doing a "rehearsal swim" for a Channel swim - good idea?
I have a Channel slot September next year. I have an idea of doing a "rehearsal swim" February next year to see if I'm ready to swim the Channel before I embark on my travel plan.
The rehearsal swim, done not far from my home town (1 hour drive), will feature the following:
1. with significant portion in the open sea using motor support, using a boat as similar as possible to the pilot boat I've booked.
2. in tidal water that the swim is needed to time with the tide
3. start at night and finish in the day, as in most English Channel swims
4. with expected temperature 15 - 18°C, same as a Channel swim
5. using the same planned crew as in the Channel swim
6. with an observer who can write me a report to be submitted as an MSF documented swim, and I'll use the report to further refine my training and bring to the EC pilot for reference
7. about 22 - 25 km in length, about 2/3 - 3/4 of the Channel width
8. in case the temperature meets the qualification criteria, to be submitted as the qualification swim
Did anyone here do such "rehearsal swims" similar to the above description before travelling to the UK for your Channel swim, in order to see if you are ready to do a Channel swim? My friends mostly suggest me to do "training camps" to prepare for my channel swim, however there are no such things in my region, and I don't want to end up in the UK if I'm not ready yet. Therefore I come up with such idea. Is this idea good enough and is the length appropriate? Is February a good time to do this for a September attempt?