Isle of Wight Full Detailed Information

 OVERVIEW:

  • 109km (65m) Circumnavigation of the World Famous 'Isle of Wight'. Swim start & finish is Ryde on the Isle of Wight. 
  • Very few solo or relays have ever completed this incredible feat due to the very strong tides and the complex logistics involved pre- and during the swim
  • Approximate time to complete swim = 25 – 35hrs
    (possibly as quick as 15 - 20hrs if swimmers are all 3.5 - 4km p/hr and conditions are favourable)
  • Relays select either a private swim (which means only their relay swimming next to the boat) or they select a tandem relay swim next to another relay
  • Swimmers can book as individuals in a public relay (Chloë will select the rest of your team) or an exclusive relay where you swim ONLY with your buddies!
  • 30min or 1hr swim rotations for tandem relays (private relays have flexibility for the time rotation intervals e.g. they may wish to rotate every 2hrs)
  • Swimmers will generally get 48hrs notice of a swim start, but the notice may be as short as 12 - 24hrs
  • Rules similar to the Marathon Swimmers Federation (MSF) observed


Who is best suited for this adventure?

You, if you are…

  • Training for a solo of the English Channel
  • Training for a relay of the English Channel
  • Looking for a new adventure after a Channel solo / relay swim
  • Looking for a BIG challenge but have never swum a marathon swim before
  • Wanting to make new friends from across the world 
  • Wanting personal training from, Chloë, the Queen of the English Channel (44x Channel swims including a triple non-stop crossing) 
    100% success rate - single crossings
  • Wanting training from Coach Chloë, who has successfully coached 150 English Channel solo and relay swimmers
  • Wanting to be piloted by the most experienced Isle of Wight pilot for swimmers - Scott Dawson
  • Want to swim with a beautiful escort boat with showers and beds!

 

What Windows are available?

 2022 Window Length
June 21st - 28th* 7 days
July 26th - August 2nd 8 days
2023
June 21st - 28th 8 days
July 21st - 27th  7 days
July 28th - August 4th 8 days
*NB: June 25th will be bypassed due to the annual Isle of Wight yacht race


You can fill out a 'Registration of Interest' form at the very bottom of this page and indicate your personal availability or yours PLUS your prospective team members availability (you may have a full team or a partial team – either is fine). 


PLUS more inclusions & details...

  • HUGE 50ft+ (15m+) boat hire which includes shower, kitchenette, beds to sleep 6 persons, sheltered outdoor decking and extensive covered indoor and modern satellite navigation equipment etc...
  • Small boat (R.I.B) and kayak hire which is ready for one of the crew to use when swimmers are swimming closer to shore and for change-over of swimmers when this needs to happen in areas where it is too shallow for the main boat to go
  • Official observer and potential for official ratification
  • Chloë on your boat coaching and coordinating the relays, pilots and swim logistics. She may also swim in some of the relays too, if requested
  • Chloë meeting you the afternoon before your relay start for a team swim and an early team dinner, on Portsea Island (Portsmouth)
  • All administration fees to process and coordinate the relays including Chloë personally finding you relay team mates if you request this and finding an appropriate tandem team similar to your teams pace if you choose this option
  • Two pilots hired (boat captains) – including Scott Dawson who swam a circumnavigation around the Isle of Wight (in a wetsuit) solo in 2016 and piloted and planned the tides and logistics for Oly Rush’s 15hr swim in 2021, in a wetsuit
  • GPS tracking of your swim to share with family and friends all over the world
  • Food which is cooked for you at regular intervals during the swim (allergies and food preferences catered for). As well as the ability to use the kitchen to prepare your own meals. 
  • Exclusive Facebook group for the Isle of Wight relays going in that particular year
  • Guaranteed position for you in a swim Camp in Dorset (UK) / Sorrento (VIC, AUST.) in the year of your Isle of Wight Relay. See inclusions in the table below
  • If you are booking in a future year, say for 2023, you and your team can have 50% off a Dorset (UK) / Sorrento (VIC, AUST.) swim camp the year before, in this instance 2022. Subject to availability.


        
Relay Types

  1. Public – 6 swimmers per relay. These relays swim tandem next to another relay. The two relays are completely independent. You will be matched to a buddy from the other relay that is of similar speed and you will swim each rotation together. Rotations will be 30min or 1hr depending on what the first team which is booked in prefers. There will be no additional space for non-swimmers to be on the boat. Fortunately, they can be there at the start and finish in Ryde AND there are fantastic look out points along the cliff tops of the Isle of Wight which they can watch and cheer you on from as you swim around the island.

  2. Exclusive – you wish to swim exclusively with your team mates. You then have two options to choose between, either an Exclusive Tandem OR an Exclusive Private. If you wish you can swim tandem next to another relay but in this instance, you must select 6 swimmers. The tandem option is discounted compared to a private booking. If you wish to have the boat to yourself (no other relay swimming) then you can select the Exclusive Private and you also then have the flexibility of between 4 – 11 swimmers in your team and the flexibility of swimming on a different time interval e.g. 2hr swim rotations.
     

FAQs

How many swimmers in a relay?
Generally six swimmers.

All tandem relays will have 6 swimmers, whether they are Public or Exclusive. Exclusive relays who want the boat as a Private booking can have between 4 - 11 swimmers.

How can a relay swim 109km (65m) in just 25hrs or even as quick as 15hrs? 
There are very strong tides which go around the Isle of Wight and with the careful preparation and piloting your pilots will ensure your relay takes maximum advantage of the tidal push!

What does a Window mean?
This is the number (the range) of days in which your relay will swim. Your relay will swim as soon as it is your turn and the weather is deemed suitable to swim. As the weather can be unpredictable in the English Channel your pilot will wait until you are very close to the window to notify you of the swim start, this is to ensure he/she has the best information at hand when deciding which the best day is.

How many Positions are allocated to the boat per window?

A maximum of 2x Positions per Window will be allocated per tide, this is to ensure the MAXIMUM opportunity for ideal weather for the Positions on each Window. Many English Channel boat captains book up to 5x Positions per Window, and sadly, it is all too common that swimmers who are Position #4 & #5 get “weathered out”. This terms means that by the time it is their turn to swim there is no more suitable weather left to swim in the remaining days of their window.

Bookings are taken on a first-come-first-serve basis. So, the earlier you secure your Position the higher the chance you will be Position #1.


What rules must the relay follow to be officially ratified?
Your team must decide at the time of booking whether you want to swim an unassisted swim (basically in ‘skins’) or an assisted swim where you are allowed to wear equipment as listed by the Marathon Swimming Federation in the link below. 

You can find the rules on the Marathon Swimmers Federation by clicking the links below:

Swim Rules of Marathon Swimming
Special Swim Types
Standard Equipment of Marathon Swimming
Non-standard Equipment of Marathon Swimming

Can my team continue if one of us breaks any of the rules?
Yes, most likely, but if you finish it will be categorised as a Training Swim and won’t be officially ratified. 

What if someone pulls out of the relay during the relay in our relay, or pulls out in the other relay if we are swimming in a tandem?
The swimmer will have a maximum of 5 minutes to regain their composure (on a maximum of two separate occasions over the course of the relay) to keep swimming. If they exhaust these two options, they as a swimmer will be disqualified from swimming in their relay. Their relay will continue, as a Training Swim (it will not be able to be ratified), as long as at least half of that relay are able to continue the relay rotating on the agreed time interval.


I want to join a Public Relay will our relay be classified as Standard (Unassisted) or Non-Standard (Assisted)?

All public relays will swim under Standard (Unassisted) rules, otherwise known as "skins".

Tandem specific questions

  1. Are tandems offered in other marathon swims?
    Yes. The Straits of Gibraltar (Europe to Africa crossing – one of the ‘Ocean 7’ swims) marathon swim allows up to 4x solo swimmers to swim side-by-side for the 16km swim. In addition, the Rottnest Island Swim (Western Australia) allows tandem swimmers across their 20km course. There may be other marathons which allow tandems too.

  2. Why are you offering tandems when other English Channel Swimming organisations don’t?
    Each swimming organisation can choose what rules best suit the swimming formats they wish to ratify. The ratification organisation that the Isle of Wight swims under (to be announced soon) allows and will have the ability to officially ratify solo and relay tandems swims, just like other highly reputable organisations across the world. 

    Offering tandem as an option for swimmers means that the costs for organising, the pilot and boat hire fees can be reduced dramatically per relay and also good weather opportunities are maximised.
  1. How do we know the other relay will be suitable to swim next to ours?
    Once the first tandem relay is locked in Chloë will look for another tandem relay where the swimmers are a similar pace.

  2. What if we book a relay for a tandem but Chloë can’t find any other suitable tandem team?
    In this instance, your team will effectively have a private relay and no other relay or swimmer will be allowed to swim next to your relay. There are no changes to your booking, no increase in your investment or change of Window dates etc…

  3. Will we get an opportunity to practice with the other relay team?
    Yes, all swimmers will get the opportunity to come to the Dorset swim camp the year of their relay as an inclusion in their booking. On this camp swimmers can practice swimming next to the boat, practice swimming at night, practice swimming next to a buddy swimmer, swimming on the port (left) and starboard (right) side of the boat, plus MANY more benefits (for more please see the two tables which outline camp inclusions)!

    You can also organise swims with the other relay by contacting them and organising mutually agreeable swim catch ups. 

  4. What if one swimmer is faster than the other swimmer in the other relay?
    The boat will only go at the speed of the slower swimmer. The faster swimmer must adjust their pace. It is important to practice buddy swimming in advance of your swim, ideally with your swim buddy who will swim next to you. You will have this opportunity at camp or by reaching out to them directly in advance of the relay.

  5. What if someone pulls out of the relay during the relay in our relay, or pulls out in the other relay if we are swimming in a tandem?
    The swimmer will have a maximum of 5 minutes to regain their composure (on a maximum of two separate occasions over the course of the relay) to keep swimming. If they exhaust these two options, they as a swimmer will be disqualified from swimming in their relay. The swim will continue, as a Training Swim (it will not be able to be ratified), as long as half of that relay are able to continue the relay rotating on the agreed time interval. 

 


Where is the general meeting area before the swim?

Swimmers who are in a Public Relay and all those in tandem relays will be required to be on Portsea Island in the late afternoon and early evening before their relay. See the location for the swim below.

Where would be the local place to swim before the relays in Portsmouth?
South Sea / Eastney Beach, Portsmouth. This is the location for the swim the afternoon before the relay. You will need to be at this beach at 4pm the afternoon before your swim for a 45min swim with your team. This is also a great opportunity to swim with your buddy swimmer from the other relay if you are in a tandem relay. Private relays do not have to meet the evening before for a swim or dinner but it is highly advisable. Private relays may choose to meet on the Isle of Wight the afternoon before instead. 

How long will it take to get to swim start, on the boat, from Portsmouth? And how will we get to the swim start?

You will meet at a local Marina, possibly Gunwharf Quays (TBC), to meet the boat and load the gear and passengers. 

The trip will take approximately 30min and you will be transported from Portsmouth to the swim start at Ryde (Isle of Wight) by the boat. 

What is the typical time of day for a swim start?

Your pilot, Scott, is aiming a midday tide turn. This means approximately 4am out of bed, meet at 4:30am at the marina and a 7am swim start.

What is the expected water temperature for each Window?

Expected water temperature 13 - 15C in late June, 17 - 19C in August / September.

Will the tide assist our team the whole way?
The tide will likely be with you ¾ of the time and against you ¼ of the time. Your team may possibly not make any progress for hours on end when you swim against the tide. Rest assured this is not only normal, it is to be expected!

What sort of sea conditions should I expect?

The Isle of Wight can have very different conditions depending on where you are around the island at any time. Some pilots say it has its own ‘micro-climate’. Your pilot will only agree to start say and time if he/she believes you have a very good chance of being successful. The English Channel is very fickle and the tides are very strong around the island so any wind against a strong tide will cause quite big waves so train in advance and expect choppy conditions at some point in your swim.

Your head pilot Scott Dawson has considerable knowledge of the local waters and you can expect him to give you a fair chance of a successful swim without placing you at risk. The Pilot will retain the right to stop the swim if he/she considers it inadvisable/unsafe to continue. You should hope for Force 1/2 but be prepared for Force 4/5.

What coaching is provided prior to the swim?

All swimmers booked in a 2022 or 2023 Isle of Wight Relay will be given a Position in the swim camp the year of their relay.  There will be plenty of coaching on this camp. Swimmers will also have access to 4 months of weekly group coaching Zoom calls with Chloë leading into your relay. There will be slightly less than 4 months for the 2022 swimmers.

Will Chloë be in the relays? Will she coach swimmers during the relay?
Chloë will coach, coordinate and crew in the public 2022 relays. If a Public relay needs a 6th swimmer then Chloë will jump in to round the relay up to 6. She is happy to swim at the pace of her buddy swimmer.

Chloë will also coordinate and crew the exclusive relays and if they would like she can coach and/or swim in them too, she can.

Who are the pilots (captains)?
The head pilot is Scott Dawson who swam the Isle of White solo (wetsuit) in 2016 in an incredible time of 26hrs. He also planned the tides and piloted for Olly Rush who swam Isle of White solo (wetsuit) in 2021 in an astonishing 15hrs. Scott is Level 2 STA approved open water swim coach, an experienced sailor and marine industry professional with extensive boating experience. There will also be a 2nd pilot who Scott will choose to be his co-captain. 

Can the whole relay swim into the finish together?
Yes, if the pilot deems it is safe and has gained the necessary approval from the local authorities.

Can partner/s, friend/s or family join on the boat during the relay?
Unfortunately, there won't be any space on the public relays due to the restrictive passenger and crew quotas, which is in place to ensure safety. Exclusive relays will have the capacity to have additional people on the boat if they have less than 10 swimmers. 

Can partner/s, friend/s or family be there at the start and / or finish?

Yes! They can come down to the Wharf at Ryde for the start and finish.

What is the minimum requirement to prove that a swimmer is ready for their relay?
There are two separate tests, a cold water test and a fitness test. If your relay is swimming under the ‘Assisted’ category you may wear the gear you plan to swim your relay in either or both qualifying tests. Tests must be completed within the following time frame – as early as three months from the start of the Window for that relay or as late as the day before. It is advised to attempt them as early possible so that you have the opportunity to reattempt any test again to qualify. 

This will give you, your team mates, the other relay (if you are swimming tandem) and your coach (Chloë) and pilots peace of mind that you are the minimum pace and also cold resilient. It also means you have peace of mind that others in your relay and the other relay (if you are in a tandem) have met their minimum requirements too. 

An independent person or persons who have current or historical experience (paid or unpaid) in one or more of the following areas are eligible to oversee your qualifier:

  1. Sports coach
  2. Sports official
  3. Sports administrator
  4. Marathon swim observer
  5. Other as agreed, at least two weeks in advance of your attempt, with Chloë

There must be an observer for all of your swims. The role can be shared by more than one person if they wish to ‘tag team’ observing you. You will be given form for the observer/s to fill out by Chloë.

1) Cold Water Test
Swimmers must swim twice the time of their swim rotation as a cold water qualifier in the minimum temperature they expect their relay to be in (e.g. if you are swimming 30min swim rotations a 1hr cold water qualifier is required). Chloë will provide guidance as to what that temperature will be for you before you book. There will be an opportunity to do your cold water test at Dorset camp (UK) and Sorrento camp (VIC, AUST).

2) Swim Fitness Test
Swimmers will need to EACH swim their expected swim hours, for the first 24hrs of their Isle of Wight swim, in an indoor or outdoor (chlorinated or ocean) pool to show they have the minimum fitness. You must cover a minimum distance of 2.5km for each hour of swimming. Hours can be spread out as much you like within a 24hr time period. Hours are rounded up when they .5 or above.

 

Number of
swimmers

Number of hours
to swim
11 2
10 2
9 3
8 3
7 4
6 4
5 5
4 6

 

E.g. a 6 person team (who will swim a total of 4hrs) may have a swim test day which looks like this below. You will notice they have 2hrs break between each 1hr swim.

7 – 8am swim
(rest)
10 – 11am swim
(rest)
1 – 2pm swim
(rest)
4 – 5pm swim

Will I get seasick?
Did you know that sea sickness is common among Relays in the English Channel? Chloë will discuss how to minimise the risk of and ideally prevent this occurring and what to do if it occurs during the monthly coaching calls leading into your relay.

What happens at the end of the swim?
You can choose to stay on the Isle of Wight or not. If you wish to stay on the island the pilot can drop you at the marina at the finish in Ryde or you can choose to come back to the marina in Portsmouth where you loaded and boarded before the swim start. 

I live / have family or friends on the Isle of Wight. Can I stay here the night before the swim?

I understand that this seems like a very convenient and homely option for you. If you are in a Private relay this is an option you may prefer, although I’d discuss it with your team mates first as it would be ideal to swim together the afternoon before the swim in Portsmouth. If you are a Private relay and your whole team is staying on the island prior to the swim then it may be more efficient to have the afternoon swim and dinner on the island prior to the swim as everyone will be sleeping there anyway.

If you are in a Public relay or an Exclusive tandem relay you will need to meet in Portsmouth the afternoon swim so you can have another opportunity to swim with your buddy before the relay, see exception below*. 

It will be very challenging getting to the island that night if you are in Portsmouth at dinner time. You may be lucky and be able to book a place on a ferry or hovercraft, but this may be challenging with the possibly short notice of the swim start. 

*If both tandem relays are staying on the Isle of Wight the evening before the swim then the afternoon swim and dinner can be changed to this location.

We booked a 6 person relay and now we want to add one more swimmer, is that possible?
If you are in a tandem relay this isn’t usually possible, as the maximum number of swimmers is 6. This additional swimmer could be a reserve swimmer for your relay in case someone drops out of your relay in advance of your relay starting. They could possibly also step in if someone drops out of the other tandem relay swimming besides yours. This swimmer would need to meet all the minimum requirements which is expected of your relay.

It is possible to make changes to the swimmers in your relay, once they have officially secured their position with a deposit. To replace a swimmer there is a 100 Pound admin fee. 

We booked a 6 person relay and one of our swimmers has dropped out. What do we do?
If you are in a Private relay you can choose to swim with one less swimmer and pay the outstanding balance for that swimmer or you can look for a replacement swimmer or you can ask Chloë to look for a replacement swimmer.

If you are in a Tandem relay you will need to find a replacement or you can choose to ask Chloë to find a replacement. If you fail to find a replacement Chloë will find one for you. You will not need to abort your swim. However, you will need to have 6 swimmers in total so that each swimmer swims with the same buddy swimmer, from the other tandem relay, as you swim around the island. Any replacement swimmer will need to be of similar pace or quicker than the person they have replaced.

What if we are team of 4 and we want to organise an exclusive team of 6 and we are ready to book but we haven't found the last two swimmers yet?
I suggest securing your relay immediately so that it is reserved for your team. If you are booking well in advance then you have plenty of time to find the remaining swimmers. You have until 12 weeks out from the start of your Window to secure all your teammates. If you haven't found them by then Chloë will find you suitable swimmer/s to fill your team of 6. She may even jump in and swim with you as a team mate!

What if a swimmer drops out of an Exclusive Private Relay in advance of the relay?
The team will be responsible for finding a suitable replacement who can meet the cold water qualifier, can pass the fitness test and is available the afternoon before and for the window of dates etc… If you cannot find a suitable replacement within 12 weeks of the start of your Window Chloë reserves the right to find a suitable replacement. Alternatively, your team may prefer to pay the remaining balance of the swim Position and swim with one less swimmer. 

Is it possible for me to go on a standby list for a 2022 / 23 relay in case someone drops out of relay and you are looking for another swimmer?
Yes, it is possible. I suggest you train towards the same two qualifiers 1. Cold Water Test and 2. Fitness test so that you are ready to do these qualifiers if necessary. Or you can achieve these qualifiers within 3 months of the start of your preferred Window/s and you will then have them 'banked' so you are ready go, at a moments notice, if called. Please keep in mind if you will also need a medical signed off by your doctor too. You may wish to consider coming along to the cold water camps too. For more information please contact Chloë directly.  

What if I am sick, injured or have scheduling issues leading into my relay?

These things happen in life unfortunately. The full costs of your relay will still be incurred even if you are not there. Also Tandems need to have exactly 6 swimmers so this may cause some logistical challenges to me as coach / coordinator and to your relay.

It is suggested that every relay have at least one swimmer as a reserve, ideally two, who completes the fitness and cold water test and is ready to jump in at the last minute in case of scenarios such as these.

If you can no longer swim it is your responsibility to find a suitable replacement. If you and / or your team can’t find a replacement all monies you have paid will be forfeited and Chloë will find a replacement for you. 

What if our Window is "weathered" out?
As there are a maximum of 2 swim Positions per 8-9 days of the Window time frame this is unlikely. However, if this happens Chloë will attempt to find another Window of dates in the same swim season to accommodate you, she is very keen for you to have the opportunity to go on your adventure and will try her utmost to get you to the start line asap! You must be prepared to swim into October if there are no earlier opportunities earlier due to weather and / or scheduling etc…

How far in advance do I need to be in town?
Swimmers in public relays need to be in town within 12hrs of swim start (to meet and do 1x practice swim with their relay team before swim start). Exclusive relays can meet the boat at the pickup point before the swim start; however, it is highly advised that they also meet 12hrs in advance in Portsmouth.

How do I get to Portsmouth?
- Closest Airport = Southampton then 25 -30min drive or 1hr15-30min train to Portsmouth
- Drive from London 1hr35 to Portsmouth
- Public transport from London 2hrs to Portsmouth

Where do you suggest I book accommodation before the relay? Can you recommend any accommodation?

Swimmers are encouraged to secure accommodation in Portsea Island, Portsmouth, ahead of their relay. At this stage Chloë cannot recommend anywhere specifically but she is looking into this and will notify your team of any recommendations she hears about.

What administration will I need to do?
You will be given a medical certificate which you will be required to have signed off by your doctor, you will be required to sign other documents around the rules of the relay and a contract for your swim Position in the relay and send in a passport photo of yourself. You will not need to liaise with any authorities in regards to the Relay itself.

Can I practice ‘feeding’ during my relay as a training preparation for a future solo?
You can practice a feed for up on up to two separate swims. You will need permission from the pilot as some of your swim rotations it may not be suitable due to the sea state, tide, boat traffic or other factors. If you are swimming in a tandem ideally you will feed on the same rotations which your buddy wants to practice feeding, assuming they wish to practice too.

Will there be the opportunity to be coached by Chloë during the relay?
If you wish to have Chloë watch you during your swims this needs to be discussed at least two weeks in advance of your relay Window opening. Chloë will do her best to watch you and provide live feedback when you are back on the boat and possibly film you too.
Her advice will be limited if she is your buddy swimmer as she will be in the water swimming every time you are swimming too!

I would like extra coaching support in advance of the relay from Chloë. Is that possible?
Yes, please contact Chloë directly to enquire about additional coaching services.

Do I need ‘Channel Grease’?

This is not needed for relay swimming, Vaseline will be sufficient. Channel grease is not good for interiors of boats and is not allowed on the boat when relays are in progress.

Will all the relay swim be in daylight?

It is highly likely you will swim a good portion of your relay in the darkness. This means it is very important for you to practice night swimming and ideally night swimming next to a large boat. This opportunity is offered at both Dorset camp (UK) and Sorrento camp (VIC, AUST). You will need to wear two glow sticks or adventure lights. Your team should have at least four adventures between you, this way you can share them between you when you swim. Or you can bring two each if you wish.

What should I bring on the boat for the relay?
At a minimum all the things you plan to swim with like Goggles, Cap, Swimming Costume, Spare Clothing, adequate Toweling, Blanket or Sleeping Bag, snacks with energy, Adventure lights, Grease... There is no shortage of space on the boat inside so your gear can be stored inside the boat. Anything on the deck may get very wet. Chloë will discuss a more exhaustive list with you well in advance of your relay.

Can I have a shower each time I swim?
You can have up to a 2min shower each time you swim. Due to the limited water supply on the boat and the number of people on the boat who may be wanting showers regularly so the water needs to be rationed.
Keep in mind the same water supply is used in the kitchen and bathroom so usage needs to be shared across multiple areas.

I hear there are beds, can we sleep in them?
Yes, you are welcome to. There will be bedding supplied or you can bring your own sleeping bag and pillow if you like!

Do I need a passport on the boat?
Not necessarily, but you will need some form of photo I.D. to identify yourself officially to the observer before the relay starts. The identification can be a passport, proof of age card (government issued) or a driver’s license.

Do I need insurance?
You are very strongly urged to get as much protection as possible. Sports, accident, life, travel, property and other insurance are your responsibility and are very strongly recommended. Unforeseen accidents are a real possibility. The Isle of Wight is a Channel swim and the English Channel is extremely demanding on your energy and your mental determination.

There are several business who run ferry and hovercraft services frequently to and from the Isle of Wight and your relay will need to pass through this area when you go through the Solent. The passage of these ships is further complicated by strong tides, sandbanks, shoals and other Solent traffic both commercial and recreational.

Under what conditions will a pilot abort a swim?
The pilot is in sole charge of the swim and all of those on board. If he/she believes that:

  • your life is in danger
  • it would be impossible to land you safely
  • that the lives of anyone on board are at risk
  • the boat is at risk
  • that the boats position makes it hazardous to shipping, he may at his/her discretion abort a swim and you must accept his decision

Under NO circumstances will your swim be ratified if you chose to ignore it. As much as Chloë, the pilots and the observers appreciate that an Isle of Wight relay swim is a huge solo effort, it is also a team effort and you have to think about the safety of your team as much as they are thinking of your safety. It may not seem like it at the time, but there is always another day.

What if a swim is aborted due a mechanical or other boat related issue?
You will be offered another relay opportunity ideally in your booked swim season and if that doesn’t work for everyone’s schedules then the following year, be prepared to be offered a swim in October the year of your booking if this happens as the rest of the season may be booked out.

I am a swimmer with a disability; can I have a guide swimmer in the water?
Yes, as long the swimmer does not swim ahead of you or touch you and you are in a Private relay. If you are in a tandem relay Chloë will discuss your needs with you and the other relay before you book to ensure a system is agree upon that works for everyone. 

You can also have further assistance, if you wish. For example, you can have assistance entering the water (including being touched by your guide swimmer) before you over take for you’re the start of your swim rotation and your guide swimmer can assist you to get on to the boat after you have been over taken by the swimmer who is swimming after you.

What if I can’t attend camp?
If you can’t attend all of camp it is highly advised that you attend as many days as possible to give you the chance to achieve your cold water qualifier, to give Chloë the opportunity to give you some personalised coaching and feedback, to possibly swim with some or all of your relay and some or all of the other relay if you are in a tandem.

If you can’t attend any day that’s ok too. You can practice the same skills, attempt your cold water qualifier etc… at other camps or at other times convenient for you. There is no credit or partial refund if you cannot attend the camp.

What if I can’t travel due to Covid related issues?
You can transfer your relay position to a future year if affected by Covid

Will we be eligible for any specific awards?
Yes, the new ratification body will be holding awards at the end of the 2022 calendar year and you may win an award!

What is the investment per swimmer?



Are there other fees for things like administration, observation, ratification etc...?
No, there is not. This package is ‘all inclusive’. There are no additional fees for observation, ratification, administration, coaching during the relay or piloting. You will still need to cover other costs like travel to from / Portsmouth, accommodation pre/post swim if necessary, your training costs, and any insurance etc... Anything that isn’t covered in ‘inclusions’ you will need to cover.

Can I pay in instalments?
Yes, you can pay in full or pay a 50% deposit to secure your swim position, and pay the balance 6 weeks before your relay if you are a 2022 relay of 12 weeks before your relay if you are a 2023 swimmer. 

Is my deposit  or balance refundable?

Neither your deposit nor balance is refundable. If you cannot swim and you source a swimmer to replace you then you may ask them to cover any of your costs. This is between you and them.

What else should I be aware of?
England – Belgium relays are guided by the principles applied by the International Olympic Committee and UK Sport. Swimmers need to be aware that you may be requested to undertake a drug test at any time up until 24 hours after your swim. For the most up to date list of prohibited drugs swimmers are recommended to go to: World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Their website can be found HERE

What is SIPE and can I get it during my relay swim?
Swimming Induced Pulmonary Edema (SIPE), also known as immersion pulmonary edema, occurs when fluids from the blood leak abnormally from the small vessels of the lung (pulmonary capillaries) into the airspaces (alveoli).SIPE usually occurs during exertion in conditions of water immersion, such as swimming and diving. With the recent surge in popularity of triathlons and swimming in open water events there has been an increasing incidence of SIPE. It has been reported in scuba divers, apnea (breath hold) free-diving
competitors, combat swimmers, Channel swimmers and triathletes. The causes are incompletely understood at the present time.  Your observer, coach and pilot will be trained up to identify the symptoms and treat them as best as possible. 

 Symptoms of SIPE may include:

  • Shortness of breath out of proportion to the effort being expended.
  • Crackles, rattling or junky feelings deep in the chest associated with breathing effort.
  • Cough, usually distressing and productive or not of a little pink, frothy or blood-tinged sputum

Please keep in mind that you will need to follow the pilot's and Chloë's directions at all times during the relay and also the Rules and Regulations as set out by the new Ratifying swim organisation to be announced soon.