We made it! Fantastic!
You'll be pleased to hear that while I am overjoyed at having successfully swum the Channel, I haven't lost my perspective, and it seems as silly a thing to attempt in retrospect as it did in prospect :)
Sorry that there weren't more updates, Dover's internet infrastructure has been failing to keep up with the need for communication. I write this from an internet cafe, and I have to admit that the walls are bobbing up and down in imitation of the waves I spent a good portion of yesterday battling.
We left Folkestone harbor yesterday July 9th 2007 at 5.15am, with my support team - "coach" Dad, "motivator" brother Stefan, "feeder and photographer" sister Aleksandra, "pacer swimmer" Scotty, and "the entertainer" Captain Cumberlege, along with the pilot Reg and the observer Ray. We went round to Shakespeare beach which was the start, and left there around 6am. 10hours and 34+ minutes later we arrived at Cap-de-Gris Nez, France, which is faster than I was hoping, especially with the weather. The swimming gods obviously smiled in our general direction. Everything went very well, and my support crew were amazing, and helped me overcome my inner doubting demons, with constant feeding, motivation and entertainment. They were passing on all your messages through a whiteboard that I could read at every half hour feeding. Thanks for all the positive energy.
I say 10:34+minutes later, because we are waiting for the official time, and I am as yet refusing to believe that a British comedian who swam the Channel last year (in very different weather conditions) may have pipped me to the post :) David Walliams did 10:34. My unofficial time was 10:35.
I'm in good shape, and the various bumps and bruises are more from trying to stand up on rocks in crashing waves on the French coast, and from throwing up for the 3hour boat trip back in the 6foot swells, than from the swim.
There will be more details and hopefully some photos and a map of the swim.
Thank you to everyone for all the support, well wishes and contributions to charity. As I write I can see that we have raised over $16,000 for cancer research in the US at the University of California San Francisco, and also money for the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Association's Olympic hopes, although I don't have the exact details today. Your generosity is overwhelming and much appreciated. (https://www.englishchannelswim.com/about-Julian.html)
I'm not swimming today :)