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. 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.
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.
Here the link to a youtube-video of his Channel swim
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:
Congratulations banner at Varne Ridge Caravan Park – is there a more inspiring place to stay for a 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):
The swim course, courtesy CS&PF:
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
“The message of self-transcendence
Is itself satisfaction,
Far beyond our imagination.” – Sri Chinmoy
No equal.” – Sri Chinmoy
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!
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
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.
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
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 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.
Seafarer 11 off with Abhejali from Shakespeare Beach
Exactly at 6:22 Dover time (7:22 MET) on Monday, July 11th, Abhejali started her swim with Chris Osmond on Seafarer 11 – along with quite a number of other swimmers.
Tracker 4 for Seafarer 11 on ais-doverstraits.co.uk
She has tracker no 4 on http://www.ais-doverstraits.co.uk/ (if it works…)
The boats in the Channel can also be followed via: http://www.shipais.com/showship.php?map=dover&mmsi=235018589
Conditions are looking very good – many boats with swimmers are out. Fingers crossed!
Awesome swimming conditons - Photo by Nick Adams on Suva via twitter