Niagara maelstrom

July 24th, 1883

This is a maelstrom. Indeed the very definition of such, as it’s the whirlpool at the base of Niagara Falls. It’s where Captain Matthew Webb tragically died on this day, July 24th, 1883. It was taken by a photographer zxo  and it grabbed my attention immediately I saw it and they gave me permission to…

How To Select a Channel pilot & boat

This time of year I get more emails and PM’s asking about English Channel pilots, tides, Associations, Channel costs etc and all the related stuff. During a recent weathered-out trip to Dover in September for Sylvain Estadieu’s English Channel butterfly swim, which included yet another a trip out into the Channel, a tour of a…

Shush

“Shush“, the Dover shingle whispers softly, sub-surface, sub-marine. “Shuuush“. In the silty harbour sea, I cannot see my arms or hands or life. The Dover shingle shifts. Slides and settles. We sigh together. I am swimming with my eyes closed, and the shingle says “shush” and I open them and swim on. “Shush“.   * I’ve…

One species, not evolved for swimming

Kevin Murphy, Trent Grimsey, Philipe Croizon, Jackie Cobell, Roger Allsop, Owen O’Keefe In order from left: Kevin Murphy, The King of the Channel, with 34 Solo crossings and a multitude of swims elsewhere around the world, he also has swum longer than anyone else who has ever lived Trent Grimsey, 2012 FINA World number one open water…

How To: Crew selection in marathon swimming

I was reminded in a phone conversation with Oldest, Coldest and Fastest North Channel swimmer Fergal Somerville that I’ve been meaning to write this for a couple of years. In all the training and preparation for any Channel or marathons swim, most effort goes into swimming of course. A well prepared swimmer will also consider…

Limiting Factors in Marathon Swimming – Part 3 – Psychological Factors

The previous two posts dealt with the physiological and environmental limiting factors of marathon swimming. As noted in Part One, non-swimmers and those unfamiliar with the sport tend to see the physiological factors as the greatest hurdles for swimming further distance, often imagining that marathon swimmer’s have some physical capability beyond the average person whereas…

What’s the best possible English Channel record?

Trent Grimsey’s Channel record again raises the question: What’s the best possible English Channel record time? Here’s the English Channel record progression charted. No good record list is complete without an asterisk. In this case the asterisked years are France to England (F-E) swims. The records are gender independent as three women set the record.…