Attempting the English Channel for Autism Awareness
It takes a special type of bravery to tackle a 33km open water swim – and even more so when the water temperature is only around 15 degrees. That is what is waiting for Grant Siedle who will be making his attempt next week.
“Success comes from careful planning and great preparation of body and mind”, says Grant who has been training for his swim for around 18 months. Grant is a keen open water swimmer and has taken part in a number of swims during the lead up to his cross-Channel attempt. These included the “Bloody Big Swim”, an 11km swim along the Mornington Peninsula, swimming the rip with 3 others, doing a trial run of the 42km Giants of the Bay marathon team swim and a number of other events.
The English Channel is seen as the pinnacle of open water swimming challenges, due to a number of factors which make it particularly tough. These include the water temperature which doesn’t reach more than 15 degrees, the strong tides, which means that swimmers will actually swim more than 33km as they continually get dragged off course, and the fact that the English Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with around 600 vessels per day.
Swimmers are not permitted to wear a wetsuit and must not touch any person or the accompanying boat: they can be in the water for up to 20 hours.
“Even for seasoned swimmers, this is a major challenge,” says Murray Dawson-Smith, Amaze CEO. “Those who achieve it are an elite few. We sincerely hope that Grant has the weather on his side and that his attempt is successful. We send our best wishes to Grant and his support crew, Greg Maher, Willo Wilson, David Nelson and Geoff Fisher.”