A PILOT from Middlewich is set to undertake a gruelling swimming challenge for charity this weekend in California.

Alan Farnworth, 54, is no stranger to events like this after last year completing the Great Lake District Swimming Challenge which is to swim eight lakes in two days.

Alan's his family and friends raised £1,320 for Cancer Research UK after the event..

“I did a challenge in the Lake District last year and a couple of the people I met there were talking about the Alcatraz swim challenge. With my line of work I am in that part of California regularly so they only money I’ve had to spend is the entrance fees.

“I am aiming to raise about £750, I’ve already raised 60 per cent of that and it usually goes up a bit either side of the event.

“This is definitely the biggest swimming challenge I’ve done. Not in terms of distance because it’s only about two miles but it’s the temperature of the water and the currents that make it so difficult.

“It is probably the biggest fitness challenge I’ve done so far but preparing for this has kept me fit throughout the summer. I am just going to have to watch out for the sharks though.

Alan begins his trip to California on Friday, ready for an early start for the challenge on Saturday, November 3.

“I fly to Barcelona on Friday and then on the Friday night I fly to California. I will get there Friday evening and then on Saturday morning it’s the challenge.”

There will be 46 other swimmers in the water with Alan on the day, all battling against the conditions.

For more information on Alan’s challenge and to donate visit his JustGiving page.