andy’s english channel swim: august 2007

August 27, 2007

2007 08 27 20h30

Filed under: Channel swim 2007 — andy @ 9:32 pm

Swim postponed.

Pilot called from the water, wind picking up. Thursday looking likely.

2008 08 27 19h11

Filed under: Channel swim 2007 — andy @ 7:20 pm

Swim confirmed for tomorrow. 

We meet the pilot in the harbour at 07h00 UK time tomorrow. Low tide is at the same time, so it looks like a long sweep north with the flood tide, before turning south with the ebb tide soon after 13h00. My efficient crew has already packed their food & my various fuels, done dry runs of feeding routines, compiled lists etc etc and now have their feet up.  

Many thanks to all of you who have sent text messages, emails to my various email addresses & also made comments on this site.

Time for pasta again & to get some sleep.

2007 08 27 12h00

Filed under: Channel swim 2007 — andy @ 1:31 pm

The call every channel swimmer wants and dreads!

My pilot, Chris Osmond, has taken swimmers out 4 days in a row, and from my window I can see the flotilla of boats approaching the southbound shipping lane. Chris’ wife called to say that we’re 90% on for 08h30 tomorrow, and will confirm later today i.e. the swim’s on unless the weather deteriorates this afternoon. My "crew" have gone for the last minute shopping & to get out of my hair, and I’m off to Shakespeare beach for a last light swim to settle the nerves.

Please remember to monitor the SportsTrack link for realtime progress tomorrow

In addition you can sms 082 777 8186 on the boat, but please do not reply to any other number, as you will clog up our outgoing communications.

Finally, the comments facility has been reactivated - let’s hope the spam monsters don’t get us before the end of the swim.

2007 08 26 Final taper

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 1:21 pm


Final week’s swimming - very light as everyone was chasing me out of the pool.

Swimming weather at Dover been good, and some of the world’s top open water swimmers have been posting mid-boggling times, in particular Peter Stoychev from (Bulgaria - 6h57mins - see photo & map below) and Yuriy Kudinov (Russia -7h06mins).  



August 22, 2007

2007 08 22 Wednesday

Filed under: Dover — andy @ 12:01 pm

Cecilia landed at Heathrow this morning and I fly tonight, and then on to Dover on Friday.

Weather permitting, I hope to get a swim in the spring tides next week (27/8 - 3/10)(see UK tide table ). If not, then I’m back into 3rd slot for the following neap tide (4/10 - 10/10).

SportsTrack has kindly made one of their newest handheld units available for this swim. This will provide near-live progress of my swim to be tracked on the web at this link which will go live when the swim starts. 

2008 08 19

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 11:50 am


Wrapped up last week of training at home with the usual Sunday 1.6km swim at Camps Bay in 14.5 degree water, and then went accross to the 50m Pavillion pool and did a quick 1 km lapping spot on target tempo of 1min 40 per 100m. That tempo equates to 10h00 for the Channel, which some of the best South African swimmers like Steve Klugman and John Dickerson have done - feed breaks, tides, weather etc all included. Me - I’m just aiming to finish the swim this time. Some sunshine  & conditions where I can see a coast - any coast - would be nice!

August 14, 2007

2007 08 12

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 11:11 am


I now know that my watch can count up to 100 laps! I was sick & tired of swimming 1km blocks, so on Saturday I went to the gym & swam 150 x 50m concentrating specifically on technique.

Now just one more solid weeks’ training & then can start to taper. Cecilia & I fly to UK middle next week - business class courtesy of a years’ travel miles accumulated mostly by Cecilia. We spend a night in London with our friends Amanda & Mark, and then off down to Dover on Friday morning.

August 10, 2007

2007 08 10

Filed under: Uncategorized — andy @ 5:59 pm

Barend on standby for tomorrow etd 10h00.


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August 6, 2007

2007 08 05

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 6:36 pm


The last chart just shows what all the diet supplements can do when training volume drops. No thanks for coach Brian Button for insisting that I get on the scale!

My friend Barend Nortje ( left for Dover on the weekend. Last year Barend lowered the South African record for swimming the English Channel by an hour to 8 hours 59 seconds. Seconding him will be Dion woodbourne, who has also swum the English Channel (

Barend has a SportsTrack handheld real-time tracking unit on loan from local swimming enthusiast (the understatement of the season) Ram Barkai. This will be on Barend’s boat, and should enable us to follow his swimming progress real-time on the web. I will post logon etc details as I receive them. See

July 30, 2007

2007 07 29

Filed under: swimming training — andy @ 1:47 pm


I ran into a wall on Monday evening (figuratively - don’t do much real running these days), and so backed right off for the rest of the week. I was due a light week next week, so deceided to take the superundercompensation right now (see comment by Mairi Brimble 2006 07 30). Hopefully I will be able to pick up condition by the end of the week.