Swimmers view

Swimmers view
Sea Leopard - swimmers eye view

Sunday, 28 July 2013

"It's Kit's Fault" - successful Channel relay swim - 23rd July 2013

"It's Kit's Fault" relay team is a family affair with a substitution: Jackson Carroll (seen below in blue shirt) stood in at short notice for Anji Page (due to health reasons) who had in turn replaced Charlie Brookes who withdrew due to an opportunity in America. The rest of the team are siblings Ali Hornby, Sue Brookes, Paul & Steve Husband with brother in law Ray Brookes. Ali made a valiant unsuccessful solo attempt in 2012 (16 hours 25 minutes) with the family acting as support team both for the pre swim training & support on the boat. Jackson Carroll is training for a solo in September & had trained with the others at Folkestone over the winter.
Ali explained that Kit was another sister, who died of cancer in 2011. The siblings decided that it would be a good idea to swim to raise money for McMillan Nurses and the British Heart Foundation.

Steve, Jackson, Ray, Paul, Sue & Ali
Jackson Carroll started the swim from Shakespeare Beach at 0750.

Jackson Carroll

"In she goes, no time wasted with Sue"

Sue Brookes

Ali Hornby
Ali started as we were about 3nm off Folkestone. Sue reported that the water felt warmer than she thought & that her goggles had leaked. Leaking goggles became a theme for the family during the swim. Sue also mentioned that she had seen many jellyfish during her swim.
Ray Brookes
Ray Brookes started swimming 18 months ago (according to Sue). He has improved visibly since being a support swimmer for Ali last year.

Steve Husband
Steve Husband prefers to swim breast stroke, but is much better at front crawl. The family had to give encouragement to make him swim the latter!

Paul Husband
Paul Husband did some breast stroke too, but once settled into his hour did some good front crawl taking the team into the South West lane.

The team then went into their second rotation, Jackson, Sue & Ali making the distance across into the Separation Zone ready for Ray to take the team into the North East lane.

Sue & Ray Brookes

Ray Brookes
Ray was followed for some time by a seagull which amused everyone on board. Steve's second swim coincided with slack water. Paul swam as the Ebb tide strengthened & took us down the NE against the flow of traffic which was busy. Wind increased as Jackson entered the water with lights attached.
I told Sue she'd need to make about 2 miles in her hour to get us inside the ZC2 buoy which is about 3 miles off the French coast. She did!
Ali got into the dark sea & the tide turned to Flood again towards the NE. I told Ray that he had to swim as hard as he could for his hour else the tide would take us back out to sea. A heavy challenge for a man who only started swimming 18 months ago. He was up to the job & we had to help him up the ladder at the end as he had given everything. It took us into the shallows enough for Steve to push on - still with a strong current - but he made his way inwards.

Paul Husband landed the team on the beach half a mile south east of Sangatte at 0131 on the 24th July after 17 hours 41 minutes of swimming. Ali revealed that Paul had asked to be sixth in the order as he didn't fancy landing & the team expected to be much slower.
Paul bought back some pebbles from the beach for the family & in good spirits we travelled back to Dover.

The team (with crewman Garry Clarke)

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