Messalonskee’s Rushton recounts two-leg swim across the English Channel

The temperature hovers a few degrees above freezing, and under a night sky, the only sound is that of waves slapping the side of a boat.

Erik Rushton stands on its side, just a few feet above those waves. And then he jumps in. It’s not a dare, but it is a challenge. Rushton is part of a four-person team trying to relay round-trip across the English Channel.

And it’s his turn.

“You’ve got to go in, and you know your teammates are counting on you. … You kind of have a bit of that teammate pressure,” he said. “You’ve got to psyche yourself each time, and say ‘OK, it’s time to get in.’ “


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