Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Hi all

Well just 24 hours to the swim...and just 8 hours of work to get through! Now we just need the weather to improve and especially the wind and sea conditions. Come on (not so) Great British weather! I'm packed and raring to go, although couldn't find my wetsuit, so am going to have to do it in just me shorts. So stay away jelly fish...I don't want no one having to pee on me!

I have to say the best incentive to complete this swim is to have a full-on music festival waiting for you at the end and a whole weekend of decadence and debauchery! Anyway really looking forward to meeting everyone...have any new people joined us? I know a handful of people dropped out.

Anyway hopefully see everyone tomorrow morning bright and early, for a nice refreshing dip!

Bon voyage

Matt x

Monday, 5 September 2011

Swimming2Bestival - Shortcut in today's Guardian:

Well, not literally a shortcut. - That WOULD be good! But instead some advice from Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jaxx who did the swim last year

When I asked him exactly how nervous he was at this point, he said: "VERY! The enormity of it scared me before the swim. It’s a shipping channel with big ships on top, big dark depths below, and me, this little thing splashing around. But on the day I was fine. Having a kayak paddling along with you, as well as a mothership in contact with the harbour master is very reassuring."
To read more:

Very reassuring indeed.... Though the weather forecast's beginning to look slightly scary....

All the Bestival,

Ben Gelblum,

Sunday, 4 September 2011

To contact swim2bestival & for more info on the apotheosis of athletic endeavour that is swim2bestival , keep tuning in to the new website that's coming along just swimmingly:

Swim Caps are READY!

Bring your own technical caps for warmth, these yellow latex beauties are just outer beacons of delight. I doubt the DIY logos will last the Solent... all the better for that bedraggled look when we reach the White Isle!

Friday, 2 September 2011

perfect swim and fancy dress festival attire

Hi all

I saw these and thought they would not only be perfect for the swim, but also the "Rock Stars, Pop Stars and Divas" fancy dress theme. Not sure how practicle they will be on the beach though, unless we recreate the flipper dance from Mama Mia...not that I have watched Mama Mia, obviously!

LESS THAN A WEEK NOW.... until all 12 of us are bobbing up and down on the Solent waves like a vegetarian's floaty turd.

While our friends and families join the other 4,988 Bestival-visitors in making use of an invention called the boat. Incidentally, according to Admiralty charts, 4,000 of these boats have been shipwrecked by the unpredictable Solent since records began.

But I'm confident that next Thursday the Solent we dip our toes into will be flat as a sheet of glass. Or a mirror.

Watching the likes of Ronan Keating, Pamela Stephenson and Walliams battling jellyfish etc on the news this week, I'm just glad to be swimming in a stretch of open water uninfested by celebrities.

See you all next Thursday,

Love Ben, x

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Wowee people....only 12 days to go and having now got 'The Fear', I and three mates braved a 5km lake swim organised by the great chaps at GaleForce races in Box End (no sniggering at the back there) lake this morning.

Who knew that a night out on the razzle dazzle in East London was not great preparation for hurtling around inflatable yellow marker buoys in a borrowed shortie wetsuit whilst battling against weeds from the deep which seemed intent on dragging me to a watery grave.

It was, without doubt, one of the hardest physical tasks I have ever done so I was delighted to complete the 5km within the compulsory 2 hour time limit....well, I actually became delirious when I regained the ability to stand up straight and have this photo taken (I'm the one grinning inanely second from left). I suppose you've got to wonder how much quicker I might have gone if I hadn't had to puke three times on the way round....

Thanks to my three wonderful compadres who were motivated enough to find the race and turn up on a cold Saturday in August.

Don't forget this is all in aid of a great cause so please do dig deep if you can and sponsor me for Swim to Bestival at

PS - the observant amongst you will note that I have still NOT BOUGHT MY WETSUIT...this denial is no good...urgent hypnotherapy is required to get beyond this mental block: any offers?

Friday, 26 August 2011

Has anyone seen this man?!

I was promised.

This is the only reason I agreed to put myself through this horrific experience.

He'd better not have wussed out!

Do I design him a swim cap too? (Does it have to be pink to match his Speedos?) I don't think my graffer skills match his...

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Swim Play List


I've put together a swim play list (to listen to on that juke box in your heads), as we are swimming to a music festival. Feel free to add any more suggestions!

Life In The Fast Lane (The Eagles)
Splish Splash (Bobby Darin)
Every Breath You Take (The Police)
Alive and Kicking (Simple Minds)
Swim (Madonna)
Rock Lobster (B52's)
Octopuses Garden (The Beatles)
Theme to Jaws (John Williams)
Baywatch Theme (The Hoff)
I Go Swimming (Peter Gabriel)
Swimming (Florence and The Machine)
Pure Shores (All Saints)
Islands in the Stream (Kenny and Dolly)
Night Swimming (REM)

Swimmer Profile: Hayley Barnard

My swimming career started in Teignmouth Lido on the South Devon coast. As I lined up on the blocks with my fellow competitors, I asked the officious looking official what stroke I could do. “Freestyle… any stroke you like” he answered. The gun fired. I dived in and pulled myself through the water with every ounce of energy I had. As I touched the wall I could hardly believe it – I was all alone! I had won by a clear margin! The small plastic, gold-painted swimming trophy and ‘Fresh Milk’ sponsored t-shirt would be mine to treasure forever.

“Disqualified” screamed the same officious official, holding aloft a flag. What! No! Surely not! How was I to know that when he said ‘any stroke’ that did not include a full length underwater without rising for a breath? The trophy and ‘Fresh Milk’ T-shirt (a retro version of which would be very cool festival attire today) would not be mine. I cried for a day and half. I was 6 years old. I still bare the scares thirty years on!

Hoping to right this wrong I am VERY excited to be swimming to Bestival. Yes I can swim long distances. I’m the ‘swimmer’ in an Ironman Triathlon relay team. But even an Ironman distance swim is only 3.86 km. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ll suffer with severe leg cramp or how big the wetsuit rub will be on my neck after 7 km! A couple of friends who have swam this distance have said, “Don’t worry – if you can swim 2 miles then you can swim 4 miles”. This makes no sense to me. It’s like saying to a marathon runner, “Don’t worry, if you can run 26 miles then you can run 52”! I desperately want to believe them!

I’m swimming with my lovely brother Matt and together we are raising money for WaterAid, whose vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. It’s crazy that this even has to be a vision in this day and age! Yet 884 million people still don’t have access to safe water and one child dies every 20 seconds from diarrhea caused by unclean water. Let’s support making this vision a reality. PLEASE, please consider sponsoring us: or text FDRG84 £5 to 70070. We couldn’t make it any easier!

Thanks! See you on the other side…