were beautiful and I managed to take time out to enjoy it."

"I feel really pleased with myself but the reality hasn’t sunken in yet, it still feels like a bit of a dream.

"I had loads of amazing comments on Facebook during the swim as my wife was giving people updates with literally hundreds of people offering support.

"I was aiming to raise £1500 but have now broken through £3000 mark so I’m delighted with that."

Chris was attempting the feat to raise money for three different charities, and has already raised combined a total of over £3200 for St Peters Hospice, NICU and Sands.

Well done to Chris on an amazing achievement.

You can donate at justgiving.com/teams/Chris-ChannelSwim.