Saturday, 27 August 2011
Friday, 26 August 2011
Has anyone seen this man?!
Thursday, 25 August 2011
Splish Splash (Bobby Darin)
Every Breath You Take (The Police)
Alive and Kicking (Simple Minds)
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)
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: http://www.justgiving.com/swim-to-bestival or text FDRG84 £5 to 70070. We couldn’t make it any easier!
Thanks! See you on the other side…
September 8 will also be an important date for Ashley Hyde’s family.
Ashley, 7, was a happy young boy whose love of Star Wars and big smile made him a smashing character to cover when as a journalist I worked on his story.
On June 9, 2008 Ashley was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. Ashley battled through endless rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a complex operation and lots of procedures.
Throughout Ashley's gruelling battle with cancer, the Hyde family kept his spirits up, doing lots of fun things with him like training as a Jedi Knight.
‘May the Force be with you,’ Ashley’s parents would reassure their little Jedi Knight. And it seemed it was. In July 2009, Ashley was in remission.
Ashley described himself as a young Padawan Jedi in training for battle. But sadly the battle was just too big for such a little warrior.
After just six months, in December 2009, Ashley relapsed. Ashley’s family and friends constantly fundraised to send him abroad for treatments not available here. But the disease was too advanced and too aggressive, and despite all the treatments they tried, on September 8, last year, Ashley finally lost his last battle.
And one year on, on September 8, as Ashley’s family remember him, I’ll be thinking of him too as I set off on our fundraising ferry-dodging swim across the Solent.
Ashley, may the force be with you!
And if you’d like to help Families Against Neuroblastoma battle our most deadly childhood cancer, please take a minute to sponsor my swim: http://www.bmycharity.com/swim2bestival4FAN
Thanks, Ben x
Monday, 22 August 2011
As far as I'm concerned if I'm floating it can't be all that bad can it? Though I don't like it when seasoned swimmers look me up and down, asking, 'REALLY? - So are you a STRONG swimmer, then?' 'You've down this sort of thing BEFORE, right?' Then, eyes misting up, 'GOOD LUCK, MATE,' in the tragic tone NASA scientists must've sent the first chimps into outer space with.
I must admit you could fit all I know about swimming into the tightest speedos with plenty of room left over. And it's still an iron man challenge for me to just squeeze into my tight wetsuit. DO I still need to buy some goosefat from Waitrose? Will olive oil do just as well? Will sharks find me tastier if I baste myself with either?
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
I'm doing the swim with my sister Hayley, who I suspect has been doing quite a bit more training than I have, although now the event is getting so close, I have been jumping in the sea a bit more. Then after a bit of a splash around, I usually feel I deserve an ice cream or perhaps a little drink or three to warm myself up!
I do actually plan to do a series of island swims over the next couple of years and have done a few already. My biggest swim so far was an Escape from Alcatraz a couple of years ago, when my partner and I swam to the mainland! More recently I entered the annual round-the-island swim at Burgh Island, which was where Agatha Christie wrote And The There Were None and Evil Under The Sun. I though swimming to, from and around a few famous islands might even make a good book, if Speedo or Richard Branson happen to be reading this and fancy sponsoring me! Well some of these tropical islands are quite expensive to get to!
Talking of sponsorship, my sister Hayley and Me are doing this swim for Water Aid, which seems perfectly appropriate! WaterAid's mission is to overcome poverty by enabling the world’s poorest people to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education. For a gift of just £15 WaterAid can provide one person in Africa or Asia with a lasting supply of safe, clean water, sanitation and hygiene education. Surely this is the most basic of human rights.
if you can support us, please visit www.justgiving.com/swim-to-bestival
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
1. a sea swim in Brighton which didn't go ahead because the sea was too choppy
2. the occasional pleasure paddle in my local lido
It has not:
1. been the, at least, twice weekly habit I had intended to get me up to fighting fitness
2. involved any kind of wetsuit which I am yet to purchase and the thought of which, in itself, scares me silly
3. given me any confidence that I will be able to complete this swim.
Hopefully a week's swimming holiday in Croatia will help...so long as I don't drown first!
I need motivation: please donate as much as you can spare at www.myactionaid.org.uk
Alas, swimming hasn't been my number one ting. I'm not the fastest fish in the skool. Nor have I swum further than a mile and a half (2.5k) so I can assure you the prospect of four miles (7k) and in the salty, choppy sea is quite a challenge! Best train 'ard! Think of the festival, think of Bestival.... and the hot rum skanking!
Sponsor me - http://www.justgiving.com/Swim2Bestival-AliC
Thought this year rather than the usual tedious birthday booze marathon, I'd go for one of the most exciting sporting tests of excellence known to man. As there were no spaces for unfit fatsos on the Olympics, it had to be Swim2Bestival!
I managed 7 lengths of the hotel pool in Ibiza last week before being sick in my mouth. Which unfortunately I had to swallow. I'm hoping to get a bit more fit in the next few weeks and conquer the smelly stretch of sewage water that is the Solent. It's only one-way, so it can't be that hard, and for some of it at both ends I'll be able to stand up, I guess...
If watching me drink 7k of sewage isn't enough of a good cause, the charity I'd like to publicise and do this fundraiser for, has some pretty urgent appeals on. It's for young kids battling UK's biggest childhood cancer killer, and as I write there's a few urgent races against time.
The charity is FAN http://www.familiesagainstneuroblastoma.org/ . Neuroblastoma kills more kids in the UK than any other disease. It can be treatable. Donations will help save children's lives. FAN help families get urgent treatment, often abroad & expensive, & campaign to get it here for everyone on the NHS.
FAN is run by ordinary parents who have gone to extraordinary lengths to help these children. I've been touched by their enthusiasm ever since as a journalist, I first interviewed Linza who helped start it up.
Linza told how her son Max was a very handsome, cheeky, loving little boy. At just 5 months old, Linza's son Max was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. No one in the UK could help, so his family launched an appeal to raise the sums needed to take him to America. Max held on but was declared unfit to fly, and just hours later, as if he knew, he quietly slipped away in his Daddy's arms. It is Linza's reaction to her loss that humbled me. Dedicating her life to fight her son's killer. Through FAN, she and parents like her do their utmost every day to fight to give children like Max a chance to survive.
Sea swimming is definitely harder than the pool. I have chosen Macmillan Cancer Support as my charity because they have helped people I know with Cancer and also my wife is a Lecturer at Southampton University who is currently on a fellowship helping Macmillan with their Helplines, so I know what valuable work they do.
Football Club of Canacona. Visit my Just Giving page here: www.justgiving.com/jshippey
Watch this video of my friend who founded the charity for inspiration!
All donations go straight to the running of the club, which makes a direct and concrete difference to children’s lives – nothing is spent on administration or marketing.
I’ve chosen to swim for Action Aid which is a charity close to my heart as they do fantastic work with projects all around the world which make a direct impact on the communities and families they are able to help. The charity is fully behind the event and have helped me to set up my fundraising page is:
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Be a fan on the swimmer's on facebook too