English Channel 2 person relay swim questions

mauprietomauprieto New Orleans, LAMember
edited December 2012 in General Discussion
Hi all. I am starting to plan a 2 person relay english channel swim and have a few questions.
- It appears that there are two options for the relay. 1 hour rotation or 2 hour rotation. Pros and cons?
- Not sure how to start preparing for these rotations. I guess I will need to actually swim for 1 or 2 hours and then rest for 1 or 2 hours, swim and rest. Any advice on how to best prepare for this type of swim?
- I am looking into finding a pilot, and I found one who is available for my preferred dates (early september 2014) and he also seems very capable and agreeable. However, I see that his boat has a very limited covered area. Is this an issue for such a swim? Any input in terms of pilot boat issues that I need to keep in mind will be very much appreciated.

Thank you for any orientation you can provide on the general topic of 2 person relay English Channel swim.


  • owenswims93owenswims93 Fermoy, IrelandSenior Member
    Hi Mauricio,

    As far as I know, 2-person relays are quite rare. However, I do know a pair who did one in 2011. I will ask them if they have any advice for you...


    http://fermoyfish.com – Owen O'Keefe (Fermoy, Ireland)

  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    My opinion on a 2 person relay is you might as well solo. The big challenge is rewarming when on the boat. If it's an open deck and the weather is bad, it'll be that much harder.


  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member
    edited December 2012
    There's a good blog by Justine Drury and Kate Vines on their 2011 2-person relay that might be helpful:
  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    My understanding is that if you swim under the CSA then you have to swim for 1 hour at a time. If you go with the CS&PF you can choose 1 or 2 hour rotations - however, you must stick to that rotation once you have started the swim.

    I'm doing a 3 person relay in 2013. We have agreed to do 2 hour rotation - this gives us time to eat, get dressed, warm up again and hopefully have a rest in between swims.

    I can't imagine doing a 2 person relay on hourly rotations, I think I would prefer a solo to that (although it wouldn't be a challenge if it was easy!) It must be really difficult to repeat the process of climbing out, getting changed, warming up, eating, resting and changed ready to go back in again all in the space of an hour. But the 2 ladies (Justine and Kate) did this in 2011 so it definitely is achievable.

    Re the pilot - if your pilot is an official CSA or CS&PF pilot then his boat will cover the range required for the swim.
  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    @Niek I think you're right! Some of the pilots' boat ranges are stated on the websites- hence my confusion. Sorry!
  • mauprietomauprieto New Orleans, LAMember
    Thanks you all for the input. Yes, Niek is correct, I meant the cover on the boat. Interesting what you say about "might as well do the solo". Although I understand the challenge of the hourly rotations and repeating the process over and over, the thought of being in 15-18ºC water for 12 hours is an even more unsurmountable thought for me. Food for thought in any case.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    I thought this post was asking for volunteers to be your second. :(

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • mauprietomauprieto New Orleans, LAMember
    @IronMike After the comments to my question, I think I might soon start looking for a volunteer to be our 3rd! I am closer to that than to wrapping my head around the solo crossing.
  • paulmpaulm Senior Member
    Hi Maurice, Having completed a solo EC in 2009 and having supported my wife in her 6 EC crossings ,I have got to say that I would personally rather do a solo or a relay of at least 3-4 people (unless u dont get sea sick and have an ability to swim for an hour - hop out for an hour in the potentially cold air/rocking boat etc and then jump back in an hour later etc .)..that said Justine & Kate toughed it out a few years ago and did an amazing job. Whatever you decide- enjoy the journey !!
  • How about a two way relay? Actually, what is the biggest relay for each swimmer doing the whole crossing? Just imagine relaying the whole Channel back to back for 10 crossings. Gosh, each swimmer having to start where the previous swimmer gets ashore. Crossings could end up in Boulogne or Belgium.
Sign In or Register to comment.