This has been a week of mixed emotions. Some of DCT much loved swimmers have conquered their big swims and we are absolutely delighted for you. Others of you (my relay team included) have been riding the Dovercoaster, and that is a tough ride with far too many ups and downs. Keep your nerve. You’ve done the training and this phase too will pass, your time will come. We’ll cheer you on and watch the little blips on the screen as you reel in your dream.
What we didn’t love was the dreadful traffic on Saturday morning thanks to the great school holiday getaway. Some of you sat in traffic for many, many hours. But like the endurance athletes that you are you persevered and made it eventually, caught your breath and then got in to swim. Well done!
We were also lucky to see Lance, Simon & Maz join us on the beach during the weekend. It’s always lovely to see our pilots - the dream makers.
The group we have really are a very special group. That’s often the case within our group and The Class of 2019 is particularly wonderful, so the Love & Friendship week seems a fitting one. I hope you enjoyed your little messages in bottles. Each one was different, just like you all are.
Keep on being wonderful.
If you want to join in the fun, here are some upcoming themes:
3rd & 4th August: Our much loved Swiss week. This is the weekend that the Lake Zurich Marathon swim takes place. So get your lederhosen and Toblerone ready!
10th & 11th August: California dreaming - over the next couple of the weeks DCT swimmers go on tour to take on the mighty Catalina swim.
Swimmers: 27 (an eerily quiet day!)
Water temperature: 20.2C
Air temperature: 18.7C
Conditions: Wet. Very, very wet. With a bit more wet. Calm water
Water temperature: 18.4C
Air temperature: 21.4C
Conditions: Mostly cloudy with calm water
So far we have registered:
84 Solo swimmers
44 Relay swimmers
36 Just for Fun swimmers
77 Aspire swimmers
109 Drop-in swimmers
There are 34 swimmers who have applied and will be approved subject to a successful assessment swim.
Please note that if you would like to sign-up for solo, relay or just for fun subscriptions, I am now offering a 50% discount on the full fee. Whilst this doesn't show on the website or membership system, it will be applied at the point that payment is requested.
If you have elected to be a drop-in swimmer, please can you ensure that you pay before you swim. The fee is £7 with feeds, £4 for relay training or solo without feeding and £3 for a short recreational swim. Cash or card is accepted.
If you have already paid and haven’t yet collected your card, please collect from the beach crew on your next visit and attach it to the outside of your swim bag. For those who do assessment swims, you’ll be able to collect your card, once paid, the following weekend.
If you haven’t joined us yet and still plan to, the online declaration can be found here.
No declaration, no swim, no exception.
Channel swimmer on the beach
Congratulations to the following swimmers on their swims this week:
Les Cinq Doris for their EC relay in a time of 13 hours 20 minutes on 23rd July on Gallivant
Aspire Sea Leopards for their EC relay on Anastasia on 23rd July (apologies, I’ve not seen a time for this one)
Neil Brinkworth for his EC solo in a time of 17 hours 43 minutes on 23rd July on Optimist
Steve Stievenart for his EC solo in a time of 17 hours 11 minutes on 23rd July on Suva
Hayley Brant for her EC solo in a time of 18 hours 39 minutes on 23rd July on High Hopes.
Kathryn Perry for her EC solo in a time of 12 hours 11 minutes on 23rd July on Sea Leopard
Red Top Hustlers for their EC relay in a time of 12 hours 27 minutes on 26th July on Connemara
Let’s also celebrate the 50th channelversary of Margot Anderson who completed her channel solo from France to England on 28th July 1969. It’s a shame that the weather didn’t permit her planned channel relay to happen today, but we did all get to celebrate with her which was inspiring and awesome.
We also enjoyed tracking all the other swims which included some very familiar names. Well done on your swims!!
It’s been another wonderfully busy week of achievements, if I missed calling out your swim, I’m so, so sorry!! We would have been tracking and cheering. Please call out your achievement.
If you swam this week and you didn’t fulfil your dream yet, chin up. Learn what you need to learn and come and chat about a new plan. Perhaps the best is yet to come. #Daretobelieve
Stand out swims
This weekend I’d like to call our the following stand out swims:
Mat Elliott and Anel Sytdykova for their 10 hour swims
Hunter Charlton, Guarvi Singhvi & Jevon O’Neill for their 7 & 6 weekends
Wes Norton & Adam Wenn for their 7 hour swims
David Williams for his 6 & 6 weekend
Paul James for turning a 4 & 5 weekend into a 4 & 6 weekend when asked to at the end of the Sunday 5 hours.
Richard Brant for his double dip weekend!
Volunteers - thank you
Thank you to all the people who volunteered this weekend.
Saturday Jon Southey, Hayley Brant, Elaine Henderson, Mikey Tees, Kevin Mullarkey, Claire Russell, Keith Oiller, Vicki Carter, Mel Holland and everyone else who helped at feeds. I think beach crew showed great endurance for staying in the rain for the entire day. i know that my waterproofs didn’t actually keep all the water out and I ended up pretty cold and soggy! Thank you!
Sunday Jon Southey, Joe Pundek, Claire Russell, Mikey Tees, MJ, Keith Oiller, Amy Mellor, Hayley Brant, Ruth Fontaine, Melanie Holland, Sarah Elliott and everyone else who helped at feeds.
If you can spare a day, please sign-up here.
Future disrupted sessions:
Sunday 4th August (Dover Town Regatta). The swim zone will be suspended. We are likely to do another 3am start, and this will be confirmed nearer the time. On this date there will be no parking available along the seafront.
Saturday 28th September this will be our end of season BBQ - save the date!
October visit to the landing sites. Paul has volunteered to coordinate this day, feel free to get in touch with him if you’d like to help with this. It’s a fun day where we visit a number of the sites where people land their swims and then enjoy a lunch in France. It’s a brilliant way to round off the season.
There will be additional safety measures in place for all swims that involve an element in the dark, so attending the briefing is mandatory for all swimmers. You will be required to wear at least one light (battery operated adventure lights, not chemical ones). If you need them, I sell them on the beach, but please buy them before the swim, selling stuff in the dark on the beach at 2.30am isn’t my idea of fun.
Trust the process
One of the things that I love about our little (actually not quite so little) group is that the ocean is a leveller. What I mean by that is that the channel doesn’t respect title, wealth or job role. It just sees a swimmer. Everyone is equal and so it should be. The same is true of training. You are swimming amongst people from every walk of life - Doctors, accountants, scientists, musicians, consultants, window cleaners, nurses, unemployed - the list goes on. The channel doesn’t know what you do for a living and it doesn’t care. It just cares whether you prepare.
Four days a week I am a Global Process Owner for a large pharmaceutical company. You won’t be the only person to not have a clue what that means. By profession I am an accountant. The two together mean that I am responsible for creating standardised and efficient finance processes. Sometimes this is done by marginal gains, sometimes I need to rip things out and start again from scratch. I am trained to think differently to other people. I spot trends. I understand what the best in class organisations are doing. I influence people inside and outside the company. I create a vision and lead people towards it.
If you think about it, that’s exactly what I do with training in Dover. I run a process. I take a swimmer with a dream and I help them train through our process to the point where they are ready to achieve their dreams. Along with the volunteers, I have helped hundreds of swimmers since I started doing this in 2016. I learned from the best - Freda Streeter. I have then continued to keep in touch with trends and the latest scientific knowledge to continue to refine what we do. We’ve added in new features like:
swimming clockwise around a marked swim zone to minimise collisions
introduced night swims
introduced UCAN as an alternative feed
gone online with all our paperwork
facilitated credit card payments
signing in books rather than pieces of paper
the list is pretty long
Much has stayed the same:
back to back swims
an inclusive and welcoming group
All of this is designed to take a swimmer with a dream and prepare them for their big day.
Trust the process - hundreds have gone before you.
You may have seen some of the write ups from our recently successful swimmers - they ran the process that they have trained with on the big day. Why change what you have proved has worked. When things have gone wrong, it’s often because this pattern has not been followed. Clearly there are other factors that we can’t control - like the weather not behaving as forecast.
If you are riding the Dovercoaster at the moment - hold your nerve and trust the process. Keep your arms turning over - muscle memory is good. You have done the training, now swim the way you have prepared. It can be frustrating playing the waiting game, and none of that will matter once your big day finally comes.
It has been my absolute pleasure to work with some of you outside of weekend training. For some of you that has been around crafting a training plan when your schedule makes it difficult to make the most of what is on offer in Dover.
For others it’s hypnosis that is what you want. Finally, where there are multiple and complex issues to work through which may or may not relate to your swim, a breakthrough session is the difference that will make a difference.
I’m here to support you in the way that you need.
If you’re curious and would like to discuss further, feel free to schedule a free initial 30 minute consultation. I am available on Fridays from my base in Surrey. Some evenings from Surrey or Cambridge (depends where my other job has me on that night) and sometimes on a Saturday late afternoon in Dover. Most of what I can offer can be supported face to face or via Zoom (video conferencing).
My calendar is filling up fast, so if this is something that you’re interested in, you can find out a bit more at Emma2France or contact me via email or phone.
A few photos captured at the weekend.
See you next week!!