Monday, 28 December 2015

2015 Summary

It's been a tough year as my Facebook friends will be aware. I will however spare you the negative aspects from my personal/work life and focus on the ups and downs in the water.

As normal the year started with a gentle easing back into pool sessions with some work on technique, all sessions were recorded on, utilising the Suunto Ambit3. 

Although it was a year without a 'HUGE' swim, there were certainly several challenges ahead, some of which I had tackled previously.

2S4L Guilford Lido

I last entered this event in 2011 (post here) so, in theory, I knew exactly what it would take. It was always referred to as being 'brutally relentless'. For 2015 I had again opted for the solo effort of 1 mile on the hour, every hour, for 24 hours. For one reason and another I was unsuccessful, completing only 10 miles. There was some positives to be had, in particular the support received from a few of the usual suspects. I was pretty much fed up after this event.
Not happy. 

BLDSA Wykeham

This is the event geographically closest to home. An almost annual occurrence as one of the first in the BLDSA calendar. 5 triangular 1000m laps in water around 15 degrees and success was in the bag, the time was exactly as expected. I then took the opportunity to swim the 1km event, as I thought it would be ideal prep for the next weekend. 2 swims totalling 6km = 2 successes. (post here)

BLDSA Champion of Champions

Notoriously tough event, the full compliment being: 5miles, 3 miles, 1 mile in Dover Harbour. The last visit for this event in 2011 was a mixed up day weather wise to the extent that the 3 mile swim was cancelled. 

2015 (post here) was no different. It was a very hard day at the office, after some frightening mental blips on the start of the 5 miler (10 laps) I eventually achieved success, the conditions deteriorated for the 3 miler but again after what seemed like an eternity success was gained. Everybody likes the 1 miler as the end is in sight. 
Overall 3 swims totalling 9 miles in salt water about 14.5 degrees. Happy.

Windermere #6
A month earlier than normal, I planned to swim Windermere on this occasion starting at Ambleside in the North. I might as well be honest..the objective was to swim to Fell Foot the back to Bowness, meaning a 15 mile swim. However as it turned out, I altered the plan before the 10 mile point and opted for just a one way. (post here) Technically speaking, unsuccessful though I was still content with 6 hours at 16 degrees. On reflection I had not trained sufficiently for 15 miles.
Still Happy!

BLDSA Ullswater
After a slight lay off in training after Windermere, the next event was soon here. Karen Throsby had kindly offered to kayak for me on this 7 mile swim in beautiful surroundings (full post here.) I was hoping for lovely conditions similar to the 2011 event.
It was in fact bloody awful! By and far the most difficult swimming event of the year. 3 hours 48 minutes in frigid water.
It was a success but I wasn't happy!

That was the last of my events, we did however go to support some others with 3 excellent One Way Windermere swims for:
Ian Adshead, Zoe Sadler and Ady Brown followed by a 10km for Amanda Bell. We also assisted at the BLDSA 2 Way Windermere.

Happy or Not Happy, Success or Not, the one consistency year on year are the individuals, in particular those of what I like to call the BLDSA family,  alongside the Dover beach crew, are like no other, the care, support, advice, unselfishness, and all round altruism of these people is a joy to be part of. You know who you are. 
Thank you.