I've spent 20+ years as a competitive pool swimmer in California reaching as far as the junior national level. As I transitioned into university, I switched to playing water polo and competing in Masters open water competitions, as pool swimming had lost the allure for a short while. I also have been a coach for 13 years, first focusing on teaching kids, but for the past 8 years have found that coaching adults in the Masters world has been even more rewarding. I also have a history as a water polo coach at the university level and spent my summers as a pool lifeguard for 10+ years.
I have guided in the following locations: Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Mallorca Luxury Escapes, Mallorca Coaching, Brighton Swim Days. And no, I can't tell you which is my favorite because they really are all so different :)
I was on a 26-mile relay across Monterey Bay, California where we began at dawn when it was still dark, swam alongside sea lions, watched the sunrise, endured really rough seas, and within a mile of the finish encountered a great white shark and hundreds of jellyfish. We weren't able to finish the swim that day, which was disappointing, but we also witnessed the beauty of Mother Nature and learned that some swims don't always go your way, but there's always something you can take away from it.
(As a SwimTrek guide): Watching a former professional football player (who believed he could never compete again in a sport due to a severely damaged knee) show up on a Croatia Short Swims trip thinking he would try out this "swim" thing. He left with the biggest smile on his face and a new love for open water swimming with goals to enter into some short races back home.
Even as lifelong swimmers, we all have our days where we aren't having fun on a swim. It's okay to feel that way! If you do get in a slump, try to pick one thing to focus on rather than thinking, "I hate this. I'm cold., etc" Focus on your head position, count how many starfish you can see on the bottom, practice breathing on the opposite side, or get on the boat/beach and tell yourself "I'll try again tomorrow." If you're having an off day, try to make the best of it and always have fun and know when to stop yourself if you feel the need to.
A non-aquatic related activity, but I can say I've ventured into horseback riding, cooking, and sewing.
In my youth, I swam competitively for Romford Town through to my mid-teens. I still drop into the Master’s sessions every now and then when I get a few days back home. Over the last decade I’ve travelled much whilst working along the way. Many brief jobs eventually lead to swim guiding. Beach Lifeguarding, Divemaster, Deckhand, Barman, Activities Manager / Assistant Manager of a Hotel, Ski Host. In 2015 I was part of the first group of swimmers to cross between Corfu and Mainland Greece in the Ionian Sea 10.5km for Sail4cancer.
Greece Cyclades, Greece Activity Week Sivota , Turkey, Sicily, Sardinia, Thames, British Virgin Islands, Oman, Tenerife. This season will include Croatia and the Tremiti Islands
The Greek Island of Kastellorizo. Or the Island of Meis to the Turkish. From Kas, on the Turkey trip you can get a small ferry journey across. Local boat pilots take trips to a cave on the south side of the island. On a calm day the pilots will bring the boats inside, with all guests lying down to squeeze underneath the rocks at the entrance. They often allow you a quick dip. The Blue Grotto is a cavern illuminated by the reflection of sunlight from outside which leaves a bizarre blue glow, the awe has to be experienced from the water. Swimming back to the port from the Blue Grotto in Meis has definitely been a highlight of the last 4 years with SwimTrek. On the way we’ve spotted turtles, underwater cliffs and all the while you can see Turkey or Asia across the way. I’ve swum this a few times with a few SwimTrek guides which made it all the better.
Just a heads up on sighting and preparation… grab some good quality goggles and look after them. Your comfort in the water is essential because you may well be in the water for some time. To save fidgeting, get a pair that you have tried and trust, plus have a spare set ready to go. When it comes to using them in the sea there will be no excuses. Give them a rinse with fresh water after every swim and defog when necessary. There are many types available now but preferably try something with a wide range of vision. You’ll see more in and out of the water which will be beneficial for speed and enjoyment.
I was pretty handy at making a Pizza when I was younger- I remember 19 seconds being my record for a Margherita!
Being brought up on the southern cost of Turkey, snorkelling, spear fishing, and swimming in the med was what I would do whole thorough the long summer, getting up at 6 am before the crowds hit the beach.
I was in my late 20's when I swam in a swimming pool for the first time.
I started swimming with a master's club when I moved to London; that was the first time I began thinking about technique. Then I came across Shaw Method which rekindled my love for swimming.
Since 2005 I have been teaching swimming in London. I started working for Swimtrek in 2010 after being on one of their trips as a guest. I loved the way we were looked after by the guides.
I have guided in Sicily, learning the ropes from Maestro Francesco, Turkey, Egypt, Lake District, Mallorca Coaching, St Kitts and Nevis, and at the Hellespont swim event.
Swimming from the small Greek island Kastellorizo to Kas in Turkey was highly enjoyable.
It has to be relaxation, relaxation, and relaxation. Loosen up those shoulders, neck muscles, and you'll go a long way.
As a kid, I was good at catching fish with my bare hands, honest!
Rarely a day goes by when I don't get in the water. I love the buzz of open water swim races and the adventure of exploring the world from the water. I compete in the sport of lifesaving and love taking part in all water sports activities. I coach competitive youth swimmers, masters, open water swimmers and lifesaving groups. I also hosts video analysis swim sessions and am an experienced pool and beach lifeguard.
Greece, Turkey, Sardinia, Mexico, Croatia, Finland (& Turkey and Croatia Short Swims)
Wategos to Main Beach, Byron Bay, Australia This is a favourite swim I’ve done hundreds of times but in March 2013 after 3 days of travelling from Ireland to Australia I had my most memorable swim here. On arrival I cycled straight to the beach. I walked in the sun to Wategos and had the loveliest swim with friends and a turtle back to Main Beach. Having braved the chilly Irish waters with wetsuit and hood while surfing all winter the balmy waters were bliss.
Tempo trainer A tempo trainer is a fantastic little machine for pool swimming. It is like a watch face that slips under your swim cap. You can set it to beat at different intervals. I try to be at the far end of the pool each time it beeps. It is very simple but the immediate feedback on your pace is a great motivation to try hard, particularly when training alone. I set the beeps 0.04 seconds faster each week which is barely noticeable but by the end of the year it should mean an 8 second improvement per 100 metres.
If I were a book she would be an atlas. I love maps and travelling.
From an early age, I have spent my summers living on the beach, and that’s where I learnt to swim. I started swimming competitively in the pool at the age of 7. I began surf lifesaving when I was 14 and was particularly interested in the surf swim. After spending one summer swimming alongside a channel swimmer I decided to begin long distance open water events. I started swim teaching in 2008 and beach lifeguarding from 2010. I train as an IRB driver (power boat rescue in surf) during the summer and volunteer at lifesaving events. I have recently graduated from University College Dublin with a BSc in Health and Performance Science which involves a variety of coaching modules in strength and conditioning and ties in aspects of sports psychology, nutrition and physiology.
Turkish Lycian Way, Greek Sporades.
The last 2k of my first 10k race last September.
Always work with the conditions you’re swimming in - “go with the flow”. Work with the rhythm of the waves to keep the continuity in your stroke. In choppy seas, I’ve always found it easier to breathe at the peak of a wave as the water’s pushing you upwards. Use waves behind you to gain every bit of momentum you can.
I’ve played the drums since I was 10 years old.
In the autumn of 1991 I decided I wanted to swim the Channel. This was an odd decision as I was a skinny marathon runner with no previous experience as a swimmer save for a bronze certificate. Six attempts and five years later I finally succeeded. I did it again in 2003 and, in the six years until that second swim, I swam round Jersey three times, Lake Zurich three times and Windermere twice. I am running marathons and ultras again but have dusted off the Speedos and am back in the pool.
I have only guided on LDT tours.
Walking out onto Wissant Beach 13 hours and 17 minutes after I had walked into the sea off Shakespeare Beach in Dover to finally become a Channel swimmer. It remains my most memorable, empowering moment in open water swimming.
When you think you can't, you can. When you think you are at the end of your ability and endurance, you aren't. Swim, swim and swim some more until you run out of sea or lake. Then you may stop and bask in the glory of your achievement.
I write, I make art, I juggle, I used to ride a unicycle for fun, whilst juggling (but I also fell off a lot - so I don't do it anymore!)
I am a PE teacher and I was teaching at the University in Chieti up until 2014. I am currently a swim coach and lifeguard and I work for SS.Lazio Nuoto in Rome. I am the President and founder of ASD Swimtrekking, this year completing 20 years of activity. I have been a swimmer since I was 4 years old but I never loved to swim in pools and fresh water and I retired from the pool at 14 years old. My passion was to swim in the sea, looking to explore, and when I was an early teenager I loved to swim with my friends in the blue sea of the Eolian Islands with a mask and snorkel. At 15 I completed my first circumnavigation of Panarea and from that moment every summer was the opportunity to explore to sea beauty swimming round the islands. My first big challenge was in 1993 when I completed a 150 km coastal of all the Emerald Coast in Sardinia in 13 days. From summer 1994 to summer 2005 I completed the swim of all the Italian minor islands (all the Italian islands apart from Sicily and Sardinia) for a total of 44 islands as a solo swimmer with no boat support. In the winter of 2005 I swam around 10 island in the huge archipelago of Los Roques in Venezuela and in 2006 I swam around the island of Ithaca in Greece. I have also completed the swim of the San Bernardo archipelago in Colombia in winter 2014 and the coastal swims in the Galapagos archipelago in winter 2015.
I have been guiding for Swimtrek in Sardinia since the start of that trip and as well the Aegadian islands and the Aeolian islands. This year I will also be guiding the Tremiti islands.
The most memorable moment was when I was swimming around Stromboli island in 1996 and there was a lava eruption combined with a thunderstorm. It was an incredible to swim in such conditions and an unforgettable scenery to experience.
Swim with a kickboard in one hand. Pull and when you enter, aim the hand for the corner of the board and reach out under the side of the board instead of for the center. This can correct some of the common mistakes of moving the hands across the body on the reach after entry.
I love the sea, and swimming is an opportunity to explore marine life in a very unique way and to feel part of it.
A relatively late convert to open water swimming, Neil has competed nationally and internationally at swimming and waterpolo, captaining the England waterpolo team to a Bronze medal in the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
A qualified and experienced swim coach, Neil has built up a wealth of open water expertise over the last few years working on many Swimtrek destinations. Often to be found swimming in the cooler waters of the Lake District, North Sea and West coast of UK.
I have always enjoyed swimming as an adult but never competitively. After going on my first SwimTrek holiday in 2009, I got hooked on the open water and following laser eye surgery swam Lake Zurich solo 2010. After this I became a guide, but I make sure I still go away as a punter at least once a year as well!
Turkey, Sardinia & Montenegro. I've also been a guest in Egypt, Malta and Croatia.
Getting OUT of lake Zurich at the end of my swim!
Swim when you least feel like it - you will ALWAYS feel better afterwards.
My birthday is exactly ten weeks to the day before Christmas.
37 Seasons as a beach lifeguard in West Cornwall.
Croatia Dalmatian Coast, Croatia Short Swims and Montenegro.
Accidentally stepping into deep water in a rock pool when I was 4.
Dual nationality English/Australian due to being born in Australia