A GROUP of keen swimmers battled the elements to complete 10 miles in the sea for charity.

The Big Swim saw a group of friends band together to take on the challenge from Lulworth Cove to Overcombe Corner to raise £2,560 for the Dorchester Opportunity Group.

Set up in 1993, the pre-school provides a caring and supportive environment for youngsters with a variety of additional needs.

The 19-strong team completed the challenge in five hours and 30 minutes.

Swimmer Matt Flux said: “In the week leading up to the swim the weather forecast was very erratic.

“But the night before the weather forecast changed in our favour whilst we were in the Spyglass Inn making our final preparations.”

On the day of the challenge Ian Boid from Weymouth White-water dropped the team off at the start point at Lulworth Cove where they were met by their safety boat and crew of Matt Webb, John Smith, Christian Flux and Anthony Goss.

Further safety cover was provided by canoeists Mike and Glynn Clark, Rob and Louise, Ed Speight and Julian Thacker.

Mr Flux said: “The swim was challenging, with conditions turning against us for a while with the wind and sea started picking up in Ringstead Bay.

“At one point it took one and a half hours to do one mile, when normally we would be doing a mile every 30 minutes.”

He added: “Our safety team provided valuable cover and protection from other vessels plus a stream of jelly babies.”

After nearly six hours in the water the team arrived at Overcombe, where they were greeted by their friends and families and had a barbeque with sausages from the Fantastic Sausage Factory in Weymouth.

Mr Flux and the team thanked everyone for their support and donations.

He said: “Overall the event went very well and the total donated via our Just Giving site is now £2,560.”

The swimmers were: Matt Flux, Pip Bowden, Tim Edwards, Wayne Knight, Andrea, Dave Parker, Jamie Sanderson, Keith Bendell, Alex Slowley, Ben Winstanley, Simon Davies, Gordon Sharp, Dave Parker, Dave Payne, Christophe de Noaillat, Noel Barrington, Chris Nelson, Marianne Gerety and Richard Weston.

n To find out more about Dorchester Opportunity Group call 01305 751707 or visit www.dorchesteropportunitygroup.co.uk