Friday, September 2, 2011

The English Channel Swim: Tonight Is D-Day!

We've just received 'that' call from our support boat skippers and it's time - the last three members of our English Channel squad are swimming tonight, starting out from Dover in the dark of the early hours of Saturday morning as the tide turns - and you can watch them swim live at www.channeldare.com!


Two years of preparation and training will be brought into sharp focus at 4am on Saturday as Swim Smooth Head Coach Paul Newsome, Paul Downie and Andrew Hunt hit the water and take on the challenge of this mighty 34km swim. The guys would love to have your support during their swims and with the technology at their disposal, the support crews are able to pass your messages live to the swimmers during their feed stops! When posting messages, don't forget to include your name and where you are in the world.

The Technology Is With Us!

If you would like to post a message of support right now, please do so on the comments section of this blog post - the guys will read these before starting their swims.

During and after the swim follow us with live GPS tracking, pictures and messages from the support teams at: www.channeldare.com
You can post messages in the comments section there.

The twitter feed is embedded in the Channel Dare site but you can also view it directly and become a follower here: twitter.com/channeldare. You can tweet the support teams directly from there.

Open water swimming legend Shelley Taylor Smith will be on swimmer Paul Downie's boat and bringing you live updates through her facebook feed: facebook.com/shelley.taylor.smith

The Timetable

Our best estimate of start time is 4am Saturday UK time. Around the world that's:

US West Coast: Friday 8pm
US East Coast: Friday 11pm
Mainland Europe: Saturday 5am
Perth / Singapore / Beijing: Saturday 11am
Australia East Coast: Saturday 1pm
New Zealand: Saturday 3pm

More About The Swim

The English Channel is regarded as one of the hardest open water swims in the world :

- Very strong tides rip through the channel every day, with a typical tidal range of 7m. These make it impossible to travel in a straight line, instead swimmers are dragged sideways forming an S shape path over the course of the swim. Don't worry, that's normal and is why you need a professional boat skipper to navigate correctly!

- The water temperature is 14-15°C (57-59°F) and strictly no wetsuits are allowed! Each of the swimmers have gained between 15 and 25kg to provide insulation for the cold and have spent many long hours of training in cold water to adapt.

- Each swimmer will take somewhere between 9 and 15 hours depending on the tides and weather conditions.

- Channel swimmers start in Dover, England and swim to France. To complete the swim they have to clamber out onto French soil unaided. Unfortunately French officials don't like swimmers staying more than a few minutes in France so there's only time for a quick photo before hopping onto the support boat and heading straight back to England.

- Starting on the tide is critical so swimmers often start in the early hours of the morning in complete darkness. Swimming in the dark takes some practise as it is extremely disorientating - it's a great relief for the swimmers when it starts to get light out there!

- To check the strict rules are adhered to, each swim is monitored by an official on the support boat.

- Around 120 solo swimmers attempt the channel every year and only around 25% successfully make it. In fact more people have climbed Everest than swum the channel!

You've got to be in great shape and very tough mentally to complete this swim and have a slice of luck on your side with the weather. Three of our four solo swimmers to attempt it so far have made it across successfully - a fantastic achievement!

Also For Charity: Breast Cancer Care

We're also raising money for Breast Cancer Care in WA. We've raised over $58,000 including off-line donations so far, if you feel inspired yourself by the team's efforts, please please make a donation to this very worthy cause here.

L-R: Wayne, Paul D, Ceinwen, Paul N, Andrew
Wish the guys good luck for Saturday and watch out for a full report on the blog sometime early next week.

Swim Smooth!

86 comments:

Aidan Mullan said...

Good luck Paul and the rest of team. Great challenge and I know it will be a great result.

Ande' W. said...

Best of luck to all of you! We're pulling for you here in Chicago, Illinois USA! Rock on.

Tom Hibberd said...

Have a great one Paul, best wishes with you. Is Adam still getting fed up watching you eat so much? All the best Tom

Alison Allen said...

Good Luck guys - I hope that the sea is kinder to you than it was last Sunday at Joss Bay! :)

Will be watching your progress here in sunny Ramsgate, Kent.

Jane Day said...

Good luck To all of you hoping the weather is good to you - looking forward to following your progress

Andrew Farrall said...

Will look forward to following you all. Most inspiring indeed. Have fun!

Chris Young said...

Good luck from Newfoundland and Labrador! I think you'll be eating french pastries in your speedos before you know it!

Nicky Walker said...

Really good luck to all of you; an epic undertaking! I'll be following your progress from sunny Largs, Scotland.

SST69 said...

When I grow up I want to be PN - he's a legend - although a bit chubby at the moment ;-) 15-25kgs extra for, insulation, that's a lot of extra chow! Good luck to all!
Stephen, Manchester UK

James Moon said...

Good luck everyone. Suspend judgement, stay in the moment, do your best and hand over the results.
James, from London.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I wish good luck.
Clear, good weather and water conditions to Pauls and Andrew here from Brazil.
As we say in Brazil BOA SORTE.

Stefan

Anonymous said...

We have looked out ... and crossed over the channel many times, until both our Parents recently died of Cancer. Best wishes for your inspiring, courageous swim.

N & C
Port Alfred. South Africa and Pelverata, Tasmania!

Jo Mallinson said...

Good luck Paul and the rest of the team! What an amazing feat, very inspiring :) Jo 'the closet swinger' Mallinson, Nottingham.

Linda Newsome said...

Good luck Paul and the rest of your team. We'll be thinking of you.
'Go on Paul' you know you can do it!
See you when you land back in Blighty.
Mum and Steve

Tim Scapillato said...

Best of luck from Hull, Quebec, Canada to Paul and the rest of the team. I can't imagine the mental toughness required to complete this undertaking. Truly inspirational.

Oystein Grande said...

Good luck to all of you. I am sure you will make it if the weather and tide give you permision.

Tony Highfield - Perth said...

Good Luck everyone, may the tides be in your favour tomorrow.

Mike Alexander said...

Very best of luck to you all!

Gerard said...

All the very best. Make sure you enjoy the swim and savour the moment. Best wishes from Gibraltar.

Gerard Olivero.

Bill from Chicago - US said...

Congrats on all the hard work you've already put in just to get here. Congrats on the fundraising, and the immense personal accomplishments that have brought you right here, right now. Your determination is absolutely inspiring! You can do it - Swim Smooth my heros!

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul

Just want to wish you and the rest of the team all the best and please swim the shortest route!

Andyt

Anonymous said...

Best of luck and swim smooth!
Bernd and Susan, Icking near Munich Germany

MrBroons said...

Great cause! Good luck with the swim guys all the best from Scotland!

Lesley said...

Have an awesome swim you guys, stay strong, from Mill Bay, Vancouver Island, Canada. Love your website and blog!

Anonymous said...

Good luck guys. Our club Past President did the swim successfully three years ago and we feel very close to true warriors like you. Ron, Kelowna B.C. Canada

David Leit said...

Good Luck to the whole team! Safe swimming!

-- David Leit, Maplewood, NJ, USA

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys, wish you a fantastic journey up there! Greez from Switzerland, Michael

Anonymous said...

Go for it guys, 1K at a time!! Best wishes from the USA (New York)
Sean Hillock

Anonymous said...

Have an excellent swim,enjoy!
Louise, Toronto, Canada

Alex Granzin said...

Best wishes, swim strong and above all swim smooth.

Alex, Eugene, Oregon

Denis said...

Paul

Have a great swim ...I assume the conditions will exactly like the time I met you at Mirror Lake in Lake Placid....beautiful flat water with a white rope under the water to follow!

Or maybe not ...whatever...know that if its possible, you will do it!

Denis in Canada

Donnie, Edinburgh Scotland said...

Epic stuff. Very best of luck to the team. Hope Neptune is kind to you. Cheers from Scotland, Donnie

Peter Burns said...

Good luck Paul and the team, just be smoother than Mr Smooth!!

Paul Emery said...

Have a great swim and may the tides be cooperative for the whole distance. Best of luck!

Paul Emery, Mountain View, CA

Bill Vick said...

Very best of luck in having a great swim. The eyes of Texas are upon you.

Jiveoree said...

Alright Guyz & Galz, Show'em What You've Got!!! Also hope the weather & tides hold up for you adventurous ones: Jiveoree From TheCity -/- MJ Ivory, SF,CA,USA

Anonymous said...

Have a nice swim in the Channel. I am sure you will all make it.

Regards from Lennart Larsson in Sweden

Michael said...

Remember guys & gal,
When you're going through Hell, KEEP GOING! - Just 'one-more-stroke' - It's a better mantra than than 'one-two-breath (or stretch)'for what you're taking on!
Good luck,
Michael, Lake Geneva, France.

Carol said...

May you have strength, endurance and spirit for a successful swim, and may the tides be with you! We'll be cheering you on from Franklin, VA, USA.

Carol Evans

Cam Steph and the savages said...

You mad bastards!!!Take the ferry!!Once a lifetime !!!Still,only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
Eat when you are hungry, Drink when you are thirsty, Rest when you are tired.
You are going to feel great when you get to France!!We will be watching. Good luck!!Cam Steph and the savages..Hong Kong.

Julia said...

Best of luck to you all! I love your website, and at 50 years old you have taught me to swim and enjoy swimming for the first time in about 45 years; so much so, that I did my first sprint tri two weeks ago, and will do my first olympic tri next weekend, the day after I turn 51. I've come to love swimming and have your excellent teaching tips to thank for it. I'll be following you from Portland, Maine and sending well wishes. Julia

Kristin Confer said...

Wow. U can do it! Wishing u success from Los Angeles California. Impressive!!!!

Mike Spinetto said...

Mike Spinetto - UK
All the VERY BEST to you All. Love to do it myself one day ??? perhaps with extra training - who knows. Look forward to read about your experiences. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

You guys are a true inspiration. Come back with some great stories.

Dave M. in Boulder, Colorado.

Francis Riley said...

Good luck and fair weather to all of you.

3 members of LBT did it last week and had a great time; however, they only just made the tide, touch and go.

Big smiles for the photos.

Francis Riley, Leeds, UK

Martin Hill said...

Martin Hill - Somerset

'Only' the easy part to do now after all the training. Weather & conditions look good; best wishes and enjoy it!

idzikows said...

Gentlemen, as a triahtlete who has only gone a few miles at a time, I am in awe of your attempt to cross the channel. Hold the one thing which keeps you going in your minds.

Best of Luck, Best of Weather, and the True Belief in Yourselves.

Tom I., Ann Arbor, MI, US

Tim Borsum said...

Good luck everyone, I'll be starting a 10K road race in Anderson, SC the same time you're beginning your trek across the Channel. You're an inspiration. Tim

alfredobs said...

Wish you the best of luck guys, way to go. Have a smooth swim all across the channel and enjoy a warm nice red French wine at the opposite shore.
Bon courage

From Côte d'Ivoire

Alfredo

Carolyn (Callie) said...

bubble bubble breathe... :-D

I hope each of your mantras work well for you, especially in your hour(s) of need.

Try to savor every stroke because what you are doing is incredible. Think of each stroke as killing a few breast cancer cells somewhere.

Carolyn and Carter Fairless in TULSA OKLAHOMA USA.

Anonymous said...

From Galway, Ireland - As the irish saying goes - "Go gcuire Dia an t-ádh ort!" (pronounced - guh gir'uh dee-a uhn tah orth - translates to May God put luck on you = Best of luck to you!)

Believe in your abilities. You can do it! :)
Ella M.

Gail Bradford said...

Paul, wishing you and your cohorts all the very best for tomorrow. Keep safe and watch out for those cross Channel ferries! I'll be tuning in during the day...from Gail Bradford enjoying the late summer sunshine in West Sussex

Anonymous said...

Here from Portugal, Porto.
Hey guys what can I say...you all inspire us with the hard workout and the subsequent achievements. BEST OF LUCK!!! carlostacosta

John S said...

Awesome accomplishment just getting ready for this - you have my utmost respect! The training is done and it's all there for the taking for you. Without knowing any of you personally, I know that each of you is capable of finishing this last step. Swim on, one stroke at a time!

John S. from Winnipeg Manitoba Canada, the heart of North America

Gareth V. said...

Best of luck to you all - hope the weather stays good, and the turds are few!

ironaud said...

Best of luck to all of you!! Be safe, stay strong, and take it one stroke at a time! Godspeed. From Audrey in Phoenix, AZ, USA

Chris B said...

You guys at Swim Smooth have been an inspiration to me over the last 18 months. Hopefully we can inspire you in your swim today - wishing you good luck and good weather from very warm Singapore.

Chris said...

Paul - very best of luck. No gliding and no deadspots. Keep safe and swim smooth all the way. Chris/team hurtmore

lordjohn said...

All the best for the swim. My wife and I will be flying over the
Channel on route to Austria and will shout down our encouragement. John from Scotland

Andy Green said...

Wishing you all the very best of luck!

droghedamasters said...

Ray Donagh Drogheda Masters Ireland

Best of luck with your swim,

Anonymous said...

Absolutely inspiring! Stay tough & safe swimming. All the best from London, Ontario, Canada.I learned how to swim thanks to swimsmooth. Recommend you to everyone! Thanks again and good luck!

Jackie from Saudi said...

Best of luck to you both. HAppy swimming :D

RoyB said...

Roy B - Royal Air Force
all the best; enjoy!

J. Carrasco said...

From the south of Spain, GO FOR IT, YOU´LL GET THERE. BEST OF LUCK FOR ALL THE TEAM!!

William Hoel said...

Best of success to you guys, from a Texan whom you have helped with his triathlon swimming!

DJ said...

All preparations made,
in body & mind;
Wise skippers guide you &
the weather will be kind!

Good On ya on your tremendous achievement fundraising & today's big event, crossing the channel.
All the Best - Swim Smooth!

DJ said...

All the Best from New Zealand!

Dana B said...

Best of luck! Think warm! We had a 27 days in August that were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit here in Houston, Texas (that's over 37 C). We will send warm thoughts your way! Swim Smooth!!

Anonymous said...

Paul you have taught me to swim and although I don't know you personally I feel I owe you a lot. So to you and to your team I wish that the seas are calm, the waters warm and the tide favorable so that your dreams are fulfilled!

George from Greece

Nicolopolus said...

Good luck guys - you can do it!!

Jukka Valkonen said...

GO GO GO! Have fun and "soak" in the experience!!!

Renee M. Marcelle said...

Go Swim Smoothe Team!!!! You guys are the Bomb. You will reach your goal, We will be rooting for you all the way from San Francisco, CA

Keith said...

My best wishes are with both participants and your teams at this time and will be, especially, as you hit the water and the physical and mental demands unfold. Here in CH-CH we have the moto 'Kia Kaha' (Be Strong) to help encourage us through our post quakes challenges. May this also encourage you to work through the challenges of your event. All the best and may your endeavours be successful. 'Be strong". Keith, Christchurch. NZ.

Antonio Ferreira da Silva Neto said...

Hi Guys,

My name is Antonio Ferreira da Silva Neto, I'm from Brazil but I'm in Austin, TX right now preparing myself for Ironman World Championship that will be on October 8th in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

I wish all the best for all and keep focus; hard moment is normal but all are prepared and will finish this respect challenge.

Good luck and God bless all,

Very Best Regards,

Antonio Ferreira da Silva Neto - Toni.

Emma B said...

Wishing the three of you all the best in this extraordinary challenge. Fingers crossed here that all conditions and personal factors fall into place for you, for as long as it takes to walk up that beach in France! Great effort.
Emma Beeley, Perth WA

East Coast Canada said...

Smooth and steady - the French shoreline is just about there! Good luck all.

Anonymous said...

GO FAST TEAM SMOOTH!!! GO HARDER!!! but most of all, HAVE LOADS OF FUN while at it. Great cause, u rock, mates ;-) Elizabeth Lloyd, Sydney, Australia

Anonymous said...

From the west coast of California, over here in Santa Barbara, we Swim Smooth fans all wish you fair skies and following seas. Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Wishing Paul, Paul, and Andrew favorable tides and calm winds. From all the San Francisco Bay swimmers. Chuck W.

Mmilne said...

I hope you all can swim strong and have fun! Laugh and play a little. I always find myself saying a new name of a cancer survivor with each stroke during the swim across america series. In your swim, Considering how many strokes you have in front of you, that's a lot of names of people who are giving you thanks for what you are doing. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

You three are already champions to me. What you have done in swimsmooth has transformed my life and uplifted me to heavenly high. Today you and English Chanel are becoming one as you swim along. We solute to you.

Rod said...

All the best from Rod and Jan, USA Denver colo.

Jim said...

Best of luck to the 2 Pauls & Andrew.
Free your mind & fly with the tides.
Jim Malina/Team Doyle Ocean Swimming
Los Angeles, CA.

Anonymous said...

Sunil said,
I wish that your task would be completed successfully.keep swimming. best of luck guys.

whiteerica said...
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