Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Whilst you were swimming...

The calm before this morning's MASSIVE downpour at Claremont Pool, taken at about 7.10am:

Have a great day and stay drier than I'm managing right now on pool deck!!



Monday, June 27, 2011

We made it! Now we just need your help one more time! Pleeeeeaaaase!

Dear Swimmers

Extreme thanks to all of you who made it along to Claremont Jetty yesterday to support and witness us ALL qualifying for the English Channel Swim by swimming for 6 straight hours in water of 15 degrees celcius. We had a great day and everyone looked fine after the swim...no-one at all suffering with the effects of the cold. It just goes to show what a bit of preparation can do for you, combined with good consistency in training and also the awesome camaraderie and friendship bond that we have developed along the way!

Shown left to right is Andrew, Geoff, Paul D, Ceinwen, Paul N and Wayne (Carrol and Lisa D were both swimming in the ocean rather than the river so sadly weren't there for the photo opportunity).

A massive thanks also to Shelley and Leith for their help with the feeding and motivation on the day. Shelley had asked that we write out some messages that she could read to us when we were swimming - I was a little disappointed though that she didn't break into a full Eminem-style rap chorus when she read out several lines of Eminem's "Lose Yourself!" for me - LOL!


If you like the stats, here's where we swam:

I swam with my trusty Garmin GPS monitor which showed that in 5h59'09" that I had swum a total distance of 24.52km at an average pace of 14'38"/km (including drink stops). My actual swim speed was just under 13'40"/km, or the equivalent of doing 245 x 100m intervals, hitting 1'22" for every 100m, leaving every 1'27" - now that's some Fresh & Fruity Friday Morning session that'll I'll have to remember for you guys next week!!! 

The conditions (whilst cold) were perfectly flat and with no obvious current (given that we were doing laps though, this would have cancelled any discrepancy out). It's hard to draw comparisons accurately against my previous Rottnest Channel Swims, but I went through 19.7km (the distance from Cottesloe to Rottnest) in exactly 4h45'00" or 37 minutes faster than I have ever swum that distance before. This is a massive confidence boost and a good sign that all the hard work has been paying off. I certainly felt good and held an average stroke rate of 80 spm +/- 2 spm.

I'm not even going to hypothesise what I could do across to France if I held this pace, as apparently this has been the pitfall of many a previous swimmer, ignoring just how much the elements can play either for or against you. I am, however, confident that I have found my rhythm and that I have been doing everything I possibly could to get myself in the best possible shape for this challenge - and yes, that includes the 12kg I've put on to keep myself warm - I'm now a hefty 78kg!! I used to race triathlon at 62.5kg if you can imagine that! LOL! Now I'm just looking forward to another good block of training and getting on with the task at hand.

Unfortunately none of the other swimmers were using Garmin GPS devices, so we cannot report similar statistics, however, Adam and Michelle and little Jackson were on hand to get some video footage of their strokes and having seen this I can safely say that Ceinwen, Paul D, Geoff, Andrew and Wayne all did incredibly well yesterday and it's been great to see the fruit of all our combined hard work!

When are we all swimming?

Subject to conditions being favourable, this is when we're all due to swim:

...so just under 4 weeks now until Lisa and Geoff make their bid! Good luck guys!!

Channel Relay Event:

So now that you can see what we've been up to at crazy-o-clock on a Sunday morning, we'd love it if a few more of you could pull together a team of between 2 and 8 people and come and race against us as a relay over 10km at the Claremont Pool on Davies Road on Sunday 10th July between 7.30am and 10.30am. It's $195 per team and given the total support and donation of the Town of Claremont, 100% of those proceeds will go towards us raising money for Breast Cancer Care WA. So, go on, drop me an email with your team's details and we'll get you in there!

Additional Donations:

If you cannot make the Relay in July but would like to offer your support with a donation (bearing in mind that these are tax deductible), please visit our page at:

There was an amazingly generous donation last week from a single anonymous person for $5,000 - thanks if you're reading this! That's amazing!

Mouse Night:

Finally, I have tickets available for $20 each to participate in an awesome evening of fun at the Claremont Footy Club on Friday 8th July, called the "Running of the Mice!". Full details can be found at: http://www.swimsmooth.com/pauls_images/MICE.pdf but essentially it's an evening of fun and frivolity watching trained mice race against each other over  a set course. We have been informed that the mice have given their willing consent and that the whole affair is in good taste and does not stress the mice out in anyway.

We'll also have loads of prizes and some cheap pizza and drinks available all night. If you have anything you'd like to donate as a prize, please email Ceinwen at ceinwenw@hotmail.com

We're looking to get 300+ people along, so by all means please tell as many people as you can!!

Hope to see some of you there!



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We need some fans to keep us pumped!

Dear Swimmers

This Sunday (26th June) between 7.30am and 1.30pm, 5 or 6 of the eight of us preparing to swim the English Channel in the next 4 to 10 weeks will be undertaking our 6hr cold water qualifying swim and we'd love for as many of you as possible to pop down to the Claremont Jetty, even if it's just for 30 minutes or so at some point during the swim to cheer us on!

The swim was originally pegged for Matilda Bay, but recent water temperatures there have dropped a touch too low and to give us the most realistic chance of completing the marathon swim we are looking for temperatures of ~15 degrees. Of course, none of us will be allowed to wear wetsuits, we'll just be doused in copious amounts of wool fat!!

We have a 2km loop (1km out & back) lined out as per the image below:

This course will see us returning to the Claremont Jetty at the end of Bay View Terrace in Claremont every 30 minutes or so, commencing at 7.30am sharp.

Due to the cold water and the need to keep moving, we'll be taking a quick food / water stop each time we get back to the Jetty and as much as we'd love to stop and chat and thank you for your support, the most helpful thing you could do for us would be to simply cheer us on and remind us that it's not really that cold! Of course, if anyone wanted to brave a lap of the 2km course with us, even better! Again though, I stress the need for us all to stay focused on the task in hand and to keep moving as much as possible.

If anyone fancies assisting with some paddling then please let us know. Of course we don't expect anyone to be there for the full 6hrs, but any support you can offer us would be much appreciated, even if you are wrapped up warm and supping a nice cup of coffee!!

The course itself ensures we'll be in very shallow water for the entire swim, should anyone get into any dramas with getting excessively cold etc.

The most fun you can have on a Sunday morning?? Probably not - but it'll be a spectacle I'm sure!!



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Training for the Anaconda this year?

Dear Team

Please be advised that Sally Scaffidi and Mike Barton will be running a 12-week training course for the Anaconda event on the 6th November. Full details at:

The training sessions feature open water swimming, paddling, off-road running and MTBing sessions and commence on the 26th July.

Sally was the coach in charge of most of May's early morning squad sessions and we received some very positive feedback about her passion and enthusiasm as a coach so I am sure that anyone training with Mike and Sally will be in very good hands.



P.S we're a little low on numbers for the proposed 10k Relay Challenge at Claremont Pool on the 10th July - if anyone fancies joining in but can't get a group of 4 to 8 together - let me know and we'll see if we can get another couple of teams fashioned together. Thanks - your support on this one is very much appreciated!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Channel Relay & MacBook Pro for SALE to fund my swim

Dear Crew

Hope you've had a great weekend. The Channel swimming crew are going from strength to strength at the moment with Geoff and Lisa being just 6 weeks away from their respective attempts; Ceinwen, Wayne and Carrol being 8 weeks away; and myself, Paul D and Andrew Hunt being 12 weeks away from our swims. We've been clocking up some big KMs in training and in some pretty cold water too (Lake Leschenaultia was 13.1 degrees for example for our 2h30 swim this last Saturday, and yes, that's without wetsuits!).

Channel RELAY:

As mentioned in a previous email, we are looking to run a 10km Challenge Relay Event in aid of Breast Cancer Care WA on Sunday 10th July at Claremont Pool. Here's how it will work:

  • Teams of 4 to 8 people will complete the 100 x 100m relay legs and race against a nominated member of the Channel swimming group who will complete the 10km swim solo...yes, that's 200 lengths of Claremont Pool!
  • Date is set for Sunday 10th July between 7am and 10am with a BBQ to follow-up.
  • We need 6 teams in total - please email me now to reserve one of the six spots for your team and include everyone's name if you have it at this stage.
  • Cost is $195 per team which will go entirely to Breast Cancer Care WA (you are more than welcome to donate more and there will be raffles etc where we aim to raise some more money for this very worthy cause). We will send payment method info to the six teams prior to the event.
  • Each team will be allocated a half-lane of the 50m pool and will swim up and down that same side for the entire duration in a relay fashion with only one swimmer in the water at a time. The Channel swimmers will all swim in a single lane in a standard squad-style arrangement, i.e. clockwise.
  • It will be lots of fun! Here are some photos from last year's event: http://gallery.me.com/swimsmooth#100143
  • Please help us raise some good donations for this cause and help the Channel swimmers raise the awareness of Breast Cancer Care WA!

MacBOOK PRO for Sale:

I might not have got to the stage of selling my body (!) to fund this Channel Swim, but I am selling my 14-mth old 15" MacBOOK Pro laptop if anyone is interested? It's very slick and incredibly cool. Here are the details for the boffins and those interested:

  • 15" MacBOOK Pro 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Upgraded to 8GB of genuine Mac RAM DDR3, plus 500 GB hard-drive
  • Running Mac OSX 10.6.7 (Snow Leopard) - all completely re-installed and updated to the latest version of the OS.
  • 14-mths old and in A-1 condition having always been used in a hard-shell plastic casing. 
  • Comes with box and all printed / electronic documentation including install / restore DVDs. Also includes AC wall plug and power cord.
  • Features an upgraded factory-fitted matte screen finish, and as such is excellent for outdoor use, cafes etc when the standard glossy screen is too reflective - big bonus!
  • Software: Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard (includes iTunes, Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces, Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo Booth, Front Row, Xcode Developer Tools)
  • Also includes iLife '09 (includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, GarageBand)
  • As with previous models, the MacBook Pro features a precision unibody enclosure crafted from a single block of aluminum, creating a thin and light mobile computing workhorse (less than 1 inch thin and just 5.6 pounds) that's also highly durable. It includes a 15.4-inch matte display as well as a glass trackpad that doesn't include a button (for larger tracking area) that features Apple's Multi-Touch technology. You'll also get up to 7 hours of battery life while on the go.
  • Comes complete with iSight web-cam and 8 x DVD/CD Superdrive for watching and burning DVDs and CDs.
  • Features 2 x USB ports, Firewire, SD card slot, port for VGA output (presentations etc).
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256mb graphics card.
  • You will have a lot of fun using this laptop!
  • Cost just shy of $3,000.00 14-mths ago - will sell for $1,450.00 ono. Please email swimsmooth@me.com or call Paul on 0431 540 980. Please let any friends, family or colleagues know about it if they might be keen - thanks!