'Custard man' set to swim Channel

source: http://www.worcesternews.co.uk

A WORCESTERSHIRE grandfather is set to swim the English Channel this weekend, four years after battling cancer.

Dave Granger, aged 53, of Norton, near Evesham, swam the Channel last year as part of a four-person relay team and set the British and Commonwealth record after completing the crossing in nine hours and 11 minutes.

But following a battle with throat cancer four years ago, Mr Granger now plans to meet his goal of tackling the challenge alone when he sets off on Sunday.

He hopes to raise £2,000 for Cyclists Fighting Cancer.

The swim will not just be physically draining, but due to the side-effects of his treatment, the salt water will cause ulcers and make Mr Granger’s throat so sore that he will be unable swallow solid food.

Mr Granger, a cabinet-maker, is known to friends and supporters as “Custard man” after he completed the 2,205 mile Tour de France in 2007, surviving on just custard and rice pudding.

He said: “The idea for swimming the Channel came about on the ferry on the way over for the Tour de France.

“I looked out of the window at the sea and thought I had fancied doing this since I was a 10-year-old and saw the first British female swimmer do it.

“That moment planted the seed and after everything I went through with my treatment I just decided to go for it.”

Mr Granger, who has two daughters and a stepson with wife Sandra, will embark on his Channel challenge wearing just a pair of trunks, not a wetsuit.

He is following a punishing training schedule, with regular swims in the sea, lakes and pools to build his strength.

He hopes to finish the swim in 15 hours and once again will survive on custard and rice pudding.

To sponsor Mr Granger, visit cyclistsfightingcancer.org.uk