Friday, February 23, 2018

Weather / water predictions for the Rottnest Channel Swim 2018 - good luck!

Dear Swimmers

I hope you are all doing well and if you're racing tomorrow at the 2018 Rottnest Channel Swim are excited and confident in your abilities to get the job done.

This is the first year since 2007 I have been absent from the race (I'm currently over in Europe coaching until I return to the pool deck this coming Wednesday), so it's a bit strange to be missing out on some of the hype of the weather forecasts in the week leading up to the race. This is why I have tried my best to remain a little quiet and patient on these predictions until we got a little closer to the event. Given that in under 24 hours most of you will have left Cottesloe Beach heading for Thomson's Bay, I feel "safer" in passing on these predictions at this, the 11th hour, so here goes:

This suggests that the wind will be mostly behind you, pushing you across to Rottnest with what I would suspect will be relatively calm waters, with little chance of a sou'wester kicking in around mid to late morning. For most, this is good news!!

The WindGuru confirms what BOM is telling us about a strong easterly blowing in the morning. It also shows that the wave direction is running in opposition (thereabouts) to the wind, which might make for mildly turbulent waters beyond the 3-4km mark…definitely make sure you've had your Qwells just to be on the safe side!

The data above is realtime (8am Friday 23rd February) as opposed to predictive (tomorrow morning), but you can certainly visit this page for an up-to-date analysis as the race closes in. The arrows indicate a very mild south to north current flowing right now.

This information is also in realtime and probably a good website to keep an eye on. It also shows a south to north current is currently running in the channel.


I'd highly recommend downloading and following the instructions to add in your race number (please be so kind as to forward me that on so I can track you from over here in Londontown!). Within this app you can actually set various waypoints depending on where you'd like to trend. 

My best advice would be to select the Rottnest South option based on all the information above (subject to change of course). If you'd like to play it safe, Rottnest Direct would be the way to go, but if it were me, I'd be hedging on south tomorrow. This would also mean that your support boat and paddler would be wanting to line up on the south side of the course and for you to also line up on the south side of the race start. Of course, if everyone follows this advice, then that's going to make for a fair degree of congestion, but based on all the information that we currently have to hand, this would be my best recommendation.

Final tips:

These sage words from 6 years ago will serve you well if you're concerned about your shoulders on race day: 

I do wish you the very best of luck everyone. So sorry I can't be with you over these this year, but rest assured I will be watching until the early hours of the Saturday morning (UK time) to see how you get on, despite having to be up early to entertain and lecture in front of up to 51,000 people attending the world's largest triathlon expo where I've been invited to be the proud guest speaker for swimming for the 7th year in a row. Here's a couple of pics - see you next week to relive your war stories of the great day with you!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Congratulations to Byron and good luck to Julie!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you're doing well this fine Thursday!

Bravo Byron!

I'd like to start off by congratulating newly turned-16yo squad swimmer Byron Kimber for last week picking up a Bronze medal in the Australian National 17&Under Open Water 5km championships. This is a huge a very well deserving achievement for Byron, so next time you see him whizzing past on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday morning, remember that this is literally one of the best open water swimmers in the country right now! We believe that Byron has a very bright future ahead of him, so well done to him - here's to the future!

Another Channel for Jules:

If you tune in to from 2.50am tomorrow morning (perhaps over your Wheaties before the squad session?) you'll hopefully see squad swimmer Julie Isbill complete yet another Channel swim to add to her Triple Crown of the English Channel, Manhattan and also Catalina. Tomorrow Jules will embark on a crossing from north to south of the Cook Straight in New Zealand! We wish her the very best of luck, here she is getting all prepped up:

Paul Away (15 to 27 February inclusive):

Unfortunately this year due to a clash of dates with the annual London Triathlon Show which attracts over 50,000 swimmers and triathletes over the course of the weekend to the world's biggest expo on swimming and triathlon, I will unfortunately miss this year's Rottnest Channel Swim. For the 7th year running we've been invited back as the keynote speakers and lead coaches for the fabulous event. It normally occurs the week after Rottnest, but this year falls on the same weekend, so whilst I won't be here in body I'll definitely be here in spirit and will be sending you over some last minute preparation tips as usual to assist with your final 7-10 days.

We will also be taking the opportunity whilst in Europe to finalise the filming and development of the Swim Smooth Kids program we've been developing with our coach Gabi in Prague, Czech Republic over the last 4 years, so it's going to be a very busy and exciting 10 days away from home but time that will be very well spent for bringing something really beneficial to the world of swimming. Watch this space!



Monday, February 5, 2018

Disappointed with your Swanny Swim time? Perhaps you shouldn’t be...

Hope these reflections help sooth some of your sorrows this Monday morning...😉👍

Friday, February 2, 2018

Forgetting Everything's All Right?

Dear Swimmers

Here's a little food for thought this weekend as a re-post from our main blog - enjoy!


For a lot of swimmers it's their self confidence that is holding them back. They tend to doubt their abilities, fearing at some point they'll look stupid or be shown to be a fraud and end up embarrassing themselves in front of everyone: I'm really not very good!

Oftentimes this can stem from trying to fit into what we think others expect of us:

I should be able to swim like an Olympian, always look good, always be smiling, find it easy to train hard, be thin, have the skin on a 19 year old, be strong, reliable and happy, and never have an off-day.

Of course none of us can ever measure up to that ideal so we end up feeling bad about ourselves. And since this expectation of perfection is constantly re-enforced by western society wherever we look, it can be a difficult pattern of thinking to break away from.

But here's a way to try. Seriously ask yourself this question:

Setting the negatives aside for a moment, what is it you are most PROUD about with
your swimming (or sport, or life in general)?

Obviously this is very personal to you but your answer might be something along the lines of:

"I'm a mum of three kids, I work full time, I didn't start this sport until I was 40 years old. Life's thrown a few things at me but I'm a survivor. I think I'm more motivated than most and certainly more organised, I work hard and I just love that buzz when I achieve a goal."

That right there is a positive identity that you can build from and face off those doubts. Something you can be proud of and live up to.

Someone once said that most of the time fear is just Forgetting Everything's All Right and perhaps it is. You're doing this because you enjoy it and because it's a positive in your life. So let's keep it real - all things considered you're actually doing just fine thanks very much!

Swim Smooth!