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Marine Parade
Dover, CT16
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This website is for people wanting to train to swim the English Channel.

Training Week 16 - The waiting game


Training Week 16 - The waiting game

Emma France

When we start researching our big swim plans we consider all sorts of factors when booking a pilot and slot and you may even have heard of challenging weather, but it’s quite difficult to understand just how challenging it can be to handle watching your slot come and go due to bad weather and you often think that it won’t happen to you. There was a large contingent of swimmers this weekend either in their final taper or practicing patience due to their tide disappearing to bad weather. Keep the faith, the best is yet to come.

If changing plans complicates your support crew, remember there are people in our group who would be willing and able to help. If your big day and you are now juggling availability of many team members (it’s a bit like herding cats isn’t it?), it’s worth working out dates that you can all do and just keep talking to your pilot. They all want you to succeed too. Hang in there. It really will be worth the wait.

In the meantime, the group is here. Enjoy some friendly banter and each others’ company. We’ll be with you all the way on your big day.

I think there may be some good weather approaching - fingers crossed!!



Our theme this weekend was ‘Bay Watch’. Well done, yet again, to Paul Cross for joining in. Your creativity knows no bounds! We have a lovely bay, perhaps not as lovely as the one that the Hoff & Pamela patrolled, but it’s our bay and I love it.

Future themes

As Paul & I are away next weekend and the Saturday of the one afterwards, I thought I’d start a poll on our Facebook group. Here are the winners…..

  • 24th & 25th August: Jersey - good luck with that - I’m looking forward to seeing photos of Jersey cows swimming!

  • 31st August & 1st September: Cats & mice - while the cat’s away the mice will play (which of course you won’t, will you?)



Daylight on Saturday

Swimmers:   48
Water temperature: 18.1C
Air temperature:   19.5C
Conditions: Choppy, especially at ferry wall.

Swimmers:   44
Water temperature:   17.9C
Air temperature: 19.5C
Conditions:   Calm to start then increasingly choppy. Sunny part of the day.

So far we have registered:

  • 85 Solo swimmers

  • 45 Relay swimmers

  • 38 Just for Fun swimmers

  • 77 Aspire swimmers

  • 119 Drop-in swimmers

There are 35 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:

  • Dan Allen for his 2 way Windermere solo on 11th August in a time of 10 hours 35 minutes

  • Aspire Neptune for their successful English Channel Relay on 12th August in a time of 10 hours 59 minutes

  • Melanie Holland for her successful Catalina solo on 12th August in a time of 11hrs 44mins 3 secs

  • James Robson & Matt Pexton for their 2 person channel relay (wetsuits) as part of a Normandy landings 75th anniversary special endurance event which also included a 150 mile bike ride and 50 mile TAB

If I missed calling out your swim, I’m so, so sorry!! 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

Most of the 7 & 6 swimmers

This weekend I’d like to call our the following stand out swims:

  • Michelle Hardy for a 7 & 6 weekend

  • David Owen for 7 hours in bumpy water on Saturday

  • Kirill Miryanov for a 5 & 6 weekend

  • Charlie AB & Tom Knight for 5 hours on Saturday and Sunday

  • Emma Truscott for 4.5 & 6 hour weekend

  • Alex Fordyce for a 5 & 4 weekend

  • Max Mackay & Neil Larkin for 6 hour swims

  • Paul Cross, Adam Wenn & Liesle Norris for 5 hour swims


Volunteers - thank you


Saturday: Jon Southey, Caroline Rudge, Claire Russell, Catherine Stefanutti, Mandi Bodemeaid, Paul James, Team Henigan, Paul Harris & MJ.

Sunday: Jon Southey, Caroline Rudge, Mandi Bodemeaid & Paul James

And everyone else who just rolled up and helped on the day.

If you can spare a day, please sign-up here.



Looking ahead

Just a reminder that Paul & I won’t be around next weekend or the Saturday of the weekend after. Thank you to all the offers of help, I really appreciate it. #Classof2019

IMG_2059 2.jpg

Saturday 28th September this will be our end of season BBQ - save the date!

October visit to the landing sites. Paul James & Paul Cross have volunteered to coordinate this day, feel free to get in touch with him if you’d like to help. 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.

Seminars this will be planned again at some point in the first few months of the year. If you would like to help, please get in touch. We could use help in a variety of capacities. If you or people you know of are training for a future season, this is for you!


Emma’s corner

Positive Attitude

We all know the value of being more positive in life – it makes you more fun to be around, it makes you more able to seize opportunities and enjoy your life, and according to research at the University of Texas, the more positive older people are about life, the more their bodies delay the signs of ageing. Positivity literally keeps you younger.

When you are playing that challenging waiting game for a channel slot to materialise, it can be a challenge to be positive. So if you’ve noticed yourself being a little overly pessimistic recently, and you’d like to change your attitude, what can you do?

Well, one way is to train yourself to think more positively. So instead of generalising from negative events, and saying things like “Why does this always happen to me?” or blaming yourself for what goes wrong while down playing the all good things that are happening, you can learn to pay attention to the good things in your life, such as your friendships, your achievements, the shared experience, the opportunity to get additional massages and hone up your technique, enjoy a few more Dover weekends, add to the drama of your story (the list goes on). You can train yourself to see negative events as ‘blips’ in a mostly positive life.

You see, there is a way to become more positive in your approach to riding this waiting period, and that is to change your attitude.

The great theatre director Constantin Stanislavski pioneered the idea of training actors to be realistic in their performances. He taught actors to think themselves into the role and discover their character’s real motives and objectives. Great method actors like Robert De Niro or Dustin Hoffman follow in his footsteps, thoroughly researching their characters and exploring their psychology. However, towards the end of his life, Stanislavski discovered a completely new approach to training actors – the physical method. Instead of working from the inside out, figuring out the psychology of your character and then matching how you move and talk to fit that psychology, you do it the other way round, from the outside in. He found that when an actor moves (or stands, walks, drinks, eats, or talks) in the way their character would, then the inner thoughts and feelings follow naturally. This is because the mind and the body are a single system, and physiotherapists and posture teachers regularly find that when you teach someone to correct a hunched posture and stand tall and straight, their personality and thought patterns change and they become more confident and positive. Similarly, someone suffering from depression who is persuaded to take part in a sport will naturally stretch their body and invigorate their brain, and this ‘outside in’ approach can begin to lift the depression.

So, if you are waiting for your turn for your big day, remember to walk tall. Who is your role model of positivity? How would they behave? Model their behaviour and you will literally become more like them, more positive, and that will make this waiting period far more enjoyable. If you Act as if you were actually that person and continue to do so, there is actually no difference between acting and being. With not too much time or effort you will no longer be able to work out if you’re acting or if that is actually how it is. It’s that simple. Be the person you want to be.


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.

My calendar for this season is now full. If you’re thinking about support for a future season, please let me know. You can find out a bit more at Emma2France or contact me via email or phone.

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.



A few photos captured at the weekend.

See you next week!!


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