Tag Archives | English Channel

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!

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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

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Careful – the English Channel is infectious!

Abhejali (center) with helper Jayalata and pilot Chris Osmond, Dover marina

Abhejali (center) with helper Jayalata and pilot Chris Osmond, Dover marina

Abhejali (Czech Republic) from our Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team is waiting in Dover for a solo swim on Sunday or Monday (10/11th of July) – here with her helper Jayalata and boat pilot Chris Osmond. Both girls were part of our EC relay on Sept. 30, 2009 – and I am almost sure Jayalata may one day also do a solo. Abhejali did the Zurich lake last year, fast, in cold weather, and has prepared very well. Fingers crossed! (I would have loved to have an excuse to go to Dover briefly – but she has enough helpers…)

On July 20th Jatnasheel from Heidelberg is going to Dover for his solo – with Harkara from Augsburg as his helper – another future solo aspirant? Both completed our first successful EC boys relay last year (Sept. 2010).  The Channel IS infectious!

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Young Woman and the Sea – how Gertrude Ederle Became the 1st Woman to Swim the English Channel

Gertrude Ederle - Young Woman and the Sea

A highly recommended read not only for swimming afficionados! This fascinating and deeply inspiring book by Glenn Stout, published only recently in July 2009, was given to me by a friend visiting Heidelberg this month. I swallowed it within a few days. It is an extremely lively, detailed and gripping account of how Gertrude Ederle, of German (Swabonian) descent, but born in the U.S., became the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926 – and thus paving the way for a new role and recognition of women not only in sports but also in society.

As opposed to today, most of the attempts at that time and also her successful swim started from Cap Griz Nez, France, the closest point to England. On her successful swim on Aug. 6, 1926, a new route was tried out, which allowed her to start from a sandy beach in the calmer sheltered waters a little west of the Cap.  Her previous attempt the year before had failed because her trainer Jabez Wolfe had terminated her swim by sending another swimmer in to touch and thus disqualify her after nine hours in quite difficult conditions. But there were even rumours of deliberate food poisoning.

This time again, the boat pilot wanted to terminate the swim when things were getting critical. The boat, pushed by the tides, was getting dangerously close to the Goodwin Sands east of Dover and Deal, where the boat could have stranded. Finally, however, Trudy’s father, who was on the boat and  knew Trudy was doing fine, was able to convince the pilot to change course to avoid the Goodwin Sands. For Trudy this meant swimming against a very strong tide for quite some time. But she was confident, determined and steadily moving forward – finally landing in Kingsdown between Deal and Dover at 9:40 p.m. at night in an amazing 14 hours 31 (or 39?) min! Not only did she become the first woman to conquer the English Channel, but she even beat the men’s record by two hours!

Back in New York she was received like a star – but 2 of her records did not stand for long. She had opened new doors – and soon others were to follow: only 3 weeks later the next woman, Millie Clemington-Corson, succeeded, and three more men were to do it by September 1926 – each one faster than Trudy, but definitely helped by her achievement. For Trudy also pioneered a more efficient and faster swimming stroke than was common at the time – the front crawl. Breaststroke and the “trudgeon” had been the prevalent strokes of those days.

Gertrude Ederle

Gertrude Ederle

Gertrude’s female record, however, was only bettered in 1950 by Florence Chadwick, another swimming legend and 4x Channel swimmer, who made it from France to Dover in only 13:23 and became the first woman to swim the Channel from Dover to France in 1951.

“People said women couldn’t swim the Channel
- but I proved they could.”
- Gertrude Ederle

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