Company director from King’s Lynn swims 26km for children’s charity

Rob Howlett, managing director of Rise Scaffold Services Ltd based in Lynn, has swum the length of Lake Zurich in Switzerland for charity. ANL-160709-150224001
Rob Howlett, managing director of Rise Scaffold Services Ltd based in Lynn, has swum the length of Lake Zurich in Switzerland for charity. ANL-160709-150224001

The managing director of a Lynn-based scaffolding firm has swum the length of Lake Zurich in Switzerland to raise money for charity.

Rob Howlett, of Ashwicken who works for Rise Scaffold Services, completed the marathon swim on Sunday, August 7 in aid of PACE – a charity for children with cerebral palsy.

Solo swimmers and teams from around the world also completed the challenge, which was 26.4 kilometres long and their goal was to reach Zurich from Rapperswil in under 12 hours.

The group set off at 7am, and Rob finished the swim in a time of 10 hours and 17 minutes.

The weather conditions were excellent with a quiet lake in the morning, but only in the afternoon did the swimmers face some strong headwinds and waves from large ferry boats, Rob said.

Unfortunately, eight solo swimmers and one team did not reach the cut offs or had to give up.

Rob trained for 12 months in preparation for the event, which he swam in the non-wetsuit category, which meant that he could not use any flotation aids and could not touch any of the safety boats.

To keep his energy levels up, he stopped every 45 minutes for energy drinks, gels and bars, but did not stop for longer than two minutes for each break.

Rob raised more than £1,000 in sponsorships for the cause, which his workplace matched, giving him a total of more than £2,000.

Rob said: “I would like to thank all of the people who donated money for the swim.”

PACE says it supports families and transforms the lives of children with motor disorders.

The charity’s main goal is to help children and young people with physical disabilities to achieve their full potential.