So after researching the logistics of organising a cross Solent swim, considering the need to notify and liaise with the Harbour master and Coastguard, together with the need to have support vessels for the swim itself, we have decided to join in an organised event. The West Wight Sports Centre have run an event for the last four years and are organising the 5th Wild West Solent Swim in (weather permitting) late June of 2015. Joining this group will ensure that we get all the support needed plus local knowledge of tides. This event is primarily a fund raiser for the sports centre on the Island, but it can be used by swimmers to raise funds for other causes. The mechanics of this are that the first £250 of sponsorship raised goes to the West Wight Sports Centre and 50% of any surplus can go to an alternative charity.
A small group of us from the mainland will be undertaking the challenge and I will leave it to the other swimmers to contribute to this blog as they wish. For my part my chosen charity will be Planets at Southampton Hospital who will receive the half-share of anything over the £250. My association with Planets arose after I underwent some major surgery under the care of the team at Southampton for an upper GI tumour in 2012. The surgery removed a (fortunately) benign tumour along with a significant part of my pancreas and some other bits of internal plumbing and left me about 15kg lighter and fairly unwell for a while. Since then i have been working on my fitness and looking for personal challenges that also help to fundraise. In 2014 the challenge took the form of a firewalk and for 2015 I have settled on the swim.
Having booked a place on the swim my training kicked off in earnest on the 2nd January. I have rejoined a gym and am planning to swim in the pool a target of 3 times weekly. At the 17th Jan these swims are going well with a 2k swim and two 1.2k swims logged each week so far giving me 15k of swimming under my belt. Ongoing the plan is to improve technique rather than distance and clearly there is a need to graduate to open water swimming, which I’m told by those who know is a very different proposition, but that will be left until it’s a little bit warmer.
That’s it for starters, see you later