Anna Wardley at the presentation for her Balearic Swim Challenge. | Jaume Morey


Endurance swimmer and charity fundraiser Anna Wardley, 39, will be on stand-by from tomorrow to begin her Balearic Swim Challenge with the first stage being from Minorca to Majorca.

The first stage of Anna’s challenge will see her swim 37km from Minorca to Majorca in support of the local foundation Joves Navegants. The second phase will be 88km from Majorca to Ibiza in support of Marine Inspirations, with the third and final stage being from Ibiza to mainland Spain (Denia). This 90km stage will be in support of the Marine Animal Rescue Project.

At a press conference today at the Palma Sport & Tennis Club, where she has been training over the past few months, she said that she cannot wait to get started. She will be swimming a total 215km’s without a wetsuit under strict Channel Swimming rules. Her window for the first leg from Minorca to Majorca, or vice versa if the wind dictates, runs from tomorrow until Tuesday, 24 May and she is keeping everything crossed that she gets the gap in this unseasonably unsettled weather in order to go for it.

There will be an independent observer on board to ensure that she follows the rules. These include wearing nothing but a regular swimsuit, cap and goggles and not making contact with anyone or anything during the swim.

She said that the Sport & Tennis Club has been the perfect place to prepare herself mentally and physically for what will be the biggest challenge she has ever faced.

The next couple of days are a really exciting time as she and her team study the weather forecasts on an increasingly intensive basis, waiting for the optimal weather window to start the first leg from Cala’n Bosch in south-west Minorca across the Minorca Channel to north-east Majorca in the Cala Ratjada area.

Two weeks ago, her training peaked with 30 hours of training over three days, which felt like one hell of a lot of swimming, but it is still less than the next two legs will take non-stop.

Her longest swim to date was around the Isle of Wight as the culmination of a Five Island Swim Challenge, which took 26 hours and 33 minutes. Without the benefit of strong tides to propel her along, this week’s swim is set to be a long slog across the 20 nautical miles (37km) separating the two islands.

She has also been battling with jellyfish over the last weeks and her multiple stings landed her in hospital last week when a bad reaction resulted in her being rushed to hospital in an ambulance. Thankfully, after lots of tests at Son Espases Hospital she was discharged for a couple of days of enforced rest and recuperation. It’s likely she will come across plenty of jellyfish in the Minorca Channel this week, and they are impossible to avoid when she swims into large blooms especially in darkness.

She has a great support team both ashore and on the water and today the final members of her team arrived from the UK to hook up with her local resident supporters here in Majorca.

To support and monitor Anna’s progress go to