The Olympic diving superstar, 27, is planning to row, swim, cycle and run from London to his hometown Plymouth. Tom began the epic challenge in a boat heading under Tower Bridge. But the wind and waves caused his blade to clip the water, sending him sprawling into the icy water. He said: “The rowing is the most technical part. I’ve found the rowing particularly difficult, and I did fall in quite soon after starting out on the Thames.
“I was looking out at the Thames and thought it looked horrible. The waves were going wild, and the winds were blowing.
“If I’m honest, I didn’t know if I was going to make it to Tower Bridge, but I did my best.” Comic Relief challenge veteran Davina McCall, 54, and Tom’s diving partner Matty Lee, 23, were both there yesterday to give him a hero’s send-off.
Davina said: “Watching Tom this morning has brought back so many memories.
“I remember the excitement and trepidation and how being out on the road, or water, is never like it is in your training.”
Matty said: “Tom and I have trained together for years and, while we’re used to an intensive schedule, I know that endurance training is a completely different challenge. In diving, it’s all about short bursts of power but endurance-focused training is completely different.”
Tom is well-known for his love of knitting and revealed that he is putting together “little Red Nose covers” to give to supporters during his four-day challenge.
He said: “I’ll be throwing these little Red Nose covers as I go to people who come and support me along the way.”
- Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day is on March 18.