A CWMBRAN man is preparing to swim across the English Channel with two others in July to raise thousands for Cancer Research Wales.

The team features former Welsh Junior International, Andrew Parker, 33, from Cwmbran.

He is joined by former Cardiff masters Swimmer, Martin Duffy, 36, from Ebbw Vale, and member of Taff Ely Triathlon Club, Hugh Hughes, 43, a postman from Treharris.

The relay team will have to swim the 22 miles from Dover to Calais without wetsuits as the channel swimming and piloting federation rules only allows them to wear swim shorts, hat and goggles.

Mr Parker said: “Our preparations have gone well. We have all passed our two hour assessment, which has to be completed in sub 16c. This test needed to be passed in order to be allowed to attempt the channel swim.

“We have been swimming in Porthcawl sea since January and also in a lake in Bristol.”

The trio wore wetsuits during their training in January to April, but from May they have been swimming without them to get used to the temperature.

He said: “We have to be fit enough to cope with swimming the 22 miles between us, but mentally strong to cope with the cold water.

“The sea can also be rough so a lot of upper body strength is required.”

Mr Parker completed a channel relay swim in July 2012 as a team of four, completing it in 13 hours and 33 minutes.

He said: “It was my idea to do the challenge and the aim is to beat that time, even though it will be more difficult with more swims and less recovery time between them.”

The group met through Mr Parkers’ business, B Active sports injury clinic, in Cwmbran.

They group chose to raise funds for Cancer Research Wales as Mr Hughes’ father lost his battle with cancer in 2006.

The swim will be done between July 1 and 10.

The team hope to raise £2,000 for Cancer Research Wales. To sponsor them visit www.justgiving.com/channelswim2014