Monday 1 September 2008

Dover 2008 week 18 - The training ends and the waiting game starts. (Updated - Sep 05, 3pm)

Above: Dover harbour, where I have clocked up some 343KM since May 03, 2008.

This weekend I completed 2 x short 3 hours swims in Dover Harbour, a place that has felt like home since May 03, 2008. This week I was a "yellow hat". i.e. one that is tapering down to swim or a relay swimmer or someone who may be contemplating swimming next season.

Above: Swimming in and getting out of the water, hopefully weather permitting, for the last time before my two-way channel swim attempt.

After completing just under 343,000 Metres in the harbour since May 3rd, I am now waiting for my swim.

Above: A welcome Lucozade Sport after swimming for 3 hours in the harbour with no food or drink.

On Sunday we went to see my pilot, Neil Streeter, on board the support boat SUVA. We discussed various things about the swim and weather permitting, we will be setting off on a spring tide this coming Thursday, September 04, 2008. I say weather permitting because at present it is not looking too good, but all being well, Thursday is the day.

I heard a good saying recently which was "Swimming accumulates" [in the body] and I know exactly what was meant by this saying. If we go on Thursday, it will be the culmination of 41 years worth of swim training, which will have accumulated in my body and mind. I am physically prepared from all the years of training, but more importantly, I am mentally prepared for it. I have pictured myself doing the swim over, and over again in my mind. I have pictured myself walking out in France, turning round and 'starting' my channel swim. But more importantly, I have pictured myself walking out on the beach in St. Margaret's bay, England having swum to France and back. This, in my opinion is equally, if not more important than just the training.

I read a formula recently, which went as follows:-

(Knowledge+Skill+Process) x Mindset = Exceptional Performance

Wow, how right this is. The Dover crew have given me the knowledge. The skills I have learned over the past 41 years of swimming. I have been through the process (training) to get to where I am today physically. If I multiply all of that together with my mindset, it will give me the Exceptional Performance required to achieve the task of being the oldest man in history to swim from England to France and back again.

I will update the blog the day before I know I am going. Thanks to Freda, Barrie, Irene and all the beach crew to have helped me get to where I am today. But most of all thanks to Beccy for being there day in day out, week in week out, month in month out. Without her total support, this simply would not have been possible.

UPDATE - September 03, 2008 - 10:00 Hrs.

"Put your feet up for the next few days" were the words from my pilot Neil Streeter this morning. The weather forecast for the next few days shows strong winds, so at present, it will be early next week before we will know when I can swim. The joys of Channel Swimming!

UPDATE - September 05, 2008 - 15:00 Hrs.

Well it goes from bad to worse. The forecast for the next 10 days is wind, wind and more wind! It really has been a miserable summer, not just for swimming, but for everyone. I can't ever remember one quite this bad. I spoke to my pilot 1/2 hour ago about any realistic chances of a swim, and even discussed swimming on the next spring tide. i.e. After September 13th when the neap ends. All I can do is wait, and if things change over the next few days, which they could well do, then I will update the blog. Meanwhile, it's back in the pool tonight, and probably a swim in the sea at Felixstowe on Sunday. And I thought the training was over!


Vasanti said...

Hi Hoffy,

you definitely sound 200 % ready to go, with all your heart, mind, body and soul. You have put into this so much dedication, week after week after week, for months and more. And you have already seen yourself back on the beach! May the Channel Gods be with you! (Though they may not make it easy...) I am sure many are praying for you and sending their good vibes!

All the best, also to Beccy, hope to meet an accomplished 2-way Channelist in Dover soon!


Florries Mum said...

Best of luck Hoffy, we are all rooting for you. And you better make the front page of the BFP when you get back. If this doesn't deserve it nothing does.

Enda Kennedy said...


there will be two kings in the channel that day and you will be the two of them. You deserve it.



The best of Irish Luck!!!!!!!!!!

Enda K

Maggie said...

Hey Humper :P lol

Good luck you can do this ! I will be rooting for you all the way. Whats next after this the North Channel ?

"Just keep swimming .... Just keep swimming"

Maybe see you in Dover next year .... and I said maybe !! lol

Go Hoffy Go !

Maggie :)

Hoffy Swims said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words. I will do my best (as long as we get to swim!). The weather looks pretty bad for the next 5 days on the BBC web site. I will be ringing Neil later today to get the latest.

Kind regards.


Picklesmum said...

Try Metcheck, they have better weather on there!
All the best for your swim, remember if Russell can do it so can you!

Hoffy Swims said...

Thanks P.M. - Will try it. If the weather is better on this site, I may be able to go earlier! LOL!

grumpyoldwoman said...

Good luck Paul - you have worked so hard for this and I know you will give it your best shot. Pleased to see some POSITIVE press from the BFP today (for a welcome change).

Hoffy Swims said...

Thanks Grumps. Yes, makes a change doesn't it. I'm sure our illustrious Abbeygate Ward Councillors won't be very pleased though! Especially as it was on the front page. LOL! (The Beatles - Abbey Road - eat your heart out!).

Speak soon.

Kind regards.


Picklesmum said...

Nice pic on BFP front page, but when was that taken? Blue sky? Sunshine?

Hoffy Swims said...

Believe it or not, it was 2.30pm on Monday! I will be sending a copy to Farmer & Rout! LOL!

Picklesmum said...

I think you should send them each a copy. Signed. Framed.

Hoffy Swims said...

P.M - Already done! LOL!