1 Week from now I hope to be doing my English Channel Solo Qualifier.
I will be in San Diego with work again, so have arranged to try and squeeze in my English Channel solo qualifier while I am there.
You didn’t always have to do a qualifying swim to attempt the English Channel. It was introduced to try and reduce the failure rate, which was higher than it needed to be due to a woeful underestimation of the difficulty of the task by some entrants.
The qualifier requires that you do the following:
Swim for 6 hours in water at 16C/61F or lower.
Swim under English Channel rules (no touching the boat, one cap, goggles, non-insulating swimsuit above the knee, briefs or jammers).
Witnessed and/or documented.
Interestingly, there is no requirement to swim any particular distance, but it is kinda implied that you will spend the vast majority of the 6 hours swimming!
Getting a 6-hour done in UK waters this early in the season is all but impossible, as the sea temperatures are so very low, only now starting to struggle into double digits Celsius. At this time of year, commercial Swim Camps are run by a number of organisations to places like Majorca and Malta, but I am lucky enough to be required to travel to the Cove…….
As you can see from these data, found at http://www.marathonswimmers.org/resources/global-sea-temps/, the current temperature at La Jolla is 14.8C, nicely set up for a 6 hour swim, unlike the Sandettie Lightship Buoy off France at 10.2C!
I will be accompanied on the swim by Dan Simonelli, who is in the late stages of training for SCAR, a series of 4 long lake swims (42 miles in total) to take place over 4 days next month. Dan has also organised paddleboard support from ‘paddler extraordinaire’ Kevin Eslinger, which means we can go pretty much where we want without having to worry about where our feeds are going to be.
It’s going to be (hopefully!) a fun swim!!