We set off for Dover early Saturday morning (03:00) and arrived in plenty of time to register and gossip with fellow swimmers and the "General". The Champion of Champions consists of 3 races in one day, starting with a 5 miler, followed by a 3 mile effort and finishing with a 1 mile sprint at the end of the day.
We all happily entered the water for the first race and spirits were high. Ali Streeter started us off and I immediately found myself near the back!! I set off at a steady pace telling myself that I shouldn't go off too fast, this ploy worked and I started catching swimmers after 2 miles. I then wondered how soon the leaders would catch me, hoping that I could reach the finish before I was lapped, this was not to be as 2 swimmers flew past me before I'd finished my 3rd mile!! I continued my own race with 2 others, coming in 2nd in our mini race in a race. My time of 2 hrs 13 min was better than I had expected, but poor in respect of the winning time of 1 hr 35 min.
After a good rest it was back in for race 2 over 3 miles, I decided to "race" this one and had a great battle with 3 other swimmers for the majority of the race. Once again I managed a sprint finish to come in 2nd in our little group. I was disapointed with my official time of 1 hr 21 min (Ruth clocked it as 1 hr 18 min), but I enjoyed the race.
There seemed to be a big delay before race 3 got underway and there wasn't quite the enthusiasm for the final sprint, the numbers were also down on the original starting field. I simply went as fast as I could and managed to stay with a big group for the 1st half mile but then had to slow, finally managing to come in under 26 min (just!).
All in all a good day with a provisional 25th place, out over about 66 starters, not bad for a hairy old git.
Sunday saw my back in the harbour for a 6 hour swim courtesy of Freda. All was going well at the 1st 2 hour feed, but coming in for the 3 hour I was feeling cold and was dropping back from Rob. I remember approaching the beach, but the next thing I remember was sitting on the beach staring at Freda, completely covered in towels from everybody on the beach!! Apparently Barry caught me and dragged me out of the water and Freda broke the 30m beach dash!! Thankyou to both and all the others down on the beach last weekend.