I’m excited to be counting down the hours before we start our relay in the English Channel. We’ve assembled six experienced and enthusiastic coaches from a wide range of backgrounds and locations in the US and UK, and we’re ready to hit the Channel and show that grace and efficiency can make a smooth ride out of the toughest of challenges.

The English Channel is a bit more familiar to me than to most swimmers. In 2004, without having ever done an individual open water race, I trained for and completed a solo attempt. Three years later, I made a double attempt after coaching two relays of masters and youth swimmers who raced each other across the Channel. My double was not to be, but I did shave another 30 minutes off of my solo time from 2004.

Since then, I’ve gone over to England on four more occasions to coach relays and solo swimmers. Dover is a place I’ve come to love because of the singleminded focus I can have here on preparation and training for swimming, and it’s been an honor to share this with other coaches and swimmers.

This year, for the first time, I got to pick my own team. With only a couple months of planning, we assembled a relay that included and age range of more than 30 years, but we all share one passion- we all think of ourselves as coaches who are wholly committed not just to help people swim faster, but also to build communities of passionate athletes around this sport and to help new and experienced swimmers understand and love the deeper technique and knowledge within swimming experience.

We’ll post more about ourselves during and after the swim. Let’s get started with a little summary of one of my previous endeavors!

2004 Channel Swim