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Clare Ryan from the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and endurance swimmer Anna Wardley with members of the Five Island support team launch the Solent Swim Challenge, a 2.5-nautical mile swim from Stokes Bay, Gosport, to Ryde, Isle of Wight.The Solent Swim Challenge launched by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Anna Wardley which was due to take place tomorrow (Sunday) has been postponed due to forecast strong winds.

The event has been rescheduled for the contingency date of Sunday 5th October.

Twenty-one swimmers from across the south of England were due to take the plunge on Sunday morning to tackle the 2.5-nautical mile course across the Solent from Stokes Bay, Gosport, to Ryde Sands on the Isle of Wight.

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Anna Wardley, who last year swam non-stop around the Isle of Wight, explains:

“The safety of the swimmers and our support crew has always been our absolute number one priority. We have been receiving in depth weather forecasts from our meteorologist, Simon Rowell, and the wind forecast has steadily worsened through the week.

“Now, with the forecast at 15-20 knots, gusting between five and seven knots more than that during the planned time of the swim, it means it’s not safe to go ahead. In addition the wave height is forecast to be 1.2 metres, which would make it impossible to maintain constant visual contact with the swimmers.

“Having been in this position myself during my endurance swims, I know it is frustrating for the swimmers who have been training to be in peak physical condition for Sunday, but the weather is part of the challenge of open water swimming.”

The swimmers have so far raised more than £22,000 including their entry fees, for the Isle of Wight-based charity which takes young people aged between 8 and 24 sailing to help them regain their confidence on their way to recovery from cancer.

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Clare Ryan from the Trust said:

“We would just like to say a huge thank you to all of our swimmers, volunteers, supporters and crew who have dedicated so much time and effort into preparing for this challenge. We are now putting all of our efforts into planning our contingency date 5 October 2014. We are overwhelmed at how understanding our swimmers have been and would like to thank everyone who has donated to the Trust.”

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