On Friday 19th August we got our slot to swim. Setting off at 12.20 Thursday night and arriving at Cap Gris Nez at 9.40am (ish) English time, we have now swam to France! One thing’s for sure, it was certainly an adventure. Being awake for 36 hours, experiencing SEVERE sea sickness (fortunately not me) and contending with LOTS of jellyfish throughout the night and morning we definitely deserve the title of channel swimmers. The tide was big (6.7m) hence the big curve in our route. The time wasn’t exactly what we wanted but 9hr 27min is the quickest crossing of 2016 so far. What an awesome experience for such a good cause. Thank you all for the continued support and certainly a big thank you to Northwood for making this possible and the WAG’s for all their patience and understanding…… we probably owe you now ;)
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
The Northwood Charitable Foundation is such a fantastic cause and is so close to many of those who work for and with Northwood. Having worked for Northwood for over a year now, it's my turn to do my bit to help raise some funds. Running, climbing and cycling have already been done extremely well by others in the network, so what could I do instead?.....Swimming!
So, what's this Channel Relay all about then? Cold, long and painful are probably the first three words that come to mind. Concentrating on more positive thoughts, put simply, our intention is to be the fastest ever 4 person relay team to swim from England to France.
A bit about this event then:
The team? Paul Hancock, Stuart Parris, Jason Ransley and me, Greg Wood. As you would expect, we are all strong swimmers and have been living in budgie smugglers for most of our lives! Training together in Hythe and Folkestone we've known each other for a minimum of 10 years and in some cases, much longer. Naturally there's a LITTLE bit of competition in the team but all in a healthy way...... well most of the time ;-)
Credentials? Jason is a triathlete who is addicted to training, personally we think he's scared of going home as, if not in the pool, he can generally be found running or cycling around Folkestone. Jason will be running the London Marathon this year. Paul (AKA The Stig) is a real natural in the pool. Some say he has similar DNA to a dolphin; I suggest a mermaid is more accurate. Paul has competed at national level and was, a few years ago, National Champion at 100m Fly. Stuart is a fantastic swimmer and runner. He has been swimming for as many years as he's been walking and rarely looks out of breath despite swimming seriously fast. I do my best at a triathlon but true passion has always been in the water. In 2008 I completed a solo England to France swim. Further to the above we all compete locally and in open water regional events.
When? We have a pilot and a boat booked for a 'tide' towards the end of July (starting the 25th). Channel swimming is unpredictable and very changeable due to weather conditions so we will be in the water a week or so around this date.
Target time? Less than 8 hours 42 minutes.
Training? At the moment, as a team we are swimming between 40-50km a week. Currently we are only training in a pool but will shortly be dipping into the sea. Our intention is to average a minimum of 4.5km/per hr. Training is only going to get harder!
The rules? We all swim in the same order for an hour. When one swimmer reaches an hour, the next dives off the support boat and overtakes the swimmer in the water. We wont stop, aren't allowed to touch the boat and we continue this cycle until we hit the sand in France. As per the CSA rules, goggles, a swimming hat and trunks are the only garments of clothing allowed. Goose fat can be worn but, to my knowledge, none of us have that fetish so we'll be passing on that option.
What can you do? Anyone is more than welcome to pop along to a training session although we can't promise it'll be enjoyable. The best way to help us achieve our target is to splash your cash our way. Any donation, small or large, will not only help us get through the very boring and tough training but will go so much further than we could ever swim. It will all be going to a fantastic cause and help those truly in need! For further details on the Northwood Charitable Foundation, please see the website.
Further updates and pictures will follow but if you want to know anymore, please feel free to contact any of us. Thank you for your support.
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