Tag Archives | Varne Ridge

Maybe Friday – or even earlier?

High pressure zone forecast - there is hope!

Back in Dover late Saturday morning. Up to Varne Ridge with my luggage and back to the harbour for just 1 hour of swimming. The sun is out – after a week or more of horrible weather. No swimmers were able to go on the last tide – and they have prepared for a year or more and come from all corners of the world. This is what Channel swimming is very much about!

Saturday night the bank relay teams went out for their wetsuit Arch to Arc relay triathlon (Marble Arch, London, to Arc de Triomphe, Paris), but it seems none of them made it. Many got seasick from the huge waves. They were still dropped in Calais to continue biking to Paris. Would I do the same if I don’t make it again, I mean, continue biking and running?

France seems to look closer than ever. Maybe due to our successful relay last year, where I was allowed to touch French sands again? And after swimming Lake Zurich only recently – France looks just that tiny bit further, and of course, the currents are a “little” stronger etc. My visualisation is more on the biking and running, strangely, as if the Channel was already done. Many times during training I had seen myself swimming safely alongside Anastasia and imagined swimming the last bit to France.

Miyuki (Japanese "Channel Queen" with 7 crossings) has been waiting also, she wants to do 2 swims this year!

Miyuki (Japanese "Channel Queen" with 7 crossings) is back, she wants to do 2 swims this year!

Woke up late on Sunday, but catching up with sleep is important now.

No swim before Wednesday at the earliest for me, basically agreed on Friday, if the weather is holding. Before Wednesday I would have no helpers for the biking and running. So a 3 hour swim without feeding on Sunday on Freda’s advice, maybe 3 hours again today, for best possible acclimatasation. Then more tapering.

Tuesday, however, now seems to be the first swimmable day now! Will we have to go earlier? Will meet my pilot around noon…

Freda, Barrie and Irene - Beach Crew with Channel General (sporting her new Zurich lake T-shirt)

Beach Crew with Channel General (Freda sporting her new Zurich lake T-shirt)

If anyone wants to come down to Dover to help on the boat on on Friday (start would be around 4/5 a.m.) – there is still room, also in the caravan!

My mobile for text messages: +49 152 26 59 30 34

MetOffice Pressure Forecast UK

Wind Map UK

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Our plaque is up at the Ridge

Varne Ridge Caravan Park honours their successful swimmers with plaques

our plaque at Varne Ridge Caravan Park - along with a couple of other successful swims

Varne Ridge Caravan Park, up on the cliffs between Dover and Folkestone (the ideal place for Channel swimmers and crew to stay when waiting for their swim) have the nice tradition of honouring their successful swimmer-guests by putting up plaques on the walls of the premises. So this is what we got for just a mere 3 hours (21 min.) in the water each!
Thanks Dave and Evelyn!

See also our story on: www.worldharmonyrun.org

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Mission accomplished!(at least for this year)

Satellite tracker of our pilot boat Anastasia, 4 person relay Sept. 30th

Satellite tracker of our pilot boat Anastasia, 4 person relay Sept. 30th

International 4 person relay

We did it! Finishing time 13 hours 21 min. (1 min. slower than our 6-person relay in 1989) on a sandy beach in silver moonlight just off Wissant. A great team effort with lots of grace and a bit of drama: during her second hour Zuzka looked absolutely miserable like she was going to die, eyes pleading ‘take me out here’, trying to swim hard and not able to breathe properly any more. ‘Marylin Bell’ was one of the mantras that would help her do lots better the third time.

I was so happy to be the last swimmer and touch French ground again (after last years experience) and the last couple of hours took me back again to my solo in 1985 where I landed almost at the exact same place in similar conditions – calm, peaceful night, not cold at all, starry sky, but this time with a flood of silver light from an almost full moon.

Viktoria, who has swum in Iceland in sub 10°C waters, came with Dave on the dinghy and brought the World Harmony Run torch to the beach. Last year I only held it at my start in Dover ! We quickly took some photos with the two of us holding the flaming torch, grabbed some pepples or rather sea shells and hurried back. On the way back to the pilot boat, the dinghy almost went under with our weight and I had to swim back to the boat, this time against the waves. It seemed as if someone up there wanted to tell me the relay was definitely not the end of the story …

Abhejali swimming into the light

Abhejali swimming into the light

On French sands with the World Harmony Run torch (Viktoria took it on the dinghy and brought it to the shore)

On French sands with the World Harmony Run torch (Viktoria took it on the dinghy and brought it to the shore)

Back in Dover Marina - Eddie, our pilot, his crew, observer Irene, swimmers and helpers

Back in Dover Marina - Eddie, our pilot, his crew, observer Irene and the relay team

The flags are flying from the Ridge: Czech Republic (Zuzka and Abhejali), Germany (Vasanti) and Iceland (Viktoria)

The flags are flying from the Ridge: Czech Republic (Zuzka and Abhejali), Germany (Vasanti) and Iceland (Viktoria)

More details and photos to follow on this webalbum.

For fotos of the World Harmony Run visiting schools in Dover in June this year click here.

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Off to Dover!

Taking the Euroline bus to Dover at midnight, arriving in the morning – looking forward to that first icy dip in Dover harbour on Saturday and meeting the rest of our 4 person relay team!

Weather seems to be improving, Lisa and Chloe are hoping to do their double attempts on the spring tide Sunday/Monday after the whole last tide was blown out by the weather.

My training has been moderate – 2 hours lake (beautiful crisp early September morning swim with sun glitters dancing on the ripples and hardly a soul around) on Saturday, 3 hours in the pool on overcast on Sunday (felt colder, but still 21°C), last day for the unheated pool, with a big cramp in my right calf towards the end! Nutrition has not been too careful this year. Then 1 hours swims in the heated pool (27°C) and lots of cold showers.

Our window officially opens on the 24th (till Oct. 1st). With no swims last tide I suppose even if the 23rd is swimmable, there will be other swimmers still waiting.

Our boat Anastasia can be followed by satellite tracker. We’ll be staying again at Varne Ridge with internet access and all.

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