Support persons for English Channel Aspirants
nvr2late Central VirginiaCharter Member
edited January 2013 in General Discussion
I am an English Channel aspirant. I am interested in knowing from others, who you are inviting to be your support crew, and how many you plan to have accompany you to Dover, and in the boat. And any other information along these lines. Thanks.
I had a large crew when I swam Catalina and it was just too much stress for me and them- and they almost all got pretty sea sick. My mom and sister will be with me in England, but they're banned from the boat and will just plan on meeting me in France.
Pick your crew wisely- you want people who can support you and watch you struggle, without getting overly protective/emotional about it. Parents/spouses aren't always the best pick for this reason. You also want someone who knows what your stroke looks like and can tell the difference between when you're trying to work it out and when you're in danger.
On a related crew note, I have no idea how this stuff is handled outside Ireland, but for Sandycove the way it works is the swimmer pays the flight and accommodation costs for all the crew.
I cannot recommend crewing highly enough. As swimmers it's part of the paying-it-back ethos, plus it is a fantastic learning experience, and great to be part of someone else's Channel dream.
I would never expect a waiting Aspirant to crew, rather someone planning for a year later or more likely a successful Soloist who realises what it's all about. One swimmer lost his Solo spot last year because he went out on a boat within a week of his slot, he was too tired afterwards.
The two-person crew worked fantastically well from my point of view and I couldn't have asked for better, but it was a long day out (16 hours) and I think that it would have been better to have had 3 people for their sakes, just to share the workload out a bit and leave some time for napping.
My write-up of the EC crewing experience here:
I also really love this moving piece about being crew for swimmers by Beth Barnes:
I cover all my expenses for my coach Leslie Thomas. I am just grateful she is willing to take time from her business Swim Art to help me.
I acted as an observer for the MIMS Relay last year and what I learned will be invaluable on my swim this summer.