Cost of English Channel swim

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited March 2014 in General Discussion

Comments

  • IronMikeIronMike Arlington, VACharter Member
    edited March 2014
    My God people, concentrate on what I said in the original thread ("Gear Patrol..."): $3700 for a boat for the EC? Hello to our UK and Irish colleagues as well as our recent EC swimmers. Is that amount correct or is the writer smoking crack?

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  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited March 2014
    IronMike said:

    My God people, concentrate on what I said in this thread: $3700 for a boat for the EC? Hello to our UK and Irish colleagues as well as our recent EC swimmers. Is that amount correct or is the writer smoking crack?

    Why do you say "only" (in original post)? You'd expect it to be more?
  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member
    @IronMike,
    2,600 Queen's Head (pounds) was the cost in August 2013 for my escort.
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    Same for our relay. Works out to "only" $4,320. Kinda makes Nanticoke sound like a bargain now, eh Mike?
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Marathon swimming is expensive I guess.

    Ever try mountaineering? Or triathlon?
  • IronMikeIronMike Arlington, VACharter Member
    Thanks guys. I always heard $10K, but I guess that's when you also throw in airfare for your crew, lodging, etc. Sounds better.

    @JBirrrd, let it go! ;)

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  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    $3700 or 2600 Queens Head is NOT alot. The pilot has to pay himself( at this point all the pilots are men), pay for fuel, pay for crew, pay for insurance. Sure if it's ONLY a 10-12 hour swim it works out to about $100 and hour. Alot you say? They have your life in their hands. Since the early 90's , the captain has had full say in whether or not to pull a swimmer as opposed to the coach making the decision. This is a result of a young Mexican woman dying I believe. Her coach kept pushing her and she kept saying she didnt feel well. Bad end.At that point or the next year the decision was made to transfer final responsibility to the pilot, not crew/coach.
    At any rate, I don't begrudge the fee. ( this IS slightly off topic but...)

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • IronMikeIronMike Arlington, VACharter Member
    @suziedods, I hope you didn't mean me when you said "Alot you say?" I asked the original question because $3700 sounded so cheap.

    And yes, @evmo, I expect(ed) the cost to be much more. 2600 quid makes my (far) future dreams more bearable.

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  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    @ironmike, yes sorry, it sounded as if you were saying it was alot.The downside to email communication.

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    Hi,
    I swam with the CS&PF in 2012. At the time I paid:
    Pilot Fee: £2,500 (worth every penny as @suziedods says above)
    CS&PF membership fee: £20
    Administration Fee to CS&PF : £120
    Swim Fee to CS&PF: £120
    So, total payable to my pilot and the CS&PF was £2,760 in 2012.

    But I think my swim cost at least double that once I had added in weekly travel and accommodation in Dover, supplies, training costs, Swimtrek training camp etc etc. And I live about 2 hours from Dover by car!
  • IronMikeIronMike Arlington, VACharter Member
    No problem @suziedods! I agree...55% of communication is non-verbal. Hard to know tone, intent, humor, sarcasm, etc w/o face-to-face communication!

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  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin
    I worked out my total yearly expense in 2009/ 2010: Triple the pilot cost. And that's for Ireland. So less for UK, depending on where you live. And more for Aus or USA or SA or Far East etc.

    There a lot of things people don't factor in: extra local travel costs, extra food (so much food), training weekends, medical, massages, gear, crew travel & accommodation.

    And with the CS&PF you don't even get a "free" swim cap.

    http://www.loneswimmer.com The World's Most Popular Open Water Swimming Blog

  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    I figure it's about $5k. I don't have to travel to train ( swim in SF Bay :), but I do have to leave work early to train and eat more. Add in an extra suit or two, goggles and ear plugs.

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    I figure 2010 cost me about what the tuition would cost for an Ivy League school for a year.
    Better value?..... You decide.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    My entire swim was less than $5K. Four to a room and negotiating my rate with the pilot kept things down. I went the cheap route for nearly everything including.
  • IronMikeIronMike Arlington, VACharter Member
    @swimmer25k, Chris, you did yours in 2002, yes?

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  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    edited March 2014
    IronMike said:

    @swimmer25k, Chris, you did yours in 2002, yes?

    2001. Adjust for inflation.

    I went bare bones on everything. I negotiated my fee based on time in the water. My driver was able to get back in enough time to take another swimmer out that day. In fact, the next swimmer was waiting in Folkstone when we got back.

    I put everything I could on my credit card and bought my ticket with miles. (I managed to keep a near zero balance.)

    I didn't pay for coaching or pool time. I maintained my USS coaching certification and substituted workouts when some of the coaches couldn't make it to workout.

    Four of us packed into a B&B, took trains from/to London, and pinched pennys.

    I swam 6 days after getting to England, which saved me some money.

    I coached a swimmer in 2007 and she went full out first class shelling out $$$$.

    I trained in Dover Harbor early in the AM on my own and completely under the radar. Most people didn't even know I was there. The way I like it.
  • HaydnHaydn Member
    The cost of a successful swim is always justifiable and always worth it. But the issue is perhaps also the contract. Having committed your deposit and booked your date a year or two in advance, the day will come when you stand on Shakespeare Beach (or Dungeness for me) and you know you are not ready to go. The contract 'forces' you to swim or lose your deposit (even still have to pay in full).Failed swims are really expensive. There needs to be a way you can postpone.

    But we don't do that. We just simply choose either the CSA or cspf , or chose a preferred pilot. I doubt anyone chooses by checking out the contract. We just accept the contract as it comes and the contract serves to raise the pressure and we are on the slippery slope towards 'doing a Davina'.
  • ColmBreathnachColmBreathnach Charter Member
    My EC pilot contract stated that "the swim will be deemed to have started as soon as the swimmer enters the water at the start of their attempted crossing. Whenever the swim ceases after this time the full fee will be retained"
    So you can back out at the last minute, ie standing on the beach ready (or not) to go. You commit to the swim (spend) by entering the water.
    My experience is that the pilots are a pretty decent bunch and will do their best to accommodate you in an alternative slot.
  • JimBoucherJimBoucher Senior Member
    Hi Colm that's the way it seems to work in my experience too.

    Haydn , that's how it may have worked for you and your pilot but its misleading others,typically newbies to make such a sweeping generalisation. When I knew I wasn't ready I spoke to my pilot and delayed a couple of tides.
  • HaydnHaydn Member
    edited April 2014
    I know, but the battle is in either moving forward or backing out. It is very hard to back out when you know your pilot has prepped the boat, arranged the crew and you are motoring out of the harbour. Especially when you know how difficult a decision it was to persuade yourself to at least get to the start line, hoping your troubles would melt away once the swim starts. I still have no idea as to whether I was physically able to do the swim, but one thing was for sure, my head was in a real mess and to some degree I am still struggling with the torture of it. Even thinking I might at least have the best training swim ever, if I stayed in, did not help. I just had to get out after only three hours, a total mental wreck. As I say, a failed swim can be very expensive and a successful one, worth every penny.

    Maybe I will look over my contract again one day, but if I remember, mine reserved the right for the full fee if I did not start the swim. But, the contract was not the issue, it was simply another pressure.

    Apart from one wonderful week at Cork last summer, all of my thoughts whilst training those long solitary swimming hours were spent trouble shooting issues with staff at work and things. I had not had a moments space to train mentally for such a swim and was defeated before I started. I needed another year.
  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaMember
    Related question: The boat pilots request payment in cash. Did you bring gobs of USD or your native currency and have it changed when you came to the UK? Or did any of you find a more secure way to get this sum of cash when you arrived?

    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member
    I wiped out a few ATMs the day before the swim. I was afraid of not swimming and of carrying a bunch of cash, so I just waited until the last minute. Probably not the best solution...
  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    @molly1205 Would it be possible to do a direct bank transfer or a bankers cheque?

    There are quite a number of ATMs in Dover although I wouldn't want to walk around carrying that amount of cash. I realise that a bank transfer may incur charges but it's probably a safer option than losing such a large amount of money.
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    molly1205 said:

    Related question: The boat pilots request payment in cash. Did you bring gobs of USD or your native currency and have it changed when you came to the UK? Or did any of you find a more secure way to get this sum of cash when you arrived?

    I paid with traveler's checks.
  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaMember
    Great suggestions, thank you. I will check into a bank transfer. I don't mind paying the transaction fee to have a secure way of accessing the funds. I can barely make it out the door in matching shoes. I can't be trusted with large sums of money.

    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

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