Mika makes a splash in the Tay

Mika setting off on his swim
Mika setting off on his swim

A 12-year-old Wormit boy is setting his sights on the English Channel after completing a gruelling swim across the River Tay - and back again.

Mika Mitchell took on the challenge on Tuesday and is reckoned to be the youngest ever swimmer to crack the two-mile ‘double Tay.’

At times battling against strong winds and high tides, he completed the swim in an impressive one hour and 35 seconds, swimming from Broughty Ferry to Tayport Harbour and back.

“It was really tough at times,” Mika told the Fife Herald.

“There were a lot of big waves and I had to fight the tide for the last mile.

“I didn’t do any particular training for the swim apart from pool training with my club, but did have to acclimatise myself as it’s very, very cold in the Tay.”

Mika, a member of Menzieshill Swimming Club in Dundee, hit the headlines at the tender age of nine when he swam across the Tay in just 44 minutes, earning a place in an annual Heroes Awards event.

The following year, he completed the ‘Bridge to Bridge’ swim, covering the 1.2 miles between the Tay road and rail bridges in under 28 minutes.

His dad Robert – himself an experienced long-distance swimmer – was astounded by the feat, which he thought would take some 40 minutes.

“My dad’s an open water swimmer and I wanted to see if I could do better than him!” explained Mika. “Now I’m planning to swim the four miles between Wormit Harbour and Broughty Ferry – and when I’m 16 I’m going to try the Channel.”

Mika’s proud dad rowed alongside Mika during Tuesday’s challenge accompanied by Mika’s uncle, John, and elder brother Sean.

“Because the wind was blowing from the south east the tide was changing quicker than we’d anticipated, “ said Robert. “On the return journey from Tayport to Broughty Ferry there were quite a few big waves and Mika was being tossed about like a cork.

“It was an amazing achievement for one so young and he has a great future - although ironically he still too young to compete in open water events.

“One of Mika’s great ambitions is to swim the Channel when he’s 16 - and I’m confident he’ll do it.”

Meanwhile Mika has a challenge of a different kind to contend with this month - his first year at Madras College in St Andrews.