andy’s english channel swim: august 2007


March 29, 2006

2006 03 29 11h58

Filed under: Uncategorized — andy @ 4:14 pm

Great Excitement - Hugh Tucker (www.hughtucker.co.za) my friend & second for my Channel swim hopes to swim across False Bay from Rooi Els to Smitwinkel bay tomorrow (see Google Earth map below). I am one of the swimmers who is on standby to second him. This is significant because, in spite of about 20 attempts at the crossing, only three attempts have ever been successful. The locals regard this swim as more difficult than the English channel crossing - indeed even the most experienced local swimmers regard the swim as absurd (see http://www.capeswim.com/falsebay.htm). Personally, I need to complete a 6 hour cold water swim to qualify for the English Channel swim - and this will be at least a 12 hour swim - I therefore won’t swim the whole distance. More importantly, it is reciprocation for the time & enthusiasm that Hugh has shown to my swimming; I hope that the company & the tempo help, but I have no doubt that I will be told otherwise while in the water, if either are not contributing!

Hugh Tucker's False Bay route 

The swim accross False Bay is an extreme expedition swim, due to its distance, cold water, strong currents, unpredictable weather and the presence of sharks, and Hugh has constructed a motorised cage for "shelter" if necessary. This swim is the culmination of years of long distance swimming for Hugh, which included a nearly-completed Channel swim 32 years ago, and a successful Channel swim 2 years ago. A possible swim was called off on the day 3 weeks ago due to local wind conditions, and the extended stand-by state wreaks havoc with everyone’s sleeping habits.

As usual, the  weather determines if  we get in the water, and 16h00 is the next weather check (see www.windguru.com). Final confirmation of the swim will be at 03h00 tomorrow morning, and we will meet at the Gordon’s Bay boat club at 05h00 to motor to the starting point.