When Roger had saved and secured my Manhattan Island circumnavigation swim with New York Open Water and the new 20 Bridges swim (thank you again David Barra, Rondi Davies and Alex Arevelo), he realised the Boston Light Swim in Boston was only 5 days later. Roger had met Greg O’Connor (who runs the swim alongside Elaine Kornbau Howley) at SCAR in Arizona in 2013. This swim, although not his usual Channel or Strait crossing distance, was one he had wanted to enter for some years. …and this is how our swim plans come together! As Roger was crewing for my 20 Bridges swim, I wanted to return the favour and crew for his Boston Light swim with pleasure! Jim Clifford who was also driving up to crew for my Manhattan swim, said he would fly to Boston to crew for Roger too. A plan was born!
However, on the 11th of July, our carefully laid plans were in grave jeopardy, and so was Roger’s health – exactly one month before we were to fly to New York. Roger was flying to Cape Town and took ill on the plane. He was very disorientated and coming across confused. Thank goodness fellow English Channel swimmer and his dear friend Mark de Klerk was on hand to help Roger out. Mark took him from the airport straight to the hospital where Dr Otto Thaning is a heart surgeon (and of course another English Channel swimmer and dear friend). After a lot of tests it became evident that Roger had suffered a small stroke.