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Marine Parade
Dover, CT16
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Dover Training Week 18 - Heroes return


Dover Training Week 18 - Heroes return

Emma France

After last week’s great escape (which continued into this week), it was fantastic to see so many of you return to where it all started.

I don’t recall ever:

  • Seeing so many DCT successes around the globe in such as short period as this before; or

  • Seeing so many returning successful soloists one one day

It’s fantastic to hear the stories of your swims and interesting as to how they varied so much. One theme was definitely the love and appreciation for Frederique and Steve for seeing so many of you at the finish of your swims - taking those precious photos and videos and providing those much sought after pebbles in the dark.

Some of you are happy to reflect on what an amazing experience it has been whilst others are already yearning after your next adventure. I look forward to seeing you plan what next and always happy to support you.



This weekend the theme was cat & mice - when the cat’s away the mice will play. Well did you? I suspect you did!

Future themes

  • 7th & 8th September: given just how many stand out swims we have over the past few weeks I think it’s only right that we have a superhero week!



Daylight on Saturday

Swimmers:   24
Water temperature: 18.4C
Air temperature:   21C
Conditions: Sunny & clear

Swimmers:   21
Water temperature:   18.9C
Air temperature: 17.7C
Conditions:   Calm to start with, increasingly lumpy towards ferry wall at high tide.

So far we have registered:

  • 87 Solo swimmers

  • 45 Relay swimmers

  • 40 Just for Fun swimmers

  • 77 Aspire swimmers

  • 128 Drop-in swimmers

There are 36 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 75% 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:

  • Lauren Whiting for her successful channel solo on 26th August in a time of 13 hours & 13 minutes

  • Adam Stokes for his successful channel solo on 26th August in a time of 18 hours 3 minutes

  • Michael Fabray for his successful channel solo on 26th August in a time of 11 hours 44 minutes

  • Andrew George for his successful channel solo on 26th August in a time of 11 hours 52 minutes

  • Luke Edmonds for his successful Windermere solo on 26th August in a time of 6 hour 27 minutes

  • Jane Mitchell for her successful Windermere solo on 26th August in a time of 6 hours 50 minutes

  • Julian Critchlow for his successful channel solo on 27th August in a time of 16 hours 10 minutes

  • Alex Fordyce for his successful channel solo on 27th August in a time of 15 hours 51 minutes

  • Mikey Tees for his successful channel solo on 28th August in a time of 19 hours 25 minutes

  • Hugh Bennett [New Hugh!] for his successful channel solo on 28th August in a time of 17 hours 55 minutes

  • Mickey Helps for his successful Catalina solo on 28th August in a time of 13 hours 50 minutes

  • Flitwick Dolphins [an entirely junior team] for their successful Round Jersey relay on 31st August in a time of 9 hours 41 minutes

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


Swim badges


Some of you may have seen that soloists so far have been given a medal. It’s nice to recognise the achievement, but I wasn’t entirely happy with it. I did look at custom medals, but then Kevin came up with the great idea of customised swim badges, just like the ones you got as kids! So, hopefully within the next week or so a new supply of swim badges will arrive!!


It’s almost impossible to collect the whole set. There are over 10 to collect and include training awards, qualifying swims, solo events (various ones around the world but not all of them), relay events and a special volunteer award.

They will be approx £4 each and I challenge you to collect the whole set! The volunteer one is free and recognises those who are consistent volunteers. The English Channel solo award is also on me for 2019 onwards swimmers.

These are exclusively available to those of you who have trained with Dover Channel Training (including drop in swimmers). I am happy to backdate if you want, provided you were training with DCT when the swim was completed.

Get collecting!!



The class of 2019 hoodies will be available for sale very soon. It’s possible that they will be ready for the BBQ but more likely for the landing sites visit. They are available in an array of colours and you can choose to personalise with your name.

The number on the back is filled with your names. Everyone who registered and has swum with us up until about a week ago is included. That’s 374 names!

Please note, this is not a list of names for successful English Channel Relays & Solos. If anyone is interested in that design, please let me know and I’ll see what can be created.


Stand out swims

Most of the 7 & 6 swimmers

The swimmers are starting to reduce in numbers now following our strong run of success. We are welcoming new drop-in swimmers each week which makes good company for those of you still waiting. What was observed this week is that feeds were taken quickly - a great skill to build. I’m glad you’re remaining focused on the prize in hand.

Well done to David Williams for his 7 & 6 weekend.

Well done to Lucy Ashdown-Parker, Liesl Norris & Kirsty McArthur for their 6 hour swims.


Volunteers - thank you


Saturday: Jon Southey, Halani Foulsham, Hayley Brant, Richard Brant, Mandi Bodemeaid

Sunday: Paul James, Halani Foulsham, Frederique Vandrepote

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

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



Looking ahead

IMG_2059 2.jpg

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

19th 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. You can sign up here.

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

Finding inner strength as you ride the Dovercoaster

Have you ever experienced how inner strength can really keep you going when life seems difficult. Wouldn’t this be useful when the weather seems to be standing between you and achieving your big, hairy, audacious goal?

What is it that keeps some people self-controlled and functioning when others fall to pieces? What keeps people fighting on against all the odds when victory seems impossible to others? Developing rock hard inner strength, the sense that you will succeed, that you can withstand apparently challenging circumstances or unlikely odds, is a core factor separating life’s winners from the also-rans.

Sometimes you just need to stay strong, which is so easy to say and sometimes harder to do. So often you can lose the sense of your own strength as it becomes buried in complications such as being blown out from your tide and needing to find another slot to swim in. When the going gets tough, it’s great to have a quick boost that can keep you strong right though to your inner core.

Keeping strong when things seem against you means that you give luck an opportunity, as it truly does seem to be the case that ‘fortune favours the brave’. Believing that no matter what happens or how hard your problems are, you will find the strength to endure and come out on the other side intact and knowing that you did the best you could – this is what will mark you out for success. Because although you can’t always control external events, you can influence them by the way that you are.

Your intention in life, your iron will, self belief and strength of purpose can all be developed just as a muscle can grow stronger through training.

True strength runs far deeper than any superficial unnecessary tension.

In 1985 two mountaineers - Joe Simpson and Simon Yates climbed the 20,813 ft mountain Siula Grande
in the Peruvian Andes. They were the first people in history to successfully climb its almost vertical west face,
but on the descent a series of disasters befell them and Joe ended up alone on the mountain in a crevasse
unconscious and with a shattered knee in the bitter cold and icy winds presumed dead by his partner who returned alone to base camp. Can you imagine the will and strength it took for Joe to painfully crawl and hop bit by bit down that mountain, trembling, freezing, without food, sustaining himself on whatever splashes of melted ice he could find and a single-minded determination to just keep moving. For three days and three nights inch by inch over five miles five miles of icy jutting rocks and steep drops battling against the elements and with his severely broken leg he crawled back to base camp arriving just hours before his partner Simon was going to leave and he lived to climb again. The kind of strength that Joe Simpson displayed runs so much deeper than muscular prowess.

Mahatma Gandhi once said strength does not come from physical capacity it comes from an indomitable will and that’s what it is that’s kept you going from those very early years in childhood learning to walk, learning to talk, how to hold a knife and fork, how to clean your teeth, how each one seemed like a terribly difficult task at the time. You would have felt uncoordinated and clumsy, yet you just kept going until you mastered each one and it became instinctive for you. As time went on you had experiences which were hard times that were a struggle and yet you survived and you kept going. From day one whether you’ve always been aware of it or not there’s been a powerful primal drive in you propelling you forwards, a determined energy to survive and to flourish and that energy runs very deep.

I want you to get a sense of what it’s like to take your own inner strength and begin to pay attention to it as a place of centred grounded energy two inches beneath your belly button a small glowing sphere of pure strength resting there at the core of your body and with each in-breath you can notice that sphere beginning to grow expanding and filling you with all the determination of your life all the determination of your ancestors surviving and evolving through millennia sphere of pure strength that can begin to expand to the size of your body and then with each breath grows larger still surrounding and embracing the place that you’re in now and the grounded reality of that area the energy sustaining and filling it and then expanding further buildings and streets nearby your neighbourhood feeling the vibrancy of the life around and then expanding more and more rapidly the whole town or city and then as big as the world itself.

Extend your awareness out in all directions up down left right forwards backwards into the past and the future right to the edges of the universe. Then take all the energy that you’ve been amassing and very very rapidly shrink and compact that sphere back into that place at the core of your body just beneath your belly button keeping all this strength and the pure resonant power of the universe within you feel it all whoosh and surge into a sphere of power that glows like a brilliant star deep inside a source of resilience and determination that will be with you for the rest of your life.

Get a sense of feeling this sphere of glowing strength like an internal furnace of tenacity and resolve and how it’s going to benefit your life in the days and weeks ahead.

Call upon this strength & resilience whenever you need it. This strength lies within everyone, including you.


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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