She’s done it! The very brave Christine Bleakley triumphantly completed the Thomson Sport Relief Water Ski Challenge this morning, crossing the English Channel from Dover to Sangatte on the French coast to raise money for Sport Relief.
The Channel was a miserable 6Â° C today and with the wind chill below freezing, Christine faced the toughest physical and mental challenge of her life. She avoided falling as much as possible, as when you hit water at speed it feels like hitting a brick wall.
On arriving in France, Christine said “I can’t believe I’ve actually done it! It took me 100 minutes to waterski the Channel and I only fell in 8 times. It was really tough though the water was freezing and having to get up after every fall was exhausting.
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me along the way, it really kept me going out there. The work Sport Relief does helps changes lives both in the UK and the worldâ€™s poorest countries and I’ve seen firsthand the difference it can make so please donate what you can.”
After months of gruelling training, the presenter of the BBCâ€™s One Show at last set off from Dover first thing this morning at 7.46am, having been delayed on both Wednesday and Thursday due to treacherous gale-force winds.
She water skied the 22-mile stretch of freezing-cold, choppy water in an incredible 100 minutes and arrived on the shore of France exhausted, yet elated, at 9.26am.
Weather conditions were far from ideal for a water ski crossing with the wind-chill temperature below freezing and strong winds making Christineâ€™s challenge extremely difficult.
But thanks to her physical and mental determination she fought the elements to stay afloat, only falling off her skis eight times, and managing to stay upright for a maximum 15 minutes in one go.
Christine was completely new to water skiing before undertaking training for this mighty challenge, and was determined to give it her all after seeing Sport Relief cash in action in Uganda last year.
She hopes to inspire the nation to sponsor her to raise as much cash as possible for Sport Relief and to change countless lives for the better.
To support Christine, please make a donation at www.sportrelief.com/christine