Sunday, 22 November 2015

When you say you are a swimmer

Returning to 'The Pit' yesterday, first time this week due to life!

Further build up to the planned monster session in December, on this occasion it was 80 x 100, probably 10 reps too far if I am honest as I lost about 3-4 seconds per 100 metres towards the end.

I like this little video..enjoy, I am sure you can relate to some of the lines 

"When You Say You're a Swimmer" from Chris Shimojima on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Pit

It's that time of year again, when after a brief cessation following the close of the open water season, I have finally returned to the pool. The first few sessions were very short but felt very tough. Having been back to the chlorine pit about a month (only average 3 sessions a week) I already feel like I am making some improvements to technique and general fitness.

This last weekend inspired by Mark Sheridan I upped the distance slightly and bashed out a 50 x 100.

Initially these sets feel mind numbing with the end seemingly out of sight. I was pleased to have maintained my timings throughout. Having concentrated on hand entry and rotation I was also delighted to exit the pool pain free and hungry for more.

Looking forward to more intensity in order to build a good base for 2016s massive swim.

All will be revealed....

Friday, 30 October 2015

2016 Escorted Swims

Recently I have received a few flattering enquires to escort swims next year (see the escorted swims tab) on Windermere both 1 Way (10.5 miles) and 2 Way (21 miles) there are in the region of 7 swims booked thus far for 2016, so, if you know me, and I know you, and you are thinking of asking for help next year please be quick. 

I only have a certain amount of annual leave and brownie points to use. 

In addition to that I also have a big swim to train for so time will be precious.

You know the drill

NB a giver not a taker 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Further 2012-2015 EC Data

Truly awesome data from Phillip Hodges to enlarge and analyse further..thanks Phil

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Amanda Bell.. A 'Cool' Windermere 10km

Amanda asked me some time ago if I would assist her with boat support for a swim on Windermere, on a date to be confirmed once the water temperature had dropped below 14 degrees. (it was nearer 12 today) I was very happy to assist on what turned out to be a 10km swim, the start of which was in far from ideal conditions. The strong wind from the south was sending waves over the front of the boat, it was more like swimming/boating in the sea than freshwater.

The plan prior to the start had been to head down from Bowness (South) to the large yellow buoy about a mile north of Fell Foot, where we would turn, however, very soon after the start, due to the poor conditions the route was altered in an effort to afford Amanda some protection from the worst of the weather. I took the boat into the flatter waters near to Ferry Nab where the water levelled out almost instantly. It was a different world, much nicer for everyone concerned.

Then the rain came.. in biblical fashion, this flattened the water further still and we had a pleasant tour behind Belle Isle and through the Lillies in the general direction of Wray Castle. 

By this time, the feeds had dropped to every 45 minutes, following the initial 2 at one hour intervals. It was however, too late. Amanda was already in depletion (she should have started on 30-40 minutes between feeds due to the colder water) and it would not be possible to fully recover/refuel. 10 miles would not be doable today.

She probably (hopefully) won't mind me saying that she was ready to quit at 7.8km, as a result of which she was given a portion of what we call 'advice'. I also asked Graeme to jump in and offer some morale support by swimming alongside. This definitely helped and there was a marked increase in speed (to the extent that Graeme had some difficulty keeping up). 

Having already made the turn we headed south to the jetty at Bass Rock where Graeme exited the water. As per the video we then adjusted the course to encompass a small loop simply to round up the distance to 10km and facilitate the return to the jetty in order to collect our support swimmer.

Great training swim in 'cool' water. Well done.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Sunday, 11 October 2015

CS&PF 2015 end of season stats.. a closer look.

At the close of the 2014 season I composed a post here reflecting on the CS&PF statistics regarding successful English Channel Solo swims. The post proved to be very popular, hence it was always my intention to more or less repeat the procedure with the 2015 figures.

In the same manner as last year, the information has been gathered from the most excellent Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation website.

At the outset it appears obvious that the weather gods have played their part in thwarting a lot of swims this year, you can see at a glance on the below graph (data from 2012-2015 only) how the figures have dipped this year. 

N.B. Solos only (there was an additional 47 relays.. see post script)

The skilled pilots have however still been busy amassing the following figures (43 solos)
Paul Foreman (Optimist) 9
Lance Oram (Sea Satin) 6
Mike Oram (West Winds/SeaFarer II) 3
Eddie Spelling (Anastasia) 11
Neil Streeter (Suva) 10
James Willi (Gallivant) 4

The season was opened by 2 Way EC legend Wendy Trehiou/Suva swimming on 25th June in preparation for her 24 hour St.Malo to Jersey swim with Matthew Clarke and Lionheart Pilotage !
(The record for the earliest swim is held by King of the Channel, Kevin Murphy 29th May in 1990)

2015 gave us 4 mammoth swims in excess of 20 hours, the longest being Sigrun Thuridur Geirsdottir with a  22 hours 34 minutes crossing with pilot James Willi/Gallivant. Track below:

The fastest swim this year was Sebastion Karas in only 8 hours 48 minutes with Pilot Eddie Spelling/Anastasia. Track below:

The 17th August proved to be the most successful day this year, with a total of four successful crossings. (Kristian O'Donavan, Phil Yorke, Lisa Williams and Volker Koch)

Other swims of note (IMHO) that should not go unmentioned:

Mr 'Big Love' (President) Nick Adams swam his 11th crossing on 8th August with Neil and the Suva crew.

Phil Yorke became only the 12 person to make a breaststroke crossing on the aforementioned most successful date in 18 hours and 2 minutes. (Neil/Suva) track below:

My mate Mark 'Shezza' Sheridan completed his second successful crossing on a big spring tide on 2nd September. (Neil/Suva)

Liz Fry swam her 6th crossing on 28th August with Eddie/Anastasia.

The season closed with Sue Croft completing the swim on her 4th attempt on Thursday 8 October in 15 hours 59 minutes with Neil and Team Suva.
(The record for the latest swim is 29 October in 1979)

The Solo Heroes this year spent a total of 651 hours 30 minutes and 13 seconds in the Water.

Equating to an average crossing time of 15 hours 09 minutes and 4 seconds.

Congratulations to all swimmers, pilots and crews. 

Post Script ...


Total time for relay teams in the water this year 713 hours 23 minutes and 10 seconds

The average time for a relay crossing this year was 15 hours 10 minutes 42 seconds 

Fastest relay 10:36:39 Auckland Grammar (6) 10th July with James / Gallivant
Longest relay 20:04:00 Sisters of Swim (4) 24th June with Paul / Optimist 

There has obviously been a number of successful crossings recorded by The CSA including Chloe Macs. 3 Way ! however I do not have access to their data in full. 


The below data is kindly provided by Michelle Hardy 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Ady Brown 1 Way Windermere

I first met Adrian at the BLDSA Champion of Champions Event in June this year. We had previously communicated on social media, where it became apparent we have similar occupations. Having ascertained his ambitions to swim the English Channel, I suggested he complete a Windermere swim as a learning experience, especially for the benefits of deep water feeding and dealing with water disturbed by passing vessels.

To that end, today 2 Sept 2015, for the third time in third time in 5 days I departed home at 4am (with Charlie)  to escort Ady on his 10.5 mile swim..the data below provides the basic details..videos of this Gent of a man to follow within 24 hours.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Monday, 31 August 2015

Zoe Sadler 1 Way Windermere

When Zoe Sadler asked if I was available to crew for her Loch Lomond swim I obviously jumped at the chance and offered to help. The reasons were multiple, I have long since admired Zoe as an accomplished marathon swimmer, It would be an ideal opportunity to 'recce' the Loch and perhaps the biggest reason..she is a such a nice individual to be around and she makes me laugh!

Sadly due to circumstances beyond her control the Loch Lomond swim never happened (mainly weather) so, when she asked for a last minute escorted swim on Windermere I was delighted to assist and to be honest, flattered to be asked.

For the second time in 3 days I (Charlie and I) left home at 4am to drive across Country for todays (31 August 2015) swim.

The details are below with actual footage videos to follow

We took a slightly different route to normal but only appear to have saved 14 metres on Saturdays swim !

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Ian Adshead 1 Way Windermere

At 0400hours on Saturday 29 August 2015, I left home to visit Windermere in order to escort another swimmer, on this occasion it was to be Ian Adshead (a friend of a friend) on a One Way Windermere attempt.

The usual electric boat from Shepherds was collected around 6am and we (Jason Ian and Myself) headed for the start at Fell Foot in far from ideal conditions.

The following videos and data explain the swim in detail.

Suffice to say, great swim, zero complaints, success all round.
Congratulations Ian and thanks Jason for your assistance as always