My name is Alice Hubbard and I love open water swimming!
I have always been a strong swimmer but my first venture into open water swimming only came in 2010 when I decided to sign myself up for a big charity challenge – swimming between the islands of Malta and Gozo in the Mediterranean. Prior to this I had only ever swum in the pool and I had never swum in deep open water before. I was pretty scared!
While training for this swim I met John Coningham-Rolls, an experienced long distance swimmer, who helped me overcome my initial fears. He also recognized that I was a strong and determined swimmer and he encouraged me to take my distance swimming to the next level.
In 2011, with John’s help, I joined an English Channel relay team and booked a solo swim for the following year. Preparation for these swims involved many hours training and cold water acclimatisation. Wetsuits are not allowed during Channel swims…
The relay swim involved sharing the 21 miles swimming with my 5 team mates, each swimming for 1 hour at a time, on rotation, until we reached France... or at least that was the plan. Unfortunately over 13 hours into the swim the fog came down and visibility in the Channel became so bad that the swim had to be called off for safety reasons. This was devastating for the team as we had all worked so hard to get to this point, but somehow, rather than putting me off, this only made me more determined to complete a solo swim.
On 7th September 2012 I set off from Samphire Hoe beach, Dover at 3:13am. I swam for several hours in the dark and finally reached France after 13 hours and 55 minutes in the water! Since then I have become completely hooked on open water swimming and I have participated in five more English Channel relay teams, including a four person two-way (England-France-England) relay in 2013. In 2014 I swam (solo) the length of Lake Zurich, 26.6km. I am hoping to swim the Strait of Gibraltar in 2016.
In 2014 I moved up from the South of England to Scotland. I now live in Newtonmore in the Cairngorms National Park. I have really enjoyed discovering some of the amazing Scottish lochs and I have met some wonderful people while doing so. I am looking forward to swimming in even more exciting locations and sharing some of my open water experiences with you in this blog.