Ladies and gentlemen… “The Boat Crew”

Rather than bore you with more swimming training stories today, it is time to introduce my ‘Boat Crew’.. hand picked from a cast of millions. The Boat Crew are essential to any successful swim, let alone a successful English Channel attempt. They will feed, monitor, push me……  and yes……


“Stop me from getting back into the boat early.. no matter how tough it gets!”


I am extremely lucky to have such a high calibre duo on call. Without them this would ‘NOT’ be possible.


I asked them to write a short paragraph each introducing themselves, which they did indeed do. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr David Eaton-Jones and Mr John Jenkins.


David is one of Britain’s most committed yet surprisingly least well known adventurers. In his early teens he conkered “Everest” (his best mate’s playground champion) and then in his twenties travelled solo from Pole to Pole (Catchpole in Barnsley to Hampole in Kettering) sustained simply by his wits and some wagonwheels. Looking for fresh challenges he wanted to tackle the mighty oceans and has now worked with a number of leading sportsmen to find alternative uses for budgie smugglers. This is an ongoing project. More recently he has teamed up with a retired Welsh explorer, John Jenkins, to push the boundaries. Not of themselves but of a raw recruit for whom swimming the channel has been a lifelong dream and nightmare. David’s key contribution has been to set the right strategy for this epic crossing (“swim fast in that direction”) as well as ensuring there is sufficient seating around the support vessel for him to get an all round tan.


Fresh from his successful support of the recent unsupported trek to the South Pole that saw Ben Fogle take his place amongst the adventuring greats John has agreed to undertake the highly complex and demanding role of ‘chef d’equippe’ on the channel attempt. He brings a wealth of experience to the role, invaluable when experience is required and can also cook a bit, invaluable when everyone is hungry. His biggest challenge will be overcoming his pathological fear of boats, swimming and water in general. He is however confident that a continuous supply of red wine and fine cheese will help beat this and ensure his active participation in the ‘wet bits’ as he describes them.


The ‘Men in Black’..