Worth School students to swim Channel for Surtees

Image caption,
Worth School Channel swimmers have practised for 1,000 hours

A group of students at a West Sussex school are to swim the English Channel in memory of racing driver Henry Surtees, killed in a crash last July.

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

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

The Worth team hopes to complete the swim on 21 June, weather permitting.

Mr Surtees died on 19 July 2009 when a wheel which flew off another driver's car and hit him on the head.

He was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital.

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

It is hoped the swim will raise £15,000 for Sussex Air Ambulance, the Surtees family's nominated charity Headway and the Matthew Elvidge Trust.

"It's quite daunting but at the same time we're really excited about it as well," said 17-year-old organiser Dominic Robinson.

"It's going to be a really good experience - the loneliness of being in the water and having to keep going because the rest of the team are relying on you to do your bit."

Dominic will be joined by Mark Newton, Henry McNeil, Jack Udale, Raphael Gruber, Nick Gandy, Nick Elvidge, Sasha Richards, Rory Pickard and Ben Clyde-Smith.

They will set out from Dover, and take it in turns to swim the 21 miles to France in a time of between 12 and 15 hours.

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