My Next Challenge: THE NORTHERN BEACHES

Life is a journey, full of smaller stages each with its own destination; not THE destination (EC) but “A Destination”.

So… Let It Come Down: on August 17 or 18 (or August 31/September 1 if conditions are not favorable), Team Awesome (Ben, Rachael and I) will swim from Palm Beach to Manly; at a distance of about 28km this is becoming a rite of passage for many marathon swimmers: June 2012 it was successfully swum by Tori Gorman, Wayne Arthur and Alistair Newmarch, in August by Iain McGregor and then in February by Jason Connor and Tara Diversi. Helen Conway has more recently swum from Palm Beach to Bundeena, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves! I’m sure (or at least I think) that others must have swum it before this generation of crazy ass swimmers, but who knows… this is my (our) turn!

At different times I have swum the entire distance between these 2 iconic beaches: in June 2012 I swam from Palmie to Bungan (being a poorer swimmer then and not able to swim as far as I’d have liked); while I had given up and gotten out of the water by this point, due to fatigue and hypothermia, our team was plagued by a missing swimmer, a pretty terrifying experience; never have the familiar beaches of Mona Vale and Warriewood seemed so hostile and ominous as we circled in the boat looking for him. In August I accompanied Iain from Newport to Dee Why; as for Dee Why to Manly, I have swum that several times in both directions, most recently a return journey!

We have all decided we need an interim goal; something to aim for to break up the months ahead leading to the channel. Already Jennie has agreed to kayak for us, as will Collie; Rachael is pursuing buddies with a kayak and we’ll have Nics on the boat (a bit of training with my handler for EC); piloting us we have the ever reliable John Oliver (a photo of his boat is appended), making quite a reputation for himself as a pilot of some note.
28km is no mean feat; I’m pretty sure it will be further than any of us have swum before (who knows how far we swam in Melbourne, but in all likelihood it will be at least an hour longer in the water), but with the mutual support of Team Awesome, our support crew and Coach Vlad (who has prepare a bespoke training schedule!) it’s a very exciting proposition; 8 or 9 more weeks of training to achieve a short term goal… one step closer to the channel; if I can swim 28km 10 months before the channel, what is there to stop me!