Clive Lucking – Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim

As challenges go, Sharkfest Swim sounds like it certainly has some bite! Thankfully despite its namesake the only thing that was biting was the chilly San Francisco Bay waters as our brave challenger Clive Lucking braved the cold to complete the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim this June, all in aid of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.

Clive, Founder of Fourfront Group, a supporter of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices for 10 years, explains why this was the challenge for him, “I had talked a lot of a desire to do this swim, as it is so iconic, however I probably would never have actually entered it…so my wife and sister bought me an entry for my 50th birthday!”

The annual event, which is held all over different open water sites across America, asks budding swimmers to take on the challenge of open water swimming against the backdrop of some of the most iconic places in the world. From Boston Harbour, the Statue of Liberty to the Golden Gate Bridge, each participant must tackle the currents, other swimmers and potential marine wildlife to reach the shoreline.

Clive decided to take on the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim, which takes you on the ultimate escape from the historical island swim located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. It’s the same swim the Anglin Brothers and Frank Lee Morris successfully attempted in their escape from Alcatraz back in June 1962.

However in June 2018 when Clive arrived, along with 599 other swimmers the weather almost meant it had to be called off! “The weather was forecast to be very bad, 40 mph winds which would have been too dangerous to support kayaks and paddle boarders to flank the swimmers,” explains Clive, “so in the end we started and finished at the same place at the beach, and swam in a circle rather than a straight line. At least we visited Alcatraz the day before, even though I didn’t get to swim from the rock!”

It was then time to take the plunge, “Despite the water being cold, and 600 people starting virtually at the same time, I swam really well and was pleased to complete the swim feeling energised!”

Clive has gone on to raise over £4500 and counting in support of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices and it now seems he has the swimming bug, “This was my first sea swim, and I was expecting it to be my last, but I really enjoyed the event, and perhaps equally importantly the practice, so I’m thinking of a couple…it could be Liberty Island to Manhattan, or a couple which are closer to home – from Portsmouth to Isle of Wight, or around Brownsea Island..who knows!”

Since 2008, Fourfront Group have supported Shooting Star Children’s Hospices through a wealth of fundraising activities, raising nearly £400,000 to help babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

If you’d like to donate to Clive you can here and if you are inspired to take on your own challenge click here!

To find out more about Fourfront Group’s involvement with Shooting Star Children’s Hospices click here.