Monthly Archives: March 2013

Swim Smooth Coach Education Course, Limerick, March 2013

Although I hope to inspire others to get in the water via this blog, I have to mention that one of the organisations that have inspired me is Swim Smooth, based in Perth, Western Australia.

When the chance came this year to attend one of their courses for coaches in Ireland, I jumped at it, despite having no  money and no time – these chances don’t come around too often!

I have been introducing some of their ideas to my swimmers over the last year or so so it was fantastic to be able to go and learn how the system had developed, and how best to apply it. The opportunity to have my own stroke analysed & critiqued was also incredibly useful (if not a little embarassing – I blame having had 6 months off to recover from injury!). Still some excellent pointers for things to work on and move forward with.

Having had a shoulder problem myself I am fanatical about encouraging swimmers into good techniques to avoid future problems and it was great to see how much emphasis Paul and the coaching team at Swim Smooth place on this.

It was impressive that some top marathon swimmers such as Carol Cashel and Donal Buckley were in the pool – and Olympic 10k bronze medallist Cassie Patten was there to learn about the coaching side.

Isle of Man swimmers I am looking forward to developing some of the themes – first target some extra speed for the first of the summers triathlons!

For more information on one swimmers experience on the ‘other side’ of the course, have a look at Donal Buckley’s blog on

And this was our English Channel relay!


A week ago today, we were basking in the morning sunshine in the middle of the English Channel.

We had had the ‘go’ call from our pilot, Eddie Spelling in the middle of the afternoon on saturday 8th september, telling us to meet him at midnight at Dover Marina.

What do you imagine is the first thing you would do? In our case, that was to finish our sparkly nails, have a glass of wine, and go for a nap. Manx Minkes do it in style…. One or two of us were to regret the sparkly nails later….

We all kind of emerged from our rooms around 11pm to load up the cars and head for Dover. Our boat leader, Emma, had arrived in the meantime, so we were ready to roll.

Midnight saw us all at Dover Harbour, wondering exactly what mess we’d got ourselves into this time…

View original post 1,499 more words

Some thoughts on my Derwent swim in 2012


Way back in the mists of time, well January, when we were first planning the Channel swim and the training that would be needed, I set myself the goal of taking part in (and ideally completing) a continuous 5-6 mile swim. The rationale was that this would take around three hours, and if I could do that, then three individual 1 hour slots in the Channel would be a breeze.

Of course one of the major considerations in planning a swim of this nature is safety, so I decided it would be best to do an organised event. There are actually very few of this distance (but a growing number!) and of these very few permit you to take part without a wetsuit. Bring on the BLDSA, who have always encouraged non-wetsuit swims. Very handily they had a 5.25 mile swim scheduled in Derwent Water just after I got back…

View original post 720 more words