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Dover Training Week 5 - Evidence all around


Dover Training Week 5 - Evidence all around

Emma France

With reports of some of our most wanted making it to New York and Spain, we were on the lookout for evidence. You’ll be impressed at the evidence that we found this weekend.

Some of Saturday’s swimmers

Some of Saturday’s swimmers


A very busy weekend

A very busy weekend

Swimmers:  59
Water temperature: 14.5C
Air temperature:  20C
Conditions: Sunny & calm. Light South Westerly breeze.

Swimmers:  51
Water temperature:  14.6C
Air temperature:  20.2C
Conditions:  Sunny with a moderate South Westerly breeze causing slight chop.

So far we have registered:

  • 80 Solo swimmers

  • 42 Relay swimmers

  • 30 Just for Fun swimmers

  • 48 Aspire swimmers

  • 35 Drop-in swimmers

There are 29 swimmers who have applied and will be approved subject to a successful assessment swim.

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

Who is the missing swimmer?

Who is the missing swimmer?

Mounting evidence of a year of achievers

Our theme this weekend was CSI. Our investigations unearthed many unexpected outcomes. We received reports that fugitives had been spotted in Spain and New York, whilst back at the scene of the crime we saw evidence (certificates) confirming many qualifying swims.

There was also evidence that people could be surprised by being given a time in the water that they were not expecting and yet went on to do these impressive swims despite their own limiting beliefs. Sometimes you need to suspend disbelief just long enough to dare to believe again. I deal in possibility!

The beach was covered with evidence, but who was this person? 🤔


Stand out swims

Rachel enjoying the beach bar

With the stunning weather we had, the water temperature is rising fast so we took the opportunity of the good weather and conditions to make some big leaps forward. I don’t know what the next week holds and what water temperature we’ll face next weekend, but if it’s not already at the magic temperature, I suspect it will be getting very close.

I’d like to call out the following amazing swims (in no particular order):

  • Hayley Brant and Arnaud Chassery for doing 10 hours on Saturday, both returned Sunday and swam again.

  • Ady Brown & MJ for 7 hour swims on Saturday

  • Overall there were an astonishing 25 people who completed 6 or more hours of swimming for some it was a massive jump from their previous longest ever swim.

  • Elaine Henderson, Guy Harris, Dirk Gewert, Andrew George for doing back to back 6 hour swims (bet you didn’t see that coming!)

  • Flitwick Dolphins for their 2 hour qualifying swim

  • Darren Parfitt, Alan Macleay, Nichola Fowkes, Nathan Jones, Julia Dawe, William Law, Leigh Graham & Geoff Gardiner for your two hour qualifiers

The team spirit this weekend was incredible, there were some big asks and you helped each other through brilliantly.

Some of you did something that you didn’t know you could do - your boundaries have now shifted. Some of you have developed the ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable.


Big day congratulations

This weekend also saw the beginning of the main tracking season (Melanie Holland got a bit of early practice with Rottnest Channel earlier this year). It was the first group of swimmers taking on the 20 Bridges swim in New York - a circumnavigation of Manhattan Island. Congratulations in particular to:

  • Fiona Mildner: 4th - 7:41.19

  • Melanie Holland: 6th - 7:45.37

  • Mark Sheridan: 8th - 7:52.27

  • Steve Stevienart: 10th - 7:55.09

What a cracking start to the season - well done all!!


Volunteers - thank you


Thank you to:

  • Saturday: Oonagh Gormley & Paul James. With support from Conny Gewert, Nick Murch, Tony Marshall, Flitwick Dolphins, Richard Brant, Vicki Carter, Frear & mum and everyone else who just rolled up their sleeves and got involved.

  • Sunday: Stu Bowman & Oonagh Gormley. With support from Jon Southey, Nick Murch, Connie Gewert, Paul James, Frear & mum & Mrs George and everyone else who got involved and helped..

We had a lot of impromptu and amazing support volunteers this weekend. With 40 red hats in the water, most needing feeding, that support was greatly appreciated by me, yes and mostly by the swimmers. I’m always grateful for extra support on the day, so if you don’t know when you can help and find yourself available, feel free to pop along and lend a hand. If you are able to sign-up to support a session you can do it here. I’ll always find a way to make it work with, or without, people on the volunteer rota. It does make for easier planning if I know who is planning to be there.



I don’t think we’ve ever got through so much food!

Feeding frenzy!

Feeding frenzy!

This week I paid a visit to Aldi and then Sainsbury’s to stock up on a variety of treats for feed times. 8 packets of chocolate mini rolls, 8 battenburg cakes, 10 packs of jaffa cakes, 10 tins of peaches, 4 bags of milky ways and the list goes on, it was enough to overfill a 50 litre crate! You can imagine the look and comments by the woman at the checkout at Aldi! Mutterings of hungry swimmers doesn’t really do it justice! When packing our humungous cool box we figured we wouldn't need all of it this weekend, but boy did we get through a lot of treats! On Saturday alone with close to 40 soloists feeding we got through well over half of what we packed! So a quick dash to Tesco to restock was required - hopefully the resulting fresh mini donuts were a nice surprise on Sunday.

Thank you to everyone who pitched in and helped, it makes a massive difference having lots of pairs of hands to get the feeds done quickly and efficiently.

Please remember to remind the person who signs you in if you want something other than CNP. We’re very happy to help you try out what it is that you want on your big day.


Looking ahead

A fantastic experience to practice starting a weird and wonderful times of the day.

A fantastic experience to practice starting a weird and wonderful times of the day.

The next two Saturdays are disrupted due to events taking place in the harbour. We will be starting early. Very, very early! Please arrive by 2.30am for a 3am start. We will still be doing long swims on these days.

Anyone who has swum with us before will be welcome to join these sessions. However, we won’t be taking any new swimmers on these dates as I’m not prepared to put unknown swimmers in the water in the dark for their first session.


Saturday 8th June (Dover Rowing Regatta). Start time 3am, arrive by 2.30am. If you have nothing else to do during the day, it may be fun to watch all the racing.

Saturday 15th June (BLDSA Champion of Champions). Start time 3am, arrive by 2.30am. If you’re swimming in the CoC event, you could always make it an extra special challenge by training with us first…….. 😬

There will be additional safety measures in place 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.


Online applications & membership cards

New style membership cards

New style membership cards

I have a lot of membership cards waiting for collection. If you haven’t yet picked up yours, please see me next time you’re on the beach. Please can you attach your membership cards to the outside of your swim bags. This is part of our safety procedures should we need to identify bags in the even of an emergency, it’s also helpful if we know which is your bag if you need to change goggles or get any medication etc that you might need.

If you haven’t joined us yet and still plan to, the online declaration can be found here.

No declaration, no swim, no exception.


Alison Streeter used to always say that swimming the channel is 80% mental, and 20% everything else. I like Julian’s twist on this ‘it’s 80% mental and 20% in your head’! Your Dover Channel Training subscription covers all your physical training with us in Dover, including all your feeds and the support of the volunteers. The act of training also supports part of the hidden 80% by giving you unique experiences and the opportunity to do things that you may not have previously considered possible.

You may have questions, in fact I suspect you will have plenty at times. There are a number of ways to get additional support. Most swimmers with experience will be happy to chat with you and answer your questions from their perspective. A number of experienced swimmers have also signed up to be mentors via our facebook group mentorship programme. That is also free to use.

If you want more formal support than can be offered in a brief conversation on the beach or via the mentorship programme, please get in touch with me so that we can discuss if I can provide additional assistance outside of what is offered through Dover Channel Training. You can find out a bit more at Emma2France. As well as the qualifications and experience that you’d expect I’d have, I’m also a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a Hypnotist. If you have unhelpful self-talk, beliefs that are not real and are limiting your progress or a desire to have more support, please get in touch. We can discuss what would be of benefit for you.



A few photos captured at the weekend.

See you next week!!


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