Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2012……

2012 was an amazing year for me. I think I should put all this into perspective.

In September 2011 I rather foolishly booked an English Channel solo slot following the “high” of participating in two English Channel relays in 2011. I was allocated the Number 3 slot for the neap tide commencing on 12th September 2013 and this gave me two full years of preparation. However, I was persuaded to add myself to the waiting list for a cancellation in 2012. In December 2011 a cancellation became available and I was offered a solo slot for the tide commencing on 26th July 2012. I accepted this without hesitation!

In hindsight, this was all very foolish. Prior to this, my longest swim had been a 10K race in a lake in September 2011 in 17C water. I booked onto the Swimtrek Gozo Long Distance Training camp in April 2012 to kickstart my open water training in 2012. I spent the winter of 2011/12 spending many hours in the pool doing long endurance sets and I was averaging 30K-40K a week by February.

My acclimatisation started in Gozo in April. I found the week extremely hard, but I came away from this with the satisfaction that I had completed my six hour Channel qualifier. I also came away knowing that I had a lot of work to do if I was going to make it across the English Channel in just three months’ time!

I set out my training plan for the next three months. Basically I would spend every weekend in Dover training in the harbour under Freda Streeter’s instructions and I would train in the pool during the week. This was extremely hard as it meant that I spent every weekend away from my husband and two children, but we all understood that this was a temporary arrangement. These personal sacrifices also made me more determined to achieve my goal.

Anyway, in 2012 I completed the following Open Water swims:

  • April 14th-19th: SwimTrek Long Distance Training Camp, Gozo (including 6 hour Channel Qualifier)
  • May 27th: 10K Eton Swim at Dorney Lake
  • June 16th: BLDSA Champion of Champions (5 miles, 3 miles, 1 mile), Dover Harbour
  • June 24th: EDOWSC Seahorse Swim 3.8K, Studland Bay, Dorset
  • May-July: Multiple swims in Dover Harbour
  • July 23rd 2012 English Channel Solo Swim
  • September 1st 2012 BLDSA Windermere Championship (10.5 miles). 6 hours 29 minutes 59 seconds

    My Windermere swim route on 1st September 2012

    My Windermere swim route on 1st September 2012

I have since taken a break from the Open Water and returned to the pool, training with Basingstoke Bluefins Masters squad four times a week.

In October 2012 I attended the Hampshire ASA President’s dinner on the Isle of Wight and to my surprise I was awarded the President’s Plate! This award can be given to any swimmer or official from Hampshire ASA. I was very honoured and surprised to receive this award!

Being awarded the Hampshire ASA President's Plate from the President, Mrs Jenny Ball

Being awarded the Hampshire ASA President’s Plate from the President, Mrs Jenny Ball

I have also been nominated in the Basingstoke & Deane 2012 Sports Awards – Senior Sportwoman category. We shall have to wait to see if I am shortlisted for the final.

…….Hello 2013

Anyway, I am now increasing the hours in the pool again as I have a few exciting swims planned in 2013 and I am really looking forward to another year of fun!

Here are my 2013 Plans

  • 27th May 2013: Eton Swim (10K)
  • 9th June 2013: Exmouth Fairway Buoy swim (4.75miles)
  • 15th June 2013: BLDSA Champion of Champions (9 miles) Dover Harbour
  • 23rd June 2013: Seahorse Challenge (3.8K) Studland Bay
  • 30th June – 6th July 2013: Three Person English Channel Relay (The Castaways). Myself, Kate Robarts and Emma France
  • 18th August 2013: BLDSA Derwentwater (5 miles)
  • August 2013:  Two-Way Windermere in (21 miles)

In addition, I moved up to Masters Age Group D (40-44) on 1st January 2013 which means two things:

  • I will do some more Masters competitions in the pool in 2013
  • I will be celebrating my 40th birthday during 2013(!)

Finally, good luck to everyone attempting the English Channel in 2013. It’s an amazing experience and I hope to meet some of you whilst training in Dover Harbour.