Thursday, August 28, 2008

One-Way Double-Crossing of the English Channel

Mike and Mackenzie Miller of Honolulu, Hawaii are within a day of becoming the first father and daughter duo to simultaneously swim across the English Channel.

In particular, Mike has a daunting challenge. He not only has to finish his own swim, but he will also be thinking of his 17-year-old daughter who will start at the same time and location under the guidance of her own separate escort boat.

As with most England-to-France crossings, Mike and Mackenzie are going to follow a general “Z” pattern across the English Channel. They will start off between 2-6 am, swimming with a flood tide (i.e., an incoming tide that flows from the North Atlantic to the North Sea through the Channel) and hoping to catch an ebb tide somewhere mid-way in the Channel. If all goes well, they will catch another flood tide that will help push them north to the French coast. If all does not go well, then their pilots will make adjustments and they’ll have to swim longer than their goal time of 10-12 hours.

While Mike has a wealth of marathon swimming experience with successful swims such as a 16 hour and 50 minute crossing of the 26-mile Molokai Channel, a 10 hour and 23 minute crossing of the 21-mile Catalina Channel, a 3 hour and 50 minute crossing of the 9-mile Maui Channel, and an 8 hour 3 minute circumnavigation of the 28.5-mile Manhattan Island, Mackenzie’s longest two swims have been training swims: 7 hours on the north shore of Hawaii and nearly 7 hours in the 58SºF waters of San Francisco Bay.

You can follow Mike and Mackenzie as they swim across the English Channel in real time. You can log on to Shipasis and look for their two escort boats, the Pace Arrow and the Roco, slowly heading across the English Channel.

This Shipasis link is a website tracking ships in real-time in the English Channel. It may hard to pinpoint the Pace Arrow and Roco, but you can cursor over a ship to receive information on the vessel name, direction and speed.

Mike and Mackenzie are raising funds and awareness for the XTERRA Foundation and the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund.

The XTERRA Foundation provides support to the Smile Train that arranges free cleft palate surgery to thousands of poverty stricken children and supports athletes in their endeavor to aggressively compete in various athletic events while overcoming their own personal physical challenges.

Funds donated to the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund will help build the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center, one of the most popular national parks in the country. The newly rebuilt facility will honor the men and women who were at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

No comments: