Q and A

Apart from the ‘where do I donate’ question, people are also asking lots of others. So I thought I would sit down, and try to answer some of the most common ones here.

Q: Have you got a date yet?
A: I am aiming for the 30th August so this is the date we have sent to QHM (Queens Harbour Master), who, in conjunction with Cowes Harbour Commission, are responsible for most of the ports along the Island coast, with the 31st Aug as a back up. The wind plays a significant part in this challenge. Too much and we cannot go, so we will be keeping a close eye on the forecast over the next week.

Q: Where are you starting from?
A: I am aiming to start at Ryde and head towards The Needles, going round anti-clockwise.

Q: Will you have the tide with you?
A: I will start with the tide from Ryde to The Needles, and hopefully we will time it so that I get the tide from The Needles to St Cats. From this point the tide will turn and will be against me. I have accepted that I may not go anywhere for anything up to 5 hours, but that is the nature of the beast. As soon as the tide turns again I should be able to go with it all the way back to Ryde.

Q: What do you do about eating?
A: I will eat every 30 mins, but will never be able to take on enough! (It is estimated I will burn about 40,000 calories). Boiled eggs, chocolate and beetroot brownies, HIGH5 Sports Nutrition gels and energy bars, are some of the treats I am looking forward too!! Apparently I eat a bit like an Otter when I am in the water!

Q: How much training do you do?
A: Some say not enough, some say too much! I swim at HOWL Multisports,Bitterne Leisure Centre and the sea for about 15-18 hours a week, I run about 8-10 hours a week including running with the Itchen Spitfires Running Club, Last week I ran 70K! I also go to Pinnacle Performance & Training 2-3 times a week as the training schedule set by Andrew McGhee has been designed to improve my core strength. Combine this with a full time job, and a full family life, the last few months have been very tough.

Q: What do you think about?
A: We have broken the swim down into manageable segments, Euan McGrath has helped me mentally and with his advice 15 mins is the longest time I go without either a change in tempo, or eating. I get into a trance like rhythm, and actually just do mental arithmetic. Numbers go round and round, and before I know it, someone like Steve Roberts is stopping me to eat and drink.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to comment below, and I will do my best to answer them.

As always, despite this being a solo swim, it is not a solo attempt, and it takes a huge amount of effort from lots of other people. Thank you to everyone who has said a kind word, or offered support in any way. It is greatly appreciated.

Meningitis Now and Marine Conservation Society will benefit if you click  donate.

Rib-X

A long time ago, before we went public                                                           with the swim,  I met Colin BaldwiIMG_1930n CEO of Rib-X at a marine trade show, and asked him outright whether he would be willing to lend me a British built boat or 2 to support me in my quest to swim around the Isle of Wight.

 

I IMG_5078asked Colin because Rib-X have a reputation for building extremely good sea boats, that manoeuvre very well at slow speed, yet are able to get up on the plane very quickly. This manoeuvrability is quite important as I don’t swim very quickly. Without hesitation he said yes, but little did I realise, that he would then undertake to build a safety boat for complete with new engine.

Safety is right at the top of the list for this challenge, and knowing that we have a really good piece of equipment coming around the Isle of Wight, means that there is one less thing to worry about. Hella Marine also agreed to supply the Navigation lights and a flood light for the deck. Ocean LED have also supplied underwater lights.

Yet again, peoples generosity has been overwhelming, and I am acutely aware that although it is a solo swim, There is nothing solo about any of it. It takes a huge amount of effort and sacrifice from lots of other people.

If you would like to donate to Virgin Giving your donation will go directly to Meningitis Now and Marine Conservation Society.

Once again I cant thank everyone enough for the support. I aim to complete this challenge, and the more support I have the more determined I am.

 

 

Bubbles

Funnily enough, it has taken me a little while to find some time to update you all on what has been going on.

bubblesWe have all been living in our own bubbles, but as the bubbles have got bigger they have started to get closer together, and more and more ‘things’ are happening.

 

Dinner!

This wavanilla_logos a real mix of emotions, as ultimately we had to make the decision to postpone until October. This, as it happens is a good idea, as it allows even more people to come and hopefully enjoy a night that in hindsight only a privileged few would be able to attend. Hopefully we will have achieved what we set out to achieve by then, and it will give me a chance to say thank you to all the people that have been working very hard to make this challenge a reality (fingers crossed). Vanilla will still be providing the best food in Hampshire, and Dee Caffari will still be coming along.

Safety Boat.

IMG_1928When I first contacted Colin Baldwin from Rib-X, He said ”no problem” I thought we would use one of the demo boats. I never ever thought he would actually build a boat for us. That was a nice surprise for me, when he called and said he had just collected it from the tube suppliers. I did ask if he needed anything for it, and he mentioned Navigation lights and a battery. Hellamarine offered to supply the LED navigation lights, and Furneaux Riddall have supplied the Exide Battery.

Clothing

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Nick Jones Owner/Skipper of ‘Lisa’

A little while ago the guys at Ocean LED offered to supply the team kit. This has been fantastiIMG_1381c at raising awareness, as lots of people are now running around in branded kit, and I know the charities have benefitted directly as the text numbers have been used to donate money. Ocean Led are also supplying underwater lights to the safety Rib-X. This could prove useful in the dark!!

 

Training.

This would be the reason I have found it difficult to sit down and do an update.

In shortFullSizeRender I have been doing a lot! Combined with family, work, running, Gym, and swimming, most of my days are pretty full. The pic opposite shows the latest long training swim. This could only be described as ‘horrible’ but it is good to know we have the ability to still do this with the conditions being very unfavourable. It was also pulled together very last minute, and it shows how much support my friends are giving me.

I cant say thank you enough to everyone that is helping and supporting, but as ever, we are doing this for charity, and the link below goes directly to the Virgin giving page and the money raised will go directly to Meningitis Now and the Marine Conservation Society

 

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As always, you can follow us on Facebook by searching for ‘Isle of Wight Swim by Scott Dawson’ or Twitter ‘scottdawsonswim’

 

Auction place on Leopard 3

Leopard Auction for Charity Swimmer

In August 2016 Scott Dawson will attempt to swim about 60 miles, non-stop, around the Isle of Wight. Scott is raising money for Meningitis Now and The Marine Conservation Society and so far £15000 has been pledged, half of his £30,000 target. Mike Slade’s Leopard 3 heard about the challenge and is auctioning a place on board Leopard 3 on Friday July 1st, which will be a full dress rehearsal before Leopard attempts to break their own record for the JP Morgan Round the Island Race the following day.

leopardLeopard 3 back on the prowl. The current monohull record holder of the JP Morgan Round the Island Race. (OnEdition)

Scott Dawson is a highly accomplished yachtsman and has been part of many winning teams both offshore and inshore, but the father of two from Southampton, has only taken up open water swimming in the last few years. Only four people have ever completed the grueling 55 mile swim and only one person, Anna Wardley in 2013, has completed Scott’s chosen route, including going around the Needles Lighthouse. Scott has already swum from Stokes Bay to Ryde Pier and 12 miles from Ryde Pier to Norris Bank and back. However, he fully appreciates that swimming around the Isle of Wight, with strong tides and rough seas, is not going to be an easy task.

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Scott Dawson in training for his charity swim around the Isle of Wight. (Ian Finlay)

“The best time to make the attempt is late August, when the tide is most favourable and the water temperature is high, also traffic from regattas should have subsided. I will be accompanied by a team including trained medics but the challenge is to do the swim non-stop and it should take about 24 hours. Many thanks to Mike for his generous offer, as a sailor myself, I realise that sailing on Leopard will be a fantastic experience.”

Current record holder of the JP Morgan Round the Island Race, Mike Slade has broken the monohull record on five occasions, the near-perfect conditions of 2013 allowed Leopard to shave a further 10 minutes off her own record, posting an elapsed time of 3 hours 43 minutes and 50 seconds. After a million pound refit, Mike Slade’s record breaking Maxi, Leopard is back on the prowl. A new boom which is a metre longer with a significantly bigger mainsail, has given the record breaking Maxi even more power. The project took six months and the yacht now looks better than when she was brand new. Leopard’s first race since the refit will be the 2016 JP Morgan Round the Island Race.

“The Round the Island Race has always been a special event for the sailing team and over the years we have shared the occasion with so many people.” commented Mike Slade. “When we heard about Scott’s challenge to swim around the Isle of Wight, we did not hesitate to show our support. The Leopard team will be out for a full dress rehearsal on Friday July 1st and we are auctioning a place on board to join us. Scott’s preparation is very meticulous and his will to succeed is admirable. It will be a tremendous achievement and we wish him all the best. I will be looking forward to welcoming the successful bidder on board Leopard for the day, and I am sure that our guest will have an experience to remember.”

To bid for a place on Leopard, Friday 1st July, departing and returning to Ocean Village, Southampton, simply send your bid to info@louayhabib.com by 1200 BST on 26th June. Foul weather gear, safety equipment and the ride of your life will all be provided.

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HMS Victory – Tickets on Sale

menuflyer jpgThe wait is over! Tickets are now on sale for this fantastic event. Places are strictly limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

 

 

Click HERE to purchase your tickets.

 

If you would like any more information, please email Sally@vanillacatering.co.uk.

All money raised from this event will be going directly to our chosen charities:

Meningitis Now and The Marine Conservation Society

Any donations, will make a huge difference, and now you can text:

IWMN60 £5 TO 70070 for Meningitis Now .

IWMC60 £5 TO 70070 for Marine Conservation Society.

What a week!

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What a week!

I have said it before, but I am so overwhelmed by the geflyer jpgnerosity of people, and the support and help that I am getting.

Things just keep getting better, Vanilla Catering and Events contacted us a while ago, and have not only made us their chosen charity project for the year and to provide all the food on the swim and training swims but also offered to organise a fundraising dinner. Something Polly and I just don’t have the time to do – certainly not to the standard Vanilla can!

Sally Ann Pickles (Managing Director of Vanilla Catering and Events) has managed to do something I could have only dreamt about. Somehow, she has organised for us to have the fundraising dinner onboard HMS Victory.

Since a young age, I have always been in or on the water, and have been fortunate enough to race all over the world. What better venue to amalgamate my first passion (sailing), with my love of the water. This ship is truly iconic, and has so much history. It will be a real honour to fine dine onboard.

Not only will we be treated to some exquisite Hampshire food, but Dee Caffari has agreed to be our guest speaker on the evening. The legendary British yachtswoman, is the first woman to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions anDee-Caffari-Profle-Imaged the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world three times.

Recently Dee was part of Team SCA taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15, Dee secured the Round Britain and Ireland Speed Record for an all-female crewed monohull of 4 days 21 hrs 39 secs.

Not only is Dee an incredible sailor, and someone who I admire hugely, but she gives a massive amount of her time and expertise to charity. For many years she has sailed with the tri-service charity Toe in the Water but more recently she helped raise over £1,000,000 for Sport Relief through the Hell on High Seas challenge,

sport reliefOctober 4 2013 - Team SCA sailing trials in the English Channel

where she, and a number of other professional sailors, took six unsuspecting celebrities on a journey offshore from Belfast to London on a Volvo Ocean Race yacht. I am sure like you, I am keen to hear all about that! Over the years I have been privileged enough to hear a number of professional sportsmen and women speak publicly  – but none of them are as inspirational or engaging as Dee.

Dee and HMS Victory – get that ticket order in fast!

If you would like to order tickets for this amazing event, please contact sally@vanillacatering.co.uk to ensure you don’t miss out.

All money raised from this event will be going directly to our chosen charities:

Meningitis Now and The Marine Conservation Society

Any donations, will make a huge difference, and now you can text:

IWMN60 £5 TO 70070 for Meningitis Now .

IWMC60 £5 TO 70070 for Marine Conservation Society.

Ice cream head

The time finally came last week, where I had to dip my toe (and everything else) into the Solent. Storm Katie managed to postpone the planned Easter swim, and I am so glad that she did. I waited a few days, and Wednesday was a quiet affair. Four of us. 2 in wetsuits (me in my new Zoggs FX1) and 2 without (brrrr) crept into the water at HIMG_0043ill head just before sunset. There were quite a few yelps, and Cor Blimey’s, but within a few short seconds we were all in up to our necks, literally! A few gasps for air as the 8 degree water entered the neck seal and went down my back, but it was now or never, and I put my face in.

A couple of seconds went by, and I now fully appreciate the term ‘Ice cream head’. My skin has definitely got used to my cars heating system over the last few months, and this was something else. It was so cold it was hot!!

A couple of moments more and this was starting to be enjoyable, and within 5 minutes, I was head down and swimming in the IMG_0076sea for the first time this year. The old adage of pain versus pleasure is definitely correct in this scenario. For 30 minutes we swam along the coast line, and the only reason I got out was because it was getting dark (sunset swims do that)!

I enjoyed it so much, that when Deborah* suggested same again tomorrow? I didn’t hesitate and said ‘yes’. That was a great decision,IMG_0221 as I managed to convince Ian Holtedahl-Finlay to come and take some photographs. A small selection are on dotted about the page.

I am so glad, that I have maIMG_0358naged to get in the sea so early on this year, as all it can do is help, as I get more acclimatised, and ready for the ‘big one’. The pool swim sessions, have been keeping me busy all winter, but there is nothing quite like a coastline to swim along.

As ever it all for a good cause, and there are many people giving up their time to help this challenge move forwards. I appreciate all the help and donations so far, but in case you missed it HERE is a LINK to the Virgin Giving Page.

Please donate to the amazing  charities Meningitis Now, and Marine Conservation Society.

*Deborah Herridge is planning to swim across the channel next year, and is an accomplished open water swimmer. Last year she set a record swimming from Hill Head to Ryde and back, a distance of 14 miles.

 

Easter Bunnies and other yummy delights

 

Vanilla_54_webWith Easter just about to start, chocolate, sweets, and anything else that tastes delicious, is firmly on everyone’s mind. I am just lucky if I can steal some from the kids when they are not looking.

This year, however, the delicious treats will just keep coming as we have been really lucky to be contacted by Vanilla Catering and Events, and not only have theVanilla_8_weby chosen us as the charity project of the year, meaning that Meningitis now and the Marine Conservation Society are guaranteed a lump sum of money at the end of the year. They will be supplying all of the food for me and the team for the training swims and the main event in August.

vanilla_logoVanilla Catering & Events provides exceptional, innovative food supported by superb, friendly and professional service for every occasion.

With years of experience in corporate events, weddings, the yachting industry and the working office they have tailored their menus and service to suit all destinations, including a circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight, and although Sally will organise specific wholesome high energy food for me, I am really jealous of the team, as they are the ones that are going to get the most benefit, from the generous support offered by Vanilla.

If you would like to support the charities Meningitis now and Marine Conservation Society by any donation you can, please do so here.virgin

 

PB’s and Nutrition

Not many people know that at my worst I was pushing 120kg (19 stone in old money), and that was 2 years ago! Now I can say I am 93KG (14.6stone) and feel great. Was it easy? Well, the first few kilos were, but then I had to concentrate on taking more out than putting in, in terms of calories, but now I have reached a point, where I am training quite hard, and subsequently struggle to get the calories in, especially where I am on the road with work. Getting nutritious high calorie food when out and about that isn’t rubbish is not easy.

When I started the process of losing weight 2 years ago I was concentrating on limiting my calorie intake, so the change now to maximise calorie intake is ironically proving quite hard! I am constantly thinking about taking on energy as the intensity of the training increases.  We have estimated that during 24 hours swimming I will burn in excess of 15,000 calories, so nutrition is a massive part of this challenge.

With this in mind, I have been really lucky to secure help and support from the team at:

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With their help and support, I am really starting to understand, the importance of using the products I have available to me at the right time and in the right quantity. Luckily, they have a great range available, and the products all taste great. I am now mindful of the importance of also eating the right foods, and although I can, in theory eat anything I want to, I need to actively avoid the ‘beige’ stuff and to look at the nutritional benefits of everything I eat – I can’t just rely on High5.

Over the last few weeks, the swimming distances have increased in the pool, and I am regularly doing upto 10,000m a week. Running has also increased in intensity, and with my improved understanding of nutrition, and with the help of the strength and conditioning coach at Pinnacle, I am staying consistent, and even managing to get new personal bests at the local Park run in Netley Abbey. This weeks PB was 20min 14 seconds for 5k. The parkrun phenomenon still amazes me, but I think it is a fantastic way of getting thousands of people out for a run on a Saturday morning, no matter what your ability.

As ever I am so grateful for all the help I am receiving for this challenge. It has not been lost on me, how hard it will be for all those involved, and I am so appreciative of any help in terms of practical or mental that people offer, and I just have to remember why I am doing this, and this is why I have set up a donations page @virgin

Any donations will go directly to MN Master Logo HiResand the MCS_Logo_Standard_Colour RGB

Meetings

Just going for a swim! cropped-IOW-1.jpg

At least, sometime last year, that was the idea! It turns out however that it needs a little more organisation than that, and so we had our first team meeting last week – it was a very humbling experience.

I was surprisingly nervous waiting inside the function room we had borrowed for the night. Was anybody going to turn up? Did anybody really want to help me do this? I needn’t have worried as a dozen or so friends (volunteers!) turned up, and many more sent their apologies – work and family are rightly a priority.

I am very aware that this challenge cannot go ahead without a team behind me, and I am also aware that I could just get in the water with a couple of mates in kayaks, and a borrowed RIB and tried to swim around the island.

Whether I go it alone quietly or with a large team and planning in place, one of two things will happen – I will either succeed or fail. If I go alone and fail I can go back home and nobody is the wiser, if I succeed I will potentially achieve something very special but nobody will benefit – not the charities or any future swimmers. Whereas if I do this properly with all the planning and support in place I can dramatically improve my chances of success and in the process raise money for some amazing charities and hopefully also give someone else a better chance of success in the future.

It has been slowly dawning on me, the magnitude of this challenge, and someone much brighter than me told me once said that this challenge is going to be worth an awful lot to someone – or even better to a great many.

The charities that I have chosen to raise money for are not only close to me, but they have the ability to raise the profile of the challenge and therefore the consequence of that, is the way this challenge has to operate.

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I am aiming to raise in the region of £30,000.00, (donate here) and only a great team is going to help do that, which I am immensely grateful to have in place. This challenge has to be given every chance of success, and without the meetings, and the planning, not to mention the sacrifices I am asking everyone to make, I am likely to fail – and quite frankly that is not an option I am prepared to accept.

More meetings and more planning is needed, (and a not insignificant jobs list!) but having had the first team meeting I am now even more confident, that what we are doing, and how we are doing it, is right, and subject to me learning how to swim, success is closer than it was before the meeting.