Thursday, 1 March 2012



updated with Donal Buckleys consent........The Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation, one of only two ratifying organisations for English Channel swimming launches its new website later today, at 6pm GMT (11 am EST, 2 am AUS). (If you follow the link before then, you won’t get the new website).

CS&PF President Nick Adams, himself a multiple Channel soloist, two-way Solo and more relays than he can remember, and Triple Crown swimmer, and a migration team have helped to bring to life this new website which will inherit the place held by the venerable but dated

There’s a very nice new CS&PF logo, I look forward to seeing it on some Soloist swim caps in the future. It stresses the necessary and absolute partnership between  swimmer and pilot.

There a few things I especially like, such as putting Captain Webb‘s (possibly apocryphal) comment right up front. It’s a motto that means an awful lot for some of us. The more difficult your Channel swim, the more you will embrace it. 

The front page, in what are perfect choices, has photographs of Roz Hardiman and Freda Streeter. For anyone who’s visited Swimmer’s Beach in Dover, especially when the locals are around, Roz will be familiar. She is a legend in Dover, a successful Soloist, who swam without the use of her legs, AND as Kevin Murphy pointed out, without any compensating aid.

And Freda of course is integral to the whole world of English Channel swimming. One sentence or paragraph is hardly sufficient, but there are probably as many Freda anecdotes as there are Channel swimmers.

But there’s more than just bling. The site has everything you need for your first encounter with the ridiculous, insane and obsessive world of English Channel swimming. The pilot and their boats and contact details, training and nutrition advice, the CS&PF Committee and contact details for those also, the venerated 136 year old Channel Swimming rules, (which are the worldwide standard for marathon swimmers), the 2011 swim lists, a couple of Swimmer’s Stories, with more to come updated current Sandettie Lightship weather reading over on my links also) and more. It’s a veritable cornucopia of delight. And with updated news and event, reason for the old hands and Channel Alumni to visit as well as the Aspirants and the dreamers.

And what is very important, is the unfortunate list of the Channel swimming fatalities. Too many people approach the Channel with overconfidence or lack of necessary humility and fear  (something that greatly annoys many Channel swimmers). Those six people gave their lives in pursuit of the dream and it is correct they should be honoured.

As it says, buried deep in a page, Welcome to our world.

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