Up against sharks in world’s toughest swim

Swimmer Adam Walker in training

Swimmer Adam Walker in training

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AN intrepid swimmer has honed his skills at Hucknall Leisure Centre ahead of an incredible challenge in shark-infested waters.

Adam Walker (33) is attempting to complete what has been described as the hardest swim in the world.

He is aiming to brave the Molokai Straits in Hawaii — a distance of 26 miles — and the dangers he could encounter include tiger sharks.

This is the third swim in the Oceans Seven Challenge which Adam is currently tackling. He has already swum the English Channel and the Straits of Gibraltar.

The locations for the other four swims are the Irish Channel, the Cook Strait in New Zealand, the Catalina Channel off California and the Tsugaru Strait in Japan.

If he completes the Molokai challenge, Adam will be the first person from the UK to do so. In fact, only 22 people have ever swum the straits.

He will be wearing a shark repellent with a built-in sonar round his ankle and, as well as strong currents, other potential hazards he may face include the deadly jellyfish, the Portuguese man of war. His target time to complete the swim is 14 hours.

Adam lives in Huthwaite and works for the Indesit washing-machine company. He is seeking to raise money for a campaign to protect whales and dolphins.

He is being supported for his astonishing marathon by three companies — Techmax Pro-Gear, of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, the Slam yachting company and the Equus Hotel in Hawaii.

Adam has been accompanied on his Hawaii trip by his wife, Emily, who formerly worked at Hucknall Leisure Centre and is now employed at the Festival Hall, Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

Also with Adam are a friend, Chris Sheppard, who swam the Gibraltar Straits with him, and Chris’s girlfriend, Angela Hipkiss. Adam is also receiving enthusiastic support from his parents, Margaret and Peter Walker, and his three brothers.

Adam feels he has greatly benefited from strenuous training in the pool at Hucknall Leisure Centre on Linby Road. He says: “I swam competitively in Bingham when I was a youngster and I later played water polo and did sport swims for eight years.”

His big decision to undertake Oceans Seven happened spontaneously while he was on a plane to Australia, He watched a movie, ‘On A Clear Day’, which is about a character named Frank, who has lost his job and is determined to salvage self-esteem, as well as tackle personal demons, by swimming the English Channel.

Adam said he took off his earphones and told his wife: “I am going to do that.”