Anna Wardley swimming around the Isle of Wight.
SUPER swimmer Anna Wardley is hoping generous sponsors will provide the icing on the cake of her marathon swim around the Isle of Wight.
In the wake of becoming the first person in almost 30 years to swim the 56 miles around the Isle of Wight — and only the second woman — 37-year-old Anna hopes sponsors will dig deep and help her reach her £50,000 charity sponsorship total.
After completing the distance on Saturday in a time of 26hr 33min and 28sec came the news that the Gosport swimmer had, so far, raised £47,000 for the Samaritans, Sail Africa and the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
She was visibly struggling in the final mile as her arms, which had completed 99,000 strokes in the 26 hours before, became like lead.
After the swim, Anna said, "I have so many supporters to thank, but especially the residents of the Isle of Wight who came out all the way round the course. It really did help spur me on, that and the thought that I might hit my fundraising target."
Among those spurring Anna on aboard one of her support boats was former round-the-Island swimmer Kevin Murphy, who has also completed 32 English Channel crossings.
He said: "It was an epic swim, an inspiration to watch, and a marvellous achievement. Anna's willpower is incredible."
In the run-up to her Island circumnavigation she swam around Dragonera off Mallorca, Portsea Island in Hampshire, and Jersey.
Tiree in the Inner Hebrides remains unfinished business in her Five Islands Challenge after frigid sea temperatures forced her to abandon the attempt 20 miles into the 30-mile swim.
Anna, whose swim round the Isle of Wight was sponsored by Navitus Bay, has also swum across the English Channel, the Gibraltar Straits and the Hellespont from Europe to Asia, plus two lengths of Windermere in the Lake District to raise further funds.
Anna can be sponsored at www.annawardley.com