Double English Channel 2016

I am considering a DBl EC attempt in August 2016. I have booked my tide with Mike Oram who piloted me in 1996 for my SGL. If I don't feel I am up to a DB , I will swim a SGL.

Any advice re training for a DBL would be most helpful - especially the mental side of finishing the SGL and then commencing the DBL.



  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited April 2015

    Sheesh Theo, maybe should have put this under Beginner Questions ?!


  • SullySully Member

    What would it take for me to finish a single crossing, reach land, and return to the sea? Perhaps a firing squad on the beach with orders to shoot? Can that be arranged for you?

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    I did two lake doubles in 2013. Not the same as the English Channel, but still pretty tough. The turn around part was the hardest. One length of Tahoe was already the longest I'd ever swum before. So, the task of turning around was pretty daunting. But, in the end, it's the same as any other swim- one stroke, one feed at a time. The turn around at Memphre was also tough. It was 2 or 3 am, freezing cold, and the trip over took about 3 hours longer than planned. You just have to do it. NOT doing it isn't an option. And your crew has to be on board with that, too. In both swims, my crew was great- only talking about the future and what we WERE going to do. It was never about "what ifs" or "maybes." There just weren't any questions. I think, especially at Memphre, if they have ever posed the question, "Do you want to quit" or "Are you sure you still want to turn around" I probably would have answered, "Yes, I'd like to quit" or "Yeh, I think once was enough." So, my first piece of advice, don't even start thinking, "If I don't feel I'm up for a double, then I'll just do a single." That won't get you ready. You ARE doing a double. You WILL finish a double. Don't tell people, "I'm thinking about doing an English Channel double." Tell them you ARE doing it. Talk about what you'll do when you finish. You get the idea.

    As for the training, swim as much as you can. :-)

    evmogregocmalinakaCole_GmauprietoSullyAnthonyMcCarleylakespraymjstaplesOnceaRunnerand 4 others.
  • So what we're saying is, is it a physical thing or mental?

    To me you have to crack it mentally before you can succeed physically. Tick off 'Half way' and get back in there with a determination that reflects your confidence. The physical will hopefully follow the mind....

    Please keep us posted, that's a massive challenge. Good luck Theo.

  • phodgeszohophodgeszoho UKSenior Member

    From Lisa Cummins blog - comments on the "getting back in part".

    "I've had a lot of people asking me how I managed that part, the getting back in. It was something I had thought a lot about before the swim. Not in a visualising kind of way, I never really bought into the 'visualising your swim' thing, I always figured that I could never visualise something that I had never done and something that was so unpredictable. But I had thought about what I wanted my attitude to be on that beach. And I had had quite a bit of advice about how to view my whole swim. Freda Streeter, whose daughter Alison has done three two-way swims and a three-way (she is also Queen of the Channel with 43 EC solo swims to her name!), advised me to think of my England to France leg as a warm-up, and that my actual swim was from France to England. She suggested thinking of France as my starting point. Kevin Murphy (King of the Channel, with 34 EC solo swims including three two-ways) had warned me not to allow myself celebrate when I got to France. He said that especially since I hadn't done a one-way before, it would be very easy for me to decide that I was so happy having made it to France that I didn't need to turn around at all. I trained myself to think of France as a functional stop. I needed it to put on more grease and things like that, but it was just a step towards the goal, not a goal in itself. And I think this worked...the only thing that I was concerned about with regards to getting back in was whether or not Lance thought that I could make it back with the tides and my pace. I asked about this and Imelda quickly told me that I was getting back in regardless!! Even if I had wanted to get out I don't think that I was being given the option!!"

  • phodgeszohophodgeszoho UKSenior Member

    You may also want to also check out Nick Adam's 2015 CS&PF President's Report. It has a section called "Isn’t swimming the Channel 1-way enough?" where he provides people with a bit of a reality check on the subject.

    "Often swimmers can be heard to say this when they’re going for the 2-way: “I felt fine at the end of my 1-way Channel swim, and felt I could have swum back”. As someone that has done both successful and unsuccessful 2-way swims, I can assure you it’s FAR FAR FAR harder than two 1-ways. More often than not a 1-way swim is done in daylight, with perhaps a little bit of darkness at the start when you’re fresh, or a night-time finish in the balmy French inshore waters. Swimming back to England overnight when all the other swimmers are heading back to home sipping champagne is a lonely place; this is where the challenge tests even the strongest of swimmers. You need the weather to be kind to you for a far longer window, and that’s hard to predict."

    Full Report PDF is here =>

  • MvGMvG Islamabad, PakistanCharter Member

    Interesting thread, thanks for starting it @Theodore.

    I hope to enter the world of double crossings in mid-June with an attempt at a double crossing of the Netherlands IJsselmeer (2 x 22 = 44 kms, expected water temp appr. 15 degrees C insh'Allah). The issue of how to mentally handle the turning point is very much on my mind, and I'll take the advice provided here to heart.

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