Hello and thank you for visiting my fundraising page.
Sometime between 16 and 23 September 2018, I will attempt to swim solo across the English Channel. In doing so, I’m aiming to achieve two things.
As with many formidable challenges people undertake throughout life, it is a testing of oneself and the exhilaration and sense of accomplishment when/if attained.
But in this case, it is rather more. I dearly hope to raise funds for my three chosen charities all of which I feel are deserving of whatever assistance they can get. I have chosen these not only because they are causes close to my heart, but because I feel that every dollar raised will directly benefit those I seek to help.
They are all based in my home city of Perth, Western Australia and I hope that one, if not all, will stir a similar altruistic spirit that they have with me.
1. Lifeline (WA). Lifeline’s tagline is ‘saving lives, crisis support and suicide prevention’. Lifeline WA provides all Western Australians experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Their services are available to everyone, every day of the year. Last year, more than 55,000 Western Australians contacted them for support via their telephone service and they responded to 14,000 Online Crisis Chat sessions.
2. Kanyana Wildlife is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to wildlife conservation. They care for sick, injured, orphaned, and displaced wildlife; breed threatened species; conduct training and research; and educate schools and community. Income from education and fundraising activities is used to fund their Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, set in a national park in the Perth Hills and operating 8am-8pm every day of the year. Their only employee, a Hospital Manager, works with 300 volunteers to provide their services, which rely entirely on donations and grants.
3. Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees (CARAD) Inc. CARAD is voice for the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and detainees and a provider of essential services, ensuring that all people seeking safety in Australia are able to live with dignity. Since opening its doors in 2000, CARAD has provided support to over 5,000 asylum seekers, refugees and detainees through its Case Management and Volunteer Programs.
Services provided by its Case Management program for clients with little or no income include: a weekly foodbank which provides fresh food, groceries toiletries and baby items, emergency relief payments and rent assistance. CARAD’s Volunteer Program provides support including: social visits for people in immigration detention, English language and homework help for refugees and asylum seekers in the community and weekly community lunches.
SWIMMING THE ENGLISH CHANNEL:
It’s the busiest shipping lane in the world and is a distance of 34kms/21miles (or many more depending on the tide and current). I expect I’ll need to swim continuously for somewhere between 12 and 20 hours (this means no breaks, no sleeping). It will include swimming through the night. I’ll have a support boat right beside me with an official observer to monitor various channel conditions and to ensure that I’m following the ‘Channel Rules’. This includes not touching the boat or anyone or thing from it. All food and drinks will be handed to me using a long pole, in a net or in a bottle attached to a long piece of string.
There are a lot of factors that combine to make the swim hard; it’s not necessarily the distance. It’s the unpredictable weather, strong currents and cold water - 13°C to 17°C - that make it most challenging (hypothermia accounts for a large percentage of the unsuccessful attempts).
What sets many a successful swim apart is the indomitable will and mental strength of the swimmer. The key is preparation and planning for the inevitable roller coaster of emotions. The isolation of being in the water on your own for such a long time, combined with fatigue, hunger and feeling cold, are often said to make the swim 10% physical and 90% mental. Apparently, more people have climbed Mt Everest than swum the Channel solo.
The Channel Rules dictate that I’m only allowed to wear regular bathers (i.e. no thermal protection, no race suits), one bathing cap and goggles. Therefore, it’s imperative I acclimatise to cold water. So, counting down the 500 days until I expect to swim, I’ve been taking and will continue to take cold showers/baths. I will also swim through another Perth winter in our Swan River, where the water temperatures can drop as low as 10°C. As I’ll have to swim at night, there’ll be late night and very early training sessions to get used to swimming in darkness.
The lead up to my Channel swim will include various fundraising milestones as well as participation in the following events:
• Rottnest (“Rotto”) Channel Swim on Saturday 24 February 2018 – 19.7km solo crossing;
• Port to Pub Swim on Saturday 25 March 2018 – Ultramarathon 25km solo crossing; and
• A Rotto double crossing (on a date to be set sometime in April or May 2018) - 39.4km double solo crossing.
I will personally be fully funding my training programme, the various swims leading up to and including the English Channel swim, as well as my Channel Swimming Association registration and boat pilot fees, airfares, accommodation and all other associated costs (for me and my support crew).
All funds I manage to raise will be divided equally and go directly to my three chosen charities.
It will really mean a lot to have you support these charities and follow me on this journey. Please click on the DONATE NOW button to make a donation (of any size).
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