Archive | Channel swimming RSS feed for this section

English Channel girls relay honouring 50 years of service

Video-English-Channel-Relay-2014

To honour our teacher Sri Chinmoy’s 50 years of peace service to the world, 4 female members of our international Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team chose another English Channel self-transcendence adventure. On Sept. 17th, at 12:42 p.m. they embarked on their 16 hour 34 min. long journey to France.  With lots of inner and outer support again from around the world,  Harita from New Zealand, Abhejali (several Zurich lakes, EC relay 2009, EC solo 2010, MIMS 2012, Gibraltar Straits 2013, ), Jayalata and Ritadyumna (EC relay 2009, breaststroker) from Czech Republic and their two  enthusiastic and experienced helpers (Bahula from New York and Haribala from Zlin) were lucky to have the weather gods on their side again and enjoy a great time – before, after and even at times during the swim.

Team2

Victory! The flags are flying at Varne Ridge Caravan Park!

While a solo swim is of course much more demanding, a relay has its own challenges – like being cold and seasick (in spite of pills and patches) on the boat and maybe unable to eat or drink in between 3-4 sets of 1 hour swims and having to dive back into black and choppy cold water at night etc. But the experience of teamwork is even more special in a relay – and it can be a nice stepping stone for the next sized challenge, the solo. FinishSri Chinmoy Golden Jubilee Team at Varne RidgeThe girls were in good hands with Mike Oram on Gallivant, one of the top EC swim pilots, who has led several of our team members across already, his co-pilot James Willi and crew.

I was very happy they were able to swim during the few days I was visiting Dover, so we could swim a little in the harbour, be excited and celebrate together. It would not be surprising to see another solo develop out of this relay in the near future!

Self-transcendence
Is my
Ever-blossoming goal.

Sri Chinmoy

Here the →  link to the slide show-video on vimeo again.

Comments { 0 }

Angikar finished in Heidelberg 9/11 around noon

First of all: HUGE CONGRATULATIONS – to Angikar and the whole team!

Just a few glimpses for now – more to come.

Sept. 6: swimming on the best swim day of the year in unbelievable conditions – looks like liquid silver (click for video):

Swim-Sept-6

 

 

Heidelberg Castle

A very happy Angikar with the Serbian flag – and Heidelberg Castle in the back

 

More photos  of the swim → here

 

 

 

 

Being busy with many other things, Angikar`s training had actually been quite limited – mainly to swimming. However, his absolute faith – and the inner and outer support from friends and teammates all over the world – carried him through.  One “mantra” or idea that inspired and helped Angikar right from the beginning tremendously, was a quote by his meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy:

Peace Tree Heidelberg

Angikar with local and main helpers, finishing at the Ethnological Museum at the Gingko Peace Tree planted in 2001 with the current mayor of Heidelberg

Peace Tree Ethnological Museum Heidelberg

Two EC-Triathlons: Dover-Aachen 2010 (right), Dover-Heidelberg 2014 (left), and 4 EC solos and 3 EC relays in one photo

We are all truly unlimited,
If we only dare to try
And have faith.
Sri Chinmoy

Interestingly, to the day 29 years ago, back in 1985, after our first two team members successfully swam the English Channel, Sri Chinmoy commented:

“Yesterday`s impossibility has surrendered to today’s reality. But this reality also has to be transcended… Self-transcendence is a very special kind of perfection in the Heart of our Beloved Supreme.” – Sri Chinmoy, Sept. 11, 1985

 

Comments { 0 }

Angikar made it! And is on his way via Brussels and Aachen to Heidelberg

Map-FinishTeammate Angikar Sasa Djordjevic (43), first EC soloist from Serbia in 2010, just finished his 2nd English Channel swim in 18 h 41 min – faster than his 2010 solo. He is now being delivered to Calais for some well-deserved rest before he will get on his bike on Sunday morning. (See his swim route on the left.)

 

otto-thaning-oldest-person-swim-english-channel

Otto Thaning, new EC age record at 73 (photo credit twitter Lewis Pugh)

Map-to-CalaisJust a bit earlier today a new age record was established: 73 year old heart surgeon Dr. Otto Thaning from South Africa became the eldest English Channel swimmer – breaking the old record by about 3 years in 12 hours 52 min (Otto was scheduled to swim in 2012 at age 72 but the weather did not cooperate then. It is amazing and extremely inspiring to see him come back to fulfil his dream!). The breaststroke swimmer Tony Baley with Anastasia is also heading towards Calais – but still  swimming (after 20 hours!). He finally finished after 25 h 56 min!

Victory flags are flying at Varne Ridge

Flag-Varne-Ridge2- the Serbian flag for Angikar and the South African flag for age record breaker Otto Thaning, in front of one of the rows of successful Channel swim plaques.  Such a special service by Dave and Evelyn at such a special place for Channel swimmers and aspirants – thanks so much!

Update Monday, 8th: As of Monday, Angikar has passed Brussels and covered over 1/3 of his bike route. They had some logistical problems and he took some more rest. Expected to reach Aachen tonight.

Dover-Heidelberg triathlon route Angikar 2014 - on his bike leg right now

Angikar`s planned Dover-Heidelberg Channel Triathlon route – on his bike leg right now (Sunday, Sept. 7)

Update Wednesday, 10th: He finished biking in Bingen late last night and started running at 2:30 a.m. this morning. One Serbian helper had to leave, but now a local helper from Heidelberg ist also with him. At 10:30 p.m. he still has 50 km to go. But the weather is fine and there is a beautiful full moon. Slow and steady wins the race! He will finish on Sept. 11th – the anniversary day of my first EC-triathlon attempt in 2008, when I was pulled out of the water hypothermic. And his start on Sept. 6th was the finish day of my shorter EC triathon Dover-Aachen in 2010.  Things are evolving very nicely!

He told me he is carrying the Peace Torch (previously World Harmony Torch) with him and is dedicating every stroke, pedal and step of his “Self-Transcendence Challenge” to peace and the European Peace Run 2014, which will end in the capital of his country, Serbia/Belgrade, on Oct. 7/8th.

Also, he will be able to write a book just about the challenges leading up to the start, and another one about the various challenges en route – like locking up the bikes during van-dinner, misplacing the key and calling the police etc.

Angikar and Peace Torch in 2010

Angikar and Peace Torch in 2010 at the start of his 1st EC solo

 

What gives life its value,
If not its inner cry
For self-transcendence?
- Sri Chinmoy

Comments { 0 }

Angikar attempting to conquer the English Channel – again – and more…

Angikar-6-1-Sept-5b

Screenshot about 2 p.m. Dover time. Below you will find the link to the tracker – the green arrow is Gallivant. http://cspf.co.uk/tracking#

At 5 a.m. this morning (Sept. 6) Angikar, Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team member from Serbia, with pilot boat Gallivant/James Willi and helpers set off from famous Shakespeare Beach in Dover, together with an armada of other pilot boats and their solo or relay swimmers, in an attempt to conquer the English Channel a second time (his first solo was Aug. 8, 2010, in 19 h 24 min, followed by an EC relay Sept. 2010) – this time as part of a personal EC triathlon. It is the first day of the spring tides, with a bit more current, but the weather conditions are looking great.

Angikar and his helper Aryavan

Angikar and his helper Aryavan at Shakespeare beach in 2010

His goal will be Dover-Heidelberg – a long cherished dream, which might be manifested soon!  He will have a short rest in Calais, than get on his bike on Sunday and Monday for 560 km through Brussels and Aachen along the Rhine to Bingen, followed by a short rest again, and then running 3 marathons to Heidelberg. Good vibes and lots of inner support is very welcome! The whole project will take a few days. More updates to follow.

Here you can follow the tracker (the green arrow is his boat, Gallivant, if you click on the arrow and then on “latest track”, you can see the course due to the currents – the boats always try to go straight, but you get swept into a curve): http://cspf.co.uk/tracking#

Update 7:50 p.m. Heidelberg time:

Channel is pancake flat – here a breaststroker stroking away with Anastasia:
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=357602904397132

And this is the current position of the boats in the Channel – Angikar green arrow:

Position around 7 p.m. Dover time

Comments { 0 }

Karteek and the washing machine – EC solo no 11!

Karteek-swim-2014

Karteek’s wim track – courtesy CS & PF

Karteek-6-day-race

At the 6-day race, N.Y., April 2014

After a few years away from the English Channel, exploring other (cheaper) open water swim adventures across Scottish lochs and firths, then back crewing for our teammate Adriano from Brazil who “conquered” the English Channel in July 2013, and completing his first 6-day footrace  in April 2014, Scottish “King of the Channel” Karteek Clarke felt ist was time again for the “real thing” this year – another EC solo. He was booked for the tide starting July 20th, but as is so often the case, there was a lot of waiting involved, weather and tides not quite cooperating the way they were supposed to, with the added challenge of having to switch his pilot last minute. Karteek finally got his chance to swim on July 30th, on a windy spring tide – and an opportunity to enter new territory, timewise!

Spring tides and wind over tide combined to make it his longest swim so far – 19 hours 01 min.  He will post a longer story soon on his blog.  Here some of his first remarks about the swim:

“I felt super strong at the beginning and it seemed it would be a fast swim, but then it was a ‘washing machine’ all the way and I could never get into a proper stroke. Also it was on a spring tide, which is probably fine if you have flat calm conditions, but it made the end hard as you can see on the map – I thought we were going into the bay of Wissant, but then I saw two huge ferries between me and the beach (which is where they go near Calais) and then Devashishu, my helper, told me we were next to Calais!  So we just made it in, I think.  It was great to do the Channel again though. Mike Oram, my boat pilot, was really great – very helpful and professional – I could not imagine a better pilot.  Maybe I needed to have the experience of knowing I can swim for 19 hours! I will write up more on my blog in a while.”

There is only one dream
That will always be perfect
In your lifetime,
And that is the dream
Of self-transcendence.
- Sri Chinmoy

Comments { 0 }

Adriano Passini – our team`s new English Channel swimmer!

End of July was extremely eventful. I went to England to join an international team for the last part of the “Great British Peace Run” from Cardiff to Ipswich, be part of the inauguration ceremony of a Peace Statue of Sri Chinmoy – the founder of the World Harmony Peace Run and of our Marathon Team –  in Ipswich Chantry Park on July 28th, and to pay a short visit to Dover on the way back to Heidelberg.

From Brazil to Dover, from Dover to France

Just then, on Saturday, July 27th, Adriano Passini (32), an aviation engineer from Sao Paulo, became the first member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team Brazil  to successfully swim the English Channel, in a fantastic time of 11 hours 10 min – the 44th EC swim by a member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.  Adriano Passini with the Brazilian flag - having conquered the English Channel!He was supported with tons of experience and lots of selfgiving dedication by Karteek Clarke from Scotland (“Scottish King of the Channel” with 10x EC) and his friend Ashirvad from Brazil, and expertly guided by “Gentleman-pilot” Chris Osmond on Seafarer 11, who in 2011 also safely landed our boys relay team and my friend and teammate Abhejali Bernadova (Czech Republic) on the French side.

Chris Osmond, Seafarer II, Adriano (the beaming hero) and Karteek

Adriano – a vegetarian – had prepared himself very well for at least 2 years, physically, mentally and spiritually, including meditation – and even concentrated intensely on the exact swim date. And it worked! He had a daylight start and finish, a few hours of heavy rain and fog, but with the sun coming out at the end. He was very focussed and positive throughout the swim. The strong spring tide currents were no problem for him. To stay warm he may have swum extra fast. The water temperature had been a bit of a concern for him, finding no colder water than 19°C in Brazil, but he was wise to come early enough to Dover to get acclimatized in the harbour and not accept an earlier swim offer, and he was totally fine until the glorious finish in bright sunlight.

Adriano getting closer to Cap Griz Nez - and the sun coming out

Determination wins the day…

Read more: On his blog 10x EC-veteran Karteek shares a longer report from a helper`s perspective with more info about Adriano`s preparation and the swim itself.

…and sleep overtakes an exhausted helper:

Helping a Channel swimmer is hard and tiring work!

Congratulations banner at Varne Ridge Caravan Park - is there a more inspiring place to stay for a Channel aspirant?Varne Ridge Caravan Park - which better place to stay for Channel aspirant

One day later at the Sri Chinmoy Peace Statue ceremony in Ipswich: the Mayor of Ipswich with 4 Channel swimmers (together 14 EC solos and 2 realys):

Sri Chinmoy Peace Statue, Mayor of Ipswich with 4 Channel swimmers and 14 EC solos

The swim course, courtesy CS&PF:

Swim course English Channel Adriano Passini

One of Adriano`s favourite mantras or spiritual aphorisms for a positive, impossibility-challenging attitude, which he used in preparation as well as during his swim, is by his spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy (IMSHOF honouree 2012!):

“We are all truly unlimited,
If we only dare to try
And have faith.”
Sri Chinmoy

AAIMG_0760

Mission accomplished!

“The message of self-transcendence
Is itself satisfaction,
Far beyond our imagination.” - Sri Chinmoy

“Self-transcendence-joy
Unmistakably knows
No equal.” - Sri Chinmoy

Kevin-Murphy-Adriano

 

 

 

 

 

We also paid a nice visit to Kevin Murhpy,  “King of the Channel” (34 solo crossings) and secretary of the CS&PF. He has so many amazing stories, he could fill a number of books! Never heard his story before how he got lost on the African coast when swimming the Strait of Gibraltar!

Comments { 1 }

Global Open Water Conference – Honouring Sri Chinmoy

Sri-Chinmoy-To-Be-Inducted-In-The-Hall-Of-Fame

Honourees IMSHOF 2012

It was a nice adventure and a great honour to be invited to the Global Open Water Swimming Conference Sept. 21st/22nd 2012 on the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, California, to accept the IMSHOF award for Sri Chinmoy, who was beingSri Chinmoy honoured posthumously for his decades of inspiration and mentorship in the with Big River Man Martin Strel and AbhejaliOpen Water and Channel swimming world. I felt like a tiny fish among so many great fish (Diana Nyad, OW Greta Anderson, swimming legend, holding the World Harmony Run Torchlegend Greta Anderson, “Big River Man” Martin Strel (who was lifted by Sri Chinmoy in 2004), Penny Lee Dean, Marcos Diaz (U.N. Goodwill and Ocean Ambassador), Marcy MacDonald, Elisabeth Fry, Torch Bearer Award for Steven MunatonesDr. Jane Katz (who has trained some of our team`s Channel swimmers in N.Y.), Michael Read (King of the Channel 1997-2005), Ned Denison, Peace Swimmer Nejib Diana Nyad - Cuba to FloridaBelhedi and many others) – and it was extremely inspiring to meet with and listen to so many open water greats – and to speak to them about Sri Chinmoy and the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team – and introduce the new book “Sport and Meditation”.

Many guests and speakers enjoyed holding theNehjib Belhedi - Swim for Peace Across Tunesia World Harmony Torch and making a wish for peace, and the Torch was finally invited also into the group photo with all the IMSHOF honourees.

Steven Munatones, main organiser of the Conference (with co-organiser Lexie Kelly on the left and Shelley Taylor-Smith on the right), was awarded the Torch Bearer Award of the World Harmony Run for his tireless efforts in promoting the spirit of self-transcendence and international friendship, inspiring and joining so many people across the world in their various quests in the open water world.

The 3rd day of the conference was marked by the “Swim Across America” iSwim Across American the Marine Stadium of Long Beach with races of various distances – and around 350 participants. Training for Gibraltar, I chose the 10 k olympic distance and was quite happy to finish in 3 h 25 - more than a minute before Mike Read, King of the English Channel from 1997-2005 with 33 crossings. Abhejali did 1.5 k in 27 min 26.

We were three from our Sri Chinmoy our team at the conferenceMarathon Team: myself (EC 1985 and 2010, Zurich lakes etc.), Abhejali Bernadova from Czech Republic (English Channel 2011, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim 2012, Zurich lake etc.), Bigalita Egger, L.A. (ultrarunner, several 10 day races in New York at age 70+) and Ahelee (EC solo 2001), a good friend, and we had a great time during, before and after the conference! Thank you everyone for your support – and the IMSHOF for their amazing efforts!
Dr Jane Katz Ned DenisonMarcos Diaz

Individual Self-Transcendence

Comments { 2 }

Sri Chinmoy inducted into the IMSHoF

Sri Chinmoy holding the World Harmony Run TorchThe International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame has selected the honorees for the year 2012.  The award presentation will take place at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Long Beach, California.
Sri Chinmoy, founder of the international Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, is one of the honorees
“for his considerable achievements as an administrator and mentor among long distance swimmers.” (Kevin Murphy, King of the Channel and President of the Board of Directors, IMSHoF)
The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team is known worldwide for its many athletic events, especially in the field of ultra- or endurance events, including the International Zurich Lake Self-Transcendence Marathon-Swim. In the spirit of self‑transcendence, his students have completed extraordinary feats of endurance. Members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, who have received many awards, honors and recognitions, have swum the English Channel over forty times solo, and 3 times in relays (see list).

Interestingly, all of the team members are or have been vegetarians for years at the time of their swim and used regular meditation not only as part of their training but also as an integral part of their lifestyle.

Comments { 0 }

Victory for Abhejali!

Abhejali's finish around 22:05 our time

Abhejali’s finish around 22:05 European Mean Time near Cap Blanc Nez

Abhejali made it – in 14h 37 (or 38) mins! Ironically maybe even thanks to being seasick in the beginning! Out of the 14 boats that went out with relays and solos, only 5 made it I heart – some were  swept parallel to the coast at the end for hours before giving up, others turned round even earlier! Short feeding stops (in the second half), consistent swim speed and a good pilot (here Chris Osmond on Seafarer 11) and crew always have to work together. In a way it may even have helped Abhejali that she was pushed a bit further northeast in the beginning, probably due to her sick stomach and more frequent or longer stops, plus they started earlier – so she stayed further East of Cap Griz Nez and did

Parallel

Sea Satin and Suva are being swept off parallel to the coast – Anastasia and Pathfinder are doing well, too

not get into the stronger currents off the Cap when the tide turned again, plus she was a little closer to shore in calmer waters near Cap Blanc Nez when the others started being pushed parallel – at least that is what appeared to happen on the trackers. More of the story tomorrow.

That happens when you cannot cut through the tidal currents and run out of steam

One of the swims that sadly did not make it today (with Suva)

Here some more snapshots from the net.

Left: That happens when you cannot cut through the tidal currents, and maybe are even pushed by some wind from Southwest,  and don’t have enough left mentally and/or physically to keep swimming till the tide changes again. (The record is 27 hours – so no need to give up here unless you are hypothermic, cramped, running out of maxim/water/gas or you have to catch your plane or be back at work the next day.)

Here one of today’s  dramas (see above) on twitter with interesting fotos – one of the many charity swims, and donations are always welcome.

Victory and defeat are interwoven.
Do not try to separate them,
But try to go beyond them
If your heart longs for abiding peace.
– Sri Chinmoy

Love the battlefield of life,
For joy is always breathing
Secretly and openly
In both your victory and your defeat.

- Sri Chinmoy

Happy - Abhejali and her helper team on the way back to Dover

Happy – Abhejali and her helper team on the way back to Dover

Comments { 1 }

Abhejhali is more than halfway – after being seasick for hours!

More than half way - geografically

Past the Separation Zone -more than half way - geografically at 15:47 MET

Only briefly: Almost from the beginning of her swim Abhejali became seasick and could not hold anything in her stomach (the swells can be hard on your stomach even if the sea is almost flat). “What shall we do?” the helpers texted desperately. Nothing seemed to work. I texted back that Karteek (10x EC) had been seasick many times, even feeding the fish for up to 6 hours into the swim, and still made it most of the times. Vijaya always got seasick and finally made it. Abhejali fought through it and after 5 hours or so into the swim it got better.

It`s really busy today - 13 boats with swimmers out in the ChannelIt`s really busy today – 13 boats with swimmers out in the Channel

They have left the Separation Zone, meaning they are more than halfway – geografically!

You never know how much longer the end will be… The sea is choppy now (text message) with constant SW winds.

13 piloting boats  are out today, trying to guide their swimmes safely between tankers, ferries, pleasure crafts etc. to French shores.

Comments { 0 }