IT IS the ultimate fundraising swim which will see courageous swimmers take the plunge in the Solent this weekend.

On Sunday, a band of 21 swimmers – some of whom could barely tackle a few lengths just a few months ago – will brave the Solent Swim Challenge in a bid to raise more than £22,000.

But with the support of a world record-breaking sailor, Ellen MacArthur, and a record-breaking swimmer Anna Wardley, behind them, they are sure to successfully complete the 2.5-nautical mile mission.

The swim from Stokes Bay in Gosport to Ryde Sands on the Isle of Wight will see the 21 swimmers from across the south tackle the busy shipping lanes of the Solent.

All money raised from the challenge will be donated to the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, which targets young people, aged between eight and 24, to help their recovery from cancer.

Clare Ryan, from the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, said: “We want to say a big thank you to the swimmers for their amazing fundraising efforts. They have done such a fantastic job already.

“I’m very impressed by the level of commitment they’ve shown to training for the Solent Swim Challenge and enjoyed meeting everyone at our training day last month. 

“It’s shaping up to be a fantastic weekend and I hope members of the public will come out to support the swimmers. 

“The best vantage points will be Stokes Bay, Ryde Pier and the finish point at Ryde Sands, just to the east of Ryde Harbour.”