Successful English Channel Relay Swim

The route of the Channel swimmers

As an international team members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team swam the English Channel from Dover to Calias in 13 hours and 41 minutes at the 21st of September 2010. Team members were: Viharin (Czech Repulic, Prague), Harkara (Germany, Augsburg), Angikar (Serbia, Nis), Jatansheel (Germany, Heidelberg), Mahakulina (Slowenia, Ljubljana) and selfless helper Vlado (Czech Repulic, Prague). We had optimal conditions for our channel crossing. The sun was shining and the airtemperature was between 17°C and 20°C. The water was calm and 17°C “warm”. There was almost no wind, we just had a strong current, because we started at the end of the nide-tide. You cannot get better conditions, so the crossing became a relaxed boat-journey with powerful swim-sessions. In a relay everyone swims for one hour and then has a 4 hour brake. After the brake you swim again for one hour. Therefore you could give really 100% in the swimming session. We started at 6:58 o’clock and the day greeted us with a wonderful sunrise. The order of our relay was from the fastest to the slowest swimmer: Mahakulina, Viharin, Jatnasheel, Harkara, Angikar. We felt great and no one got seasick, except our selfless helper Vlado. Even being a little seasick, he was still helping. After 10 hours the boat-pilot said: if we do not speed up, then we will miss the goal Cap Gris-Nez and have to swim at least 5 hours more. It was Mahakulina’s turn and everyone was pushing hard. We could see the french coast already, but the strong current takes you away, parallel to the coast. For about 20 minutes three dolphins accompanied us. That was a nice experience! Jatnasheel swam already in the dawn and when it became my turn, it was pitch dark. The swimmer gets a light attached to his bathcap and bathtrouser, so that the boat-pilot can still see the swimmer. It was a great honor for me to be the final swimmer. Close to the goal the boat stops, because it cannot drive to the shore. Angikar joined me and we swam together to the cliffs of Cap Gris-Nez. My muscles where burning and it was hard to catch up with the rested Angikar. Shortly before the cliffs you can already see the rocks underwater. Only a few more meters, my arms felt like heavy stones, because I was sprinting before. Then I felt the rocks underneath my feed and climbed up. The rocks where very sharp, because of all the shells attached to the rocks, but luckily I got only a few small scratches. We did it! Everyone was happy. – Harkara

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