Best charter for English Channel Relay?

kevmc77kevmc77 Sligo, IrelandMember
edited November 2014 in Beginner Questions
Hi all,

My name's Kevin and I've just returned to swimming this year after a long break and had a great summer back in the open water with training sessions up to 9k and longest competitive race of 6k in sligo on the NW of Ireland and am enjoying it thoroughly.

The group of lads I swim with and myself are hoping to swim the English Channel as a relay next summer as a precursor to solo swims a few years down the line and I was wondering if anyone would have any recommendations on charter to use and if it's common practice that all money is paid whether swim starts or not.

Any help would be greatly accepted. Love the site by the way it's a credit to everyone on here, what would we do without the Internet :-)



  • Please look at the CSPF site for rules/regs for a relay or a solo as well as a list of pilots.
    Alot of slots are already taken for 2015 but there are always drop outs and changes.
    Best of luck!
  • kevmc77kevmc77 Sligo, IrelandMember
    Thanks guys, will do. I have seen both the cspf and csa lists alright, was just looking for some input on who was the best to go with. We've been given a really good first swim slot on a neap tide in August but was just trying to figure out if boat type makes a huge difference, from Donals blog there it obviously does. Thanks Niek and suzie I'll be sure to pass on my thanks to Donal too
  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    Hi Kevin,
    So many boats to choose from!
    I've done 2 relays with Suva, 1 with Anastasia and 1 with Sea Satin. All are perfect for relays with inside areas and bunks for changing / sleeping, cooking facilities and a toilet on board. I did my solo with Suva so I'm always going to have a favourite but thought the other two pilots and their boats were great too.
    I've also crewed & observed on Gallivant, same facilities again.
    My husband has observed for a relay on Optimist and was very impressed by the internal space and facilities available for the swimmers.

    I would say that all 5 of those boats are great choices for a relay. It wouldn't be fair for me to comment on the other boats as I don't have the experience of being on them at sea for a long period of time.

    Re payment - it depends on your pilot. I had to pay my final balance by 31 May in the year of my swim. For me, I thought that was a good move, because after the final payment was made it sent me into "panic mode" and rather made me commit to the task and the required training! :)
  • evmoevmo VermontAdmin
    edited November 2014
    kevmc77 wrote: »
    I have seen both the cspf and csa lists alright, was just looking for some input on who was the best to go with.
    Just FYI, the underlying political dynamic of swim organizations and boat pilots is such that you won't ever hear anyone say anything publicly negative about a pilot. At most, you might get high praise for certain pilots, and silence regarding others.

    For a relay, I'd guess that space & facilities will be relatively more important, compared to a solo.
  • kevmc77kevmc77 Sligo, IrelandMember
    Thanks a million guys, that's great help. We've been given a very favourable slot with the Rowena, my only concern from pictures is it looks a bit small for a relay, does anyone know the boat and be able to shed some light for us? Thanks again all, this site is really proving invaluable with the planning, so much info.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    edited November 2014
    Rowena is certainly big enough for a relay.

  • kevmc77kevmc77 Sligo, IrelandMember
    Thanks that's great info. Without sounding like too much of a fanboy, ;-) , love your blog too it's been a great help with planning and giving us things to think about that we probably wouldn't have.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    I just realised I mixed up Rowena with Louse Jane. Please send me a PM.

  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaCharter Member
    The Sea Leopard chartered by Stuart Gleeson just had some openings for 2015. He is with CSA (I think it matters very little which organization you go with, CSA or CS&PF, it's the boat captain that you'll work with). I personally vouch for Stuart as he was prompt responding to my emails, met with me prior to the swim on his boat and my crew felt very confident in his abilities and demeanor during the swim. I've had friends go out on his boat and have similar positive experiences.
  • kevmc77kevmc77 Sligo, IrelandMember
    Thanks a million, I'll drop him an email and see how he's fixed, I think the last time I was in contact with him he was almost fully booked but if something opened up that'd be great news
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