- Associated Press - Saturday, August 2, 2014

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) - It’s 7 a.m. on a cool summer morning in Riverside down by the shore of Long Island Sound. Tim Lovett, 35, joined by Trevor Stanco, 26, of Norwalk, is stripping down to his swim trunks.

It’s high tide and the water is cold, but thoughts of remaining on shore and dry, if there are any, are quickly swept away. They have a big swim coming up and have to train.

Lovett and Stanco are part of two relay teams chosen by Swim Across America for the nonprofit’s first English Channel crossing in aid of those with cancer.

The crossing to France is scheduled for Aug. 31.

“We have a one-week window in which to attempt the swim,” says Lovett, “to work around tides and inclement weather.”

The distance of the Channel crossing is about 24 miles. “But we will swim more due to current and tides,” Lovett says.

The last time Lovett checked, the temperature of the water in the English Channel was 61 degrees. He reckons it’ll have warmed up by late August, but has been working to acclimate his body to the Channel’s coolness, nonetheless. Lovett began swimming in the cold waters of a lake in New Jersey in May, and then moved to Long Island Sound when the water hit the high 50s and 60s.

“It was pretty tough,” he says, adding that he’s eating more against the cold.

No wet suits are to be worn swimming, decrees the Channel Swimming Association. “They oversee everyone’s attempt at swimming,” says Lovett.

Swim Across America is an organization dedicated to raising money and support for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events.

Lovett, a former captain of the Greenwich High School swim team, has taken part in SAA events for 13 years. It was in a post-college job working at Tudor Investment Group that Lovett was introduced to Swim Across America by Tudor COO John MacFarlane, an avid tri-athlete.

Over the years Lovett’s involvement with the organization became more personal when cancer came to his family. His mother, Helen, died of cancer in 2006 and his father, Nigel, is currently recovering from thyroid cancer.

To qualify as Channel-crossing team Lovett and the other members had to swim for two hours in cold water __ and raise $10,000. As of Sunday, Lovett had raised $6,885, or 68 percent of his goal.

“The funds will pay for part of the swim,” he says, “but travel and accommodation are our own responsibility.”

Lovett and Stanco’s team of five has an appropriate title, “Buoys and a Girl.” The team includes one female, Stanco’s sister Alexa. The other team, of six, comes from California, Oklahoma and London. Ages of swimmers range from late 20’s to mid 50’s.

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