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Marine Parade
Dover, CT16
United Kingdom

This website is for people wanting to train to swim the English Channel.

Dover Training Week 20 - Historic swim in progress


Dover Training Week 20 - Historic swim in progress

Emma France

I missed all of the weekend except for Saturday’s briefing due to a swim of my own. While my relay were following our own dreams, Sarah Thomas was swimming into the history books. At the time of writing she is still swimming, quite incredible. Only 4 people had previously ever completed a three-way English Channel solo, her track made that look easy (I’m sure it was far from easy), and true to her word, after three ways she turned and is now swimming back to England. She is the first person to even turn. What she has already done and continues to do is completely beyond my comprehension. I know I’ll remained glued to the tracker as she reels in the final kms.



This weekend the theme was Sea creatures - well I suppose that does describe most of us!

Future themes

We only have two weekends left now:

  • Week 21 (next weekend) - take your pick of your favourite theme so far this year

  • Week 22 (BBQ weekend and final weekend of the season) - something to do with the letters D C or T - oh the opportunities there are pretty limitless



Daylight on Saturday

Swimmers:   19
Water temperature: 17.6C
Conditions: Calm & sunny

Swimmers:  19
Conditions:   Calm & sunny

So far we have registered:

  • 87 Solo swimmers

  • 45 Relay swimmers

  • 40 Just for Fun swimmers

  • 77 Aspire swimmers

  • 141 Drop-in swimmers

There are 33 swimmers who have applied and will be approved subject to a successful assessment swim.

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 (up until Sunday 15th September):

  • Amanda Sharples for her successful Jersey to France solo on 8th September

  • Aspire Tigers for their successful channel relay on 9th September in a time of 14 hours 46 minutes

  • Home & Away (Ben Taylor, Kate Milner, Jodie Quinn, James) for their successful EC relay on 9th September in a time of 11 hours 55 minutes

  • Adam Wenn for his successful channel solo on 9th September in a time of 12 hours 38 minutes

  • Tina Noble for her successful channel solo on 10th September in a time of 15 hours 10 minutes

  • Aspire Cheetahs for their successful channel relay in on 10th September in a time of 13 hours 11 minutes

  • Max Mackay for his successful channel solo on 15th September in a time of 13 hours 3 minutes

  • Michelle Hardy for her successful channel solo on 15th September in a time of 15 hours 19 minutes

  • The lion, new witch, and the same old dryrobe (Dirk Gewert, Peter Whitehead, Emma France) for their successful 2 way, 3 person relay on 15th September in a time of 14:24 + 17:43 = 32 hours 7 minutes

If I missed calling out your swim, I’m so, so sorry!! Please call out your achievement.



The Class of 2019 hoodies are now on sale and can be found here. For those of you going to the landing sites visit I’ll aim to have them for then. For everyone else, I’ll arrange for them to be posted.

The store closes on 23rd September at 23:59.


Volunteers - thank you


Saturday: Jon Southey & Mandi Bodemeaid.

Sunday: Jon Southey, Mandi Bodemeaid and Joe Pudnek.

And everyone else who just rolled up and helped - we have now switched to the position where we have more people helping than we have swimming!!



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. 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 January or February. If you or people you know of are training for a future season, this is for you!


Emma’s corner

Break it down


Do you ever stop and think about the whole training swim or the whole big day swim and find yourself a little overwhelmed? It probably affects more people than you realise. It’s very easy to make a decision in the moment, based on an emotion. My suggestion to you is to ensure you wait long enough to make your decision so that you are sure, really sure that it is not purely based on emotion, that it won’t be a decision that you later regret.

From time to time in training we have people who want to get out early. Often we work with you to stay in when we know that you’re physically ok and that help to stay in is what you really want / need. If this has happened to you, whilst a challenge on that day, may well have better equipped you for dealing with demons like that on the big day.

So what about that big day? What we do is right out there among the craziest of crazy things. If you stop and think too much it can be overwhelming. I’ve had swims where all I feel is excitement and pure joy throughout and other ones where I feel the pressure. What I have also noticed is that when I feel that pressure and choose not to act on it, that the pressure can disappear over time and the mood lighten to something more enjoyable. That the feeling that ‘I can’t’ is replaced with ‘I can and I will’. Why is that? Well, I think it comes down to two things:

  1. The further through you go, the less there is to finish and what is left becomes more emotionally manageable

  2. Emotions pass and decisions can be made more rationally

This weekend I did a big relay with two good friends. I did allow myself to find the whole thing and the number of swims remaining to be daunting at the start. As the swim continued there were less swims to go and the burden lifted. I took it one swim at a time. The challenge hadn’t changed, nor the swimmers, just my attitude. A number of things happened that would give me reason to not continue swimming, including a flare up of an elbow tendonitis - that would have been a good and acceptable excuse, except I knew that the action of swimming tends to be ok and that these things heal quickly. I said I get in and see how it went and it was fine, a happy ending.

So, my suggestion to you is to break down the task into as small a component as necessary. In my case yesterday that was committing to get into the water to see if it was ok. It could be swimming until the next feed or for 100 strokes (or 20 or 10, however small a chunk you need). Keep doing that until you run out of reasons to become concerned and run out of water and you will be successful.


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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