Matt Newbury was born and raised in Devon. He has enjoyed dipping his toes in local waters since he was a child, when swimming was just called swimming and wild was just a description his parents would give him, whether he was wet or not. At school he was in the same English class as Olympic medallist Mark Foster, and he once got a selfie with Duncan Goodhew in a Torquay pub. He has completed many swimming challenges including escaping from Alcatraz and swimming to the Bestival music festival on the Isle of Wight.
Sophie Pierce grew up in land-locked Oxfordshire, which only made her more determined to get in the sea at every available opportunity. She started the South Devon Wild Swimming Club after getting caught in a rip-tide during a New Year’s Day dip. In the water, she particularly enjoys swimming around islands, exploring caves, and learning the names of the weird and wonderful corals, anemones and sponges she sees. She seems to have an uncanny ability to attract seals and jellyfish. For over twenty years she worked as a journalist for the BBC in Devon. She blogs about swimming here.