England

Friends of Henry Surtees swim Channel in his memory

Worth School Channel swim
Image caption Worth School swimmers and a support boat set out from Dover at 0600 BST

Students at the school attended by racing driver Henry Surtees, killed in a crash last July, have set off on a cross-Channel swim in his memory.

Mr Surtees, 18, had just finished his A-levels at Worth School, West Sussex, when he died in a crash during a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch, Kent.

The pupils set off from Dover for the relay event just after 0600 BST.

Mr Surtees was the son of former Formula One world champion John Surtees, who lives in Surrey.

"It's going good," said Channel swim organiser Dominic Robinson, 17, speaking from a support boat.

"The weather has stayed dry and the water is calm.

"There is a bit of cloud cover but we are making good time and the guys that have swum so far have done a good job."

Image caption Henry Surtees had loved motorsport since he began karting at eight

Each swimmer will be in the water for one hour before swapping with a team member.

Depending on conditions, it should take them up to 15 hours in a water temperature of 11C (52F).

The students have been training three to four hours a week for the challenge, as well as doing weights and fitness sessions.

The other swimmers are Nick Elvidge, Nick Gandy, Rory Pickard, Ben Clyde-Smith, Sasha Richards and reserve team member Raphael Gruber.

They aim to raise £15,000 for the Sussex Air Ambulance, the chosen charity of Henry's family, Headway, which improves life after brain injury, and the Matthew Elvidge Trust.

John Surtees is the only man to have won world titles on both two and four wheels.

He claimed multiple 500cc motorcycle world championships before winning the F1 crown with Ferrari in 1964.

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