August 29, 2015
Burnham water skier, 13, becomes youngest to cross English Channel

A Burnham-On-Sea teenager was celebrating on Saturday (August 29th) after becoming the youngest ever girl to water ski across the English Channel.

Lauren Bird, 13, completed the 21-mile crossing on Saturday morning in a time of 54 minutes and six seconds - but it came after her first attempt earlier in the day was aborted.

Her father, Steve, told "After driving through the night and an early start, Lauren and an 80-year-old water skier called Robin Hanbury-Tenison attempted to be the youngest and oldest to ski across the English Channel."

"This was going to be a massive challenge and was all in aid of the charity Survival International. Even though the wind was just 5mph, the sea state was so rough. Robin did his best for 40 minutes but the trying conditions got the better of him and unfortunately he didn't finish."

"Lauren got just under half way in 35 minutes when disaster struck and she came off and in the fall broke her ski, so she also didn't compete it."

"But the sea conditions then improved and Lauren decided to give it another go, starting from the French coast and skiing to Dover. With no falls and just two rests, she completed this daunting challenge with the help of Steve Cox driving and myself observing."

"She completed it in a super time of 54 minutes and six seconds! We are all incredibly proud of her! They both did amazingly and have raised awareness and money for the charity."

Lauren, who is currently the European water skiing champion in her age category, was understandably elated to have completed the feat and go into the record books as the youngest person to complete the crossing.


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