MALACCA: A medical student from Cambridge University has taken up the challenge to be the second Malaysian after Datuk Abdul Malik Mydin to swim across the English Channel.
Lennard Lee, 20, is attempting the feat to raise money, part of which will go to a cancer fund here.
An avid swimmer, Lennard has been planning to swim across the 33.6km-wide channel from Dover to Calais in France in less than 12 hours between July 7 and July 19 during neap tide (when the waves do not rise and fall very much).
Abdul Malik took 17 hours and 42 minutes to swim across the channel in August last year.
Lennard's uncle, Dr Lee Yew Meng, a heart surgeon with a private hospital here, said his nephew had been swimming to raise funds for a new sports complex at his university and the Christie Hospital in Manchester.
If there are any donations for the swim from Malaysians, the proceeds will go to the cancer fund set up by the Seck Kia Eenh Temple here.
Lennard has raised a total of £2,340 (RM16,380) to enable him to register and train. The money will also cover the cost of hiring a boat, meant to carry several people, to accompany him during the swim.
Among the sponsors in England are a Hong Kong company based there, which had donated £500 (RM3,500).
Dr Lee said: “Lennard is an adventurous boy who has backpacked and toured Europe and Asia at the age of 16.
“Last year, he and his brother cycled from Thailand to Cambodia and Vietnam before taking a flight back to Malaysia from Hanoi.”
He said Lennard was currently undergoing training in the sea off Dover to get used to water at 15°C.
Apart from the training, he had also been eating more to increase body fat to withstand the cold, said Dr Lee.
Lennard had competed in long-distance swimming at the national level in Britain.
He holds swimming records from the university and is captain of the St John College swimming team.
A local daily in Cambridge, Cambridge Evening News had an article on Lennard on May 11 while the Paris-based Sin Tao Daily came out with the story on June14.
Contributions can be sent to Seck Kia Eenh Cancer Fund at No. 57, Jalan Gajah Berang, 75200 Malacca (please write “The English Channel” at the back of cheque).
Those interested can also call the temple at 06-283 7440.
Dr Lee can be reached at 06-292 1788.
Did you find this article insightful?