Meet David Shephard! He’s Part of a Pair Planning to Swim the Channel!

The Swimhalers: Phil Couch and Dave Shephard (right)

Earlier this week we caught up with Brighton based ‘Swimhaler’ and general sporting enthusiast David Shephard. David and his good friend Phil Couch will, this weekend, be attempting one of the most tricky swimming challenges out there. The pair are daring to swim the English channel, here’s what David had to say about it all:

Hi David, so you’re making quite the splash with news reaching us that you’re set to take on a massive swim challenge. Tell us about it?

Phil Couch and I are throwing ourselves in the deep end on a 2 man channel relay swim at the end of August. So when’s the special date and how are you feeling about it? LOOMING! And nervous. Probably this weekend depending if the weather holds.

David, during one of his many practice swims on the South Coast.

David, during one of his many practice swims on the South Coast.

So you’re known as the ‘Swimhalers’, why’s that?

We’ve completed a number of 10K events but nothing like this. phil and I completed the Race Across America bike rave in 2014 to raise money for Asthma UK. ..we were called the Spinhalers (see what we did there) so it made sense to call our team Swimhalers for a swimming challenge.

What will be the toughest part of the challenge?

The cold..neither Phil or I are chunky lads, so we find the cold tough even though we’ve trained for it. We’re hoping for a mill pond as well…and flying pigs.

The Swimhalers: Phil Couch and Dave Shephard (right)

The Swimhalers: Phil Couch and Dave Shephard (right)

And why have you decided to do it?

I’ve lived in Brighton for 30 years and have always wondered if I could do it. Phil’s as daft as me and we were so proud to raise money for Asthma UK during Race Across America, we were determined to keep up the good work. And the ferry’s getting expensive.

How do you train for a challenge like this?

Over about a year with many many hours staring at the bottom of a pool and covering 20 to 30K a week. Also ploughing along the south coast in tiny pants in freezing water!

Swimhalers in action!

Swimhalers in action!

Do you have any future challenges planned?

None I’m prepared for my family to hear about as yet! Plus anything else you’d like to let us know.

Thank you for your time David and the best of luck to you both. David also went out his way to thank everybody who has supported them in preparation for the event and everyone at Asthma UK. This support has really made the difference in the darker days and really is appreciated beyond measure.

You can donate to the ‘swimhalers’ challenge here as they are fundraising for Asthma UK:

The pair have already raised over £1,600, let’s see if we can boost this further before they set off this weekend!

You can also keep up to date with all the latest in their challenge through their blog:


Good luck to the ‘Swimhalers’ from all of us at Brighton Journal!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.