SONORA, Cal. - For the past several months, Teri Wells has lived in a swimming pool preparing for one of the most grueling challenges known to swimming- cross the English Channel.
"The English Channel is called the Mount. Everest of swimming," Wells told News10 during one of her training sessions at Sonora Sports and Fitness. "Fewer people have successfully swam the channel than climbed Mount Everest which is really nerve racking and intimidating."
The English Channel swim is a grueling 21 mile swim (land miles) across the Strait of Dover between England and France. According to articrow.com, as of March of 2012: 3,142 had successfully reached the Everest summit, only 2,671 had successfully swum the Channel.
To prepare for the swim, the 19-year old Wells has spent hours in the pool and spent her weekends swimming in the San Francisco Bay to get used to colder temperatures and choppy waves.
"When the tides are coming in and going out, the currents get really strong," said Wells. "There are times I am sprinting and barely going anywhere. It is kind of scary."
Wells will make her attempt between July 27th and August 2nd. The exact date will be decided by the Captain of her pilot escort boat.
"Hopefully you get a good day. You can go over there and be the most prepared swimmer in world and not make it if you get a bad weather day. It is all dependent on weather. You want minimal wind and minimal waves," Wells said.
Wells hopes to complete the swim in 12 hours. She credits her former swim coach Erica Waetly, who successfully swam the channel, as her inspiration to make the attempt.
"I was really inspired by that and now I coach younger kids and I thought if I could inspire them like my coach inspired me that would be really cool," said Wells.