6th August 2006 – England to France
Fresh from training new CRY patron David Walliams for his epic swim across the Channel, CRY Chairman Professor Greg Whyte (pictured below with David Walliams) decided to undertake the challenge himself.
As Greg said, “I have done everything but swim it myself so I might as well have a go.”
Greg made his attempt to swim the Channel on Sunday 6th August. Things started well, and after just 4 hours of swimming Greg was already half-way to France.
Unfortunately, with the coast of France in sight, Greg was suddenly and unexpectedly subjected to a tidal shift, which began dragging him away from his destination.
Whilst the main coastal tides are somewhat predictable on either side of the Channel, there are many other unpredictable currents in the stretch of water, and it often comes down to luck as to whether a cross-Channel swimmer encounters an unhelpful current.
As if this wasn’t enough, fog also descended on Greg, and the waves increased in size. The fog made it impossible for Greg and his support boat to see where they were going, and the waves severely disrupted Greg’s swimming rhythm.
After battling these difficult conditions for an hour, it became clear that Greg’s cross-Channel attempt would have to be abandoned.
Contrary to what Greg said in the interview (link above), he has now decided to make another attempt in 2007!
This has been a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness and money for CRY, and we would like to thank everyone who supported Greg. It is still possible to sponsor Greg for his efforts in swimming the Channel. Please visit his online donations webpage:
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It was enormously exciting to be able to welcome David and Greg to CRY’s Parliamentary Reception in the Palace of Westminster on July 5th, the day after David completed his famous swim. It was brilliant to be able to announce David as a Patron of CRY. David was an enormous success at the reception – staying all evening, signing endless autographs and having photos taken with CRY supporters.
To watch a short video of David and Greg training, and Greg “greasing him up” go to the BBC webpage:
Professor Greg Whyte – Profile
After completing a Sports Science degree followed by a PGCE in Physical Education at Brunel University, Greg became a college lecturer in Physical Education. From here Greg moved to America to study for an MSc in Human Performance. Whilst there Greg also worked as a Post-graduate Teaching Assistant.
Greg then returned to the UK to become Principal Lecturer in Post-Graduate Study and Sports Science Support at the University of Wolverhampton where he also undertook his PhD. In 2001, Greg moved to the Olympic Medical Institute to become Director of Research before moving on to the English Institute of Sport where he became Director of Science and Research.
Greg has, and still does in some cases, worked as a consultant to a number of sports teams including:
- Great Britain Olympic Triathlon Team
- Great Britain Olympic Modern Pentathlon Team
- Great Britain Biathlon Team
- International track and field athletes
- Benetton Formula One Racing
- Team Subaru Rally
- Team Royal Navy track and field and cross-country Teams
- Football Clubs (inc. Liverpool, West Ham, Walsall, Millwall)
Greg has represented Great Britain in Modern Pentathlon for the period 1986-2000, winning over 80 International caps. This included 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, 10 World Championships, and 6 European Championships. Most notable successes included World Championships Silver Medal (1994), European Championships Bronze Medal (1991), Australian Open Champion (1989), and 7 times British Champion (Modern Pentathlon, Tetrathlon, Triathlon).
In addition, Greg also represented the Great Britain fencing team, including the 1991 World Student Games. Other sporting interests include triathlon having competed in Ironman, half Ironman, Olympic and sprint distances, in GB and abroad.
In addition to professional positions and sporting success, Greg has also held a number of honorary positions. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and between 1998-2001 was Chairman of the British Olympic Association Athletes’ Commission and representation of athletes on the National Olympic Committee.
Related Media Coverage
- Luton Today– 27/07/06