english channel swim challenge

english channel swim challenge

Dreaming and setting a goal is a complete waste of time if you don’t go after (at least) try to achieve your goal.

Maybe your goal has nothing to do with physical activity … but whatever it is — try and make it happen.

How and why did I get the idea to attempt to swim the english channel?

I remember the morning/instant very clearly….it was a couple of months ago, around 3:30 am.

I was reading the news and drinking my morning coffee, getting ready for a 4 hour bike ride before work  – at the time, I was training for Ironman France.

On that specific morning, I read a news story about a business man who twice failed to swim the English channel.

The article stated that only 30% of the people who attempt to swim the English channel make it to the other side.

It went into explaining that summiting Mt Everest is statistically, more achievable than swimming the English channel.

More than 4,000 people have stood on the summit of Mt Everest.
Less than 900 people have successfully, swum the English Channel.

One site states that out of 4,370 attempts, only (just over) 800 have been successful (which is less than 20% success rate)

Thus, I discovered only 20-30% of the people who attempt to swim the English channel succeed.

I was hooked.

September 3rd is the day my swim attempt is scheduled.

I have done two Ironman this year which gives me somewhat of a base to work with – and for the past month I have been hammering the weights, cross trainer, and swimming more hours than I have done in my life.

I lost a lot of body fat over the year, and my weight is down to 190-195 lbs ….but I read most people intentionally – gain up to 40 lbs for their swim.  The extra fat protects from the cold.

I am lucky because my life style and working schedule is conducive to training – and my wife, Sophie is extremely supportive and does everything she can to accommodate and support my training schedule.

Although I work and live most of the year in Dubai, I have an office in Monaco and a house in the south of France.
Since my girls are on break from school in Dubai, we live in France for the summer and I work from my office in Monaco.

I  swim in the Mediterranean sea for 2-3 hours a day (either early in the morning or after work) and longer on the weekend.

I lift weights 3 times a week and do the cross trainer every day for 60 minutes.
I have also been working my core more focused than ever before.

To research and learn as much as I can about the swim, I joined a couple forums and emailed people who have swum the channel, etc.

A few months ago, I became forum buddies with 3 people who were also training to cross the channel.
Two of them have been training for more than one year (most people train for at least a year) ….
To my surprise, all 3 of these people failed in their attempts over the past two weeks.

Physically, I will be ready.

It will all depend on my adjustment to the cold water, the weather, and how strong mentally, I will be when the going gets tough.
13-14 hours in freezing cold water is a long time…

According to the captain of the boat who I hired (if all goes to plan) I will begin my swim from Dover, England around 2-3am on September 3rd and swim towards Calais, France.

It’s about 21-24 miles across, but because of the tide and currents, I can expect to swim about 30 miles.

I figure the swim will take me 13-15 hours.

A boat will follow along side me as I swim – and I will feed (drink something) every 20-30 minutes.

An official from the channel swimming association will be onboard  to officiate the crossing.

Why am I doing this?

Because I want to experience the cold, pain, suffering and see if I am mentally and physically strong enough to make this happen.

Only a 20-30% success rate makes the English channel swimmer part of an exclusive club.

On September 3rd – I will do everything in my power to make sure I join this club.


3 thoughts on “english channel swim challenge

  1. Scott,

    I am so proud for you to live your life to the fullest and enjoy it! I know that you are blessed to have the support and love of Sophie. My family and I will be cheering you on from Alabama – I know you will complete this task. Best wishes on this chapter in your amazing life!


  2. Scott – It’s been about 23 years, but since I last saw you it seems that the swimming has not slowed too much! Good luck with this latest challenge!

    Todd Boone