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Monday, 4 May 2015

H20 Magazine - lets support it!!!

Hi Guys,

H2open magazine is the bible of magazines for all open water swimmers....lets support its endeavour with VirginMedia Business!!!


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Wild about Swimming now offers the RLSS National water safety management programme qualification - if you want one run in your area please contact me so we can arrange it

Tuesday, 10 March 2015



As the passion for open water grows so does the safety concerns for those participating. Products are being produced aim at swimmer visibility, and these from the feedback given have both their good and bad points i suppose such as  most things in life do.

But what of those of us who dont want to announce to the world that we are in the water, who swim solo, in pairs or  small groups, who take to waters others would consider too cold or too bouncy. Those of us who have swam for years in the great outdoors and for whom the announcement of us being in the water is too much.  What of those of us who ask friends and family to boat or kayak for us while we attempt vast distances, whilst we rely on them for our safety, what of theirs.

Having researched safety devises on the market that would best suit my needs i found RESTUBE (  A nifty little package that suits me down to the ground, a velcro'ed pouch housing all i would need for self rescue, rescue and visibility should i require  it. Activated by the pull of a cord, a gas propelled flotation rescue tube is expelled. It also has the advantage that it can be activated by others in or on the water if i can not  manage myself.

The first time it was used was purely as a test, would it deploy when needed, how fast and could you effectively either self rescue or be rescued using it?

The venue chosen, Ellerton Lake near Richmond North Yorkshire where i tend to coach from, the weather very windy and the water nicely choppy. A willing model placed the belt around her waste and adjusted it accordingly to ensure a perfect but not overly tight fit. In she jumped and after swimming around for a bit managed to find herself some lovely deep choppy water.

The beauty of swimming in deep choppy water on a day like today is that the tube really does get put to the test, can she self rescue, can we see her in the water, and can she be rescued if necessary. Putting on the device is simple a strong adjustable belt with the pack attached which can be mounted either vertically or horizontally for maximum comfort to the user.

On my signal she deployed the device, no loud noises, i was worried about the inflatable tube coming up at such a speed that it may injure the swimmer whilst in the water. I need not have worried, the tube inflated with swift speed but equally without enough force to cause harm. Bright yellow in colour and solid enough that it could support her body weight while she gained her breath.

Breath gained our willing model was able then use the RESTUBE, holding it in a variety of ways to ensure that she could safely get back to the bank of the lake. Impressed, we certainly were, even more so when it came to packing it up, easy to follow instructions printed on the tube showed the correct method of returning the tube to the pouch, affixing another gas cannister was simple (thankfully!).

Since proving it can actually do what it says on the tin, i have taken it everywhere with me - yes you can take them on planes (4 canisters can be taken - but keep yourself up to date by checking the IATA regulations in case they change )

I am happy to show it to my swimmers, my coaches, to potential coaches, to qualification awarding bodies, school and pretty much anyone involved in an aquatic environment, it is compact, easy to use design is an instant hit across the board.

I love that the tubes don't need to be inflated until such time as required, for those that like the security of swimming in the open water but don't always want to be visible to any others other than their spotter these are ideal. They can be used by those on boats, kayakers, group leaders, divers, paddle boards,  rescue technicians, schools, boaters, well  in fact their uses are endless if you are in, on or around water.

As an open water swimmer for me i love swimming ANYWHERE outside and all year round, knowing that i can swim anonymously if i desire - i can, if i wish to be seen, say for example on bodies of water where other users such at boats my frequent - i can, but most importantly, it does allow self and assisted rescue should i need it. Highly recommended and a product that i for one always have in my swim you have no doubt heard me say so many times...Happy Swimming,  - with RESTUBE that is guaranteed!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

New Ice miler!!!!!

Wild about swimming is so proud to announce that Kate Sunley has been confirmed by the International Ice Swimming Association as an ICE MILER!!!!!

HUGE Congratulations to you Kate, the worlds first female disabled icemiler!!!! Thanks to all the crew and helpers on the day  xx

Kate with the world first and only male disabled swimmer Jonty Warneken....two world firsts for Wild about swimming and the International Ice Swimming Association!!!!

Countryfile video

At last the long awaited (only because i couldn't figure out how to load it!!!!) video of me on Countryfile with TV presenter Julia Bradbury.

Watch from about 5:04....happy view folks :)

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Ice breaking!!!

Ice Breaking!!!

The temperatures have changed again....and today at the lake a nice layer of ice covered most of it.....did it put us off.....NO!!!!

The feet and hands went instantly numb but that didn't put us off playing with the ice. One intrepid swimmer  John, even coming up from underneath to raise a fist in honour of winter swimming. 

For all of you that love the summer swimming...the ice swimming is amazing too...come and have a go!!!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

First swims of the year (2015) Sanna Bay!

First swims of the year (2015) Sanna Bay!

What better way to start the new year than with a dip...well i think so at least. And what better place to dip than Sanna Bay, on the peninsular of Ardnurmurchan.

The first dip, sundown on January the 1st, my birthday!!!! The water a tad choppy but with just enough light left to see where we had left our Dryrobes, we entered its cool depths. The water still held onto its brilliant emerald shade, visibility .....good!!

A storm had been forecast and it was just what we needed to help us clear our somewhat foggy heads from the Hogmanay festivities played out in true traditional style with 'first footing' by the gentlemen, many in kilts and giving gifts of coal to the ladies. A great night filled with champagne and laughter but now to see in the start of the year in the best way that we know how.

My good friend and professional  photographer Hamza Yassin of was there to snap our swim, unfortunately for him and i suspect rather frustratingly we had left it late in the  day to start our swim and the light was not good. He managed to get several pics that showed the amazing colour of the water though and us playing in it ....tomorrow would be a different swim!

The next day, just as the weather had been forecast, was a mixture of sun and cloud, the wind was up to gale force but did that deter us...not a hope. Not sure how long we would be in the three of us donned our faithful Huub wetsuits ( wrapped ourselves up in the Dryrobe and headed back to Sanna Bay. 

Alighting the cars, it was a struggle to keep the robes around us and we ended up doing a superman impression most of the time (of course we could have zipped them up but.....well we were women on a get in the water!!! But first to try to store our outer garments so that they did not end up on the other side of the bay or even in the water. 

Just trying to put goggles, hats and gloves on became a battle of wind versus skin stripping sand. But eventually we got there, robes bundled up together in the hope they would stay in place!

The waves of the previous day forgotten as we turned and faced the raging waters we were about to enter, the tide was out making the walk to the waters edge even longer. Talking at a louder volume to be heard above the pounding we were all grinning, this was going to be fun!

No idea of the water temperature before you ask, it was chilly on the toes and fingers but other than that fine..the wetsuits helped!!

The water really was trying to suck us in! The force of the water literally sucking the sand from under our feet and then as the ground turned solid beneath us the water rose in front of us. Thundering with increasing speed towards the shore and relentless in its path. We were merely players while she let us in but mother nature at any time could have decided we were unwelcome, picked us up with her watery embrace and spat us out back on shore.

But time and time again we turned our backs on her, daring her to do just that....before she swept us off of our feet forcing us backwards only to have us turn round and run back towards her inky depths!

Yesterdays waters had a wonderfully clear green colour to it, today's was frothy and bouncy. Her ferocity had a bite to it that was not to be messed with. 

As much a we wanted to get out beyond the big breakers we literally couldn't mother nature deciding to keep us safe would not let us get out past shoulder height before throwing us back to land, in honesty it would have been dangerous to have got past the big waves, even those that we were playing with (head height) were pushing us not only backwards but also towards the rocks, many a time we had to return to the centre of the bay to maintain our position on the beach. 

The sun occasionally came out to greet us, water shining off of our wetsuits, our grins huge, we werer loving it. There was even time to play in the shallow water....not quite sure what Loraine MacDonald was doing here while  Alison and i were chatting...i am sure there was a large wave only a second or two before and now nothing but bubbles and froth!

 Not once did she relent as we ran in and out of the waves, waves too high that we could not even jump over them, diving under them brought us up in inches of water and spitting fact i think we all found sand in places we did not know existed when we showered!

All the time we were playing Hamza was clicking away with his camera, the sunlight coming through just as he wanted it too. Un-be-known to us, we had an audience, a large group where stood watching us, we could not hear what they were saying....probably the normal things that open water swimmers it  cold, how long have you been in, is it  rough in there....and so on!!! We did not mind though we were like children (albeit grown up ones!!) doing what we love and boy were we loving it. 

It was an amazing swim in Sanna bay, Ardnurmurchans jewel in the sand and as we discovered as wonderful in a winter storm as in the summer rays!!!