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Tori Gorman

$58,471 of AUD $50,000 target.

Raised by 0 people in days for MS (Multiple Sclerosis Limited)

Biggest Supporters

AUD $13160.00

Offline donations Fundraiser Event 23 May

AUD $13160.00

Off Line Donations Fundraiser Event 23 May

Tori Swims the English Channel

Story

FUNDRAISING FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

After enduring a 2 week weather delay in Dover, UK, I have achieved what I set out to do and became the 22nd female Australian to cross the English Channel!

My time was 14 hours 12 minutes, swimming from Shakespeare Beach, England and landing on the Channel Swimming Holy Grail, Cap Gris Nez in France.

I am currently recovering from the massive undertaking, and will post a more detailed update on my website: www.torigorman.com.au when I have had a chance to sit down properly and digest the experience. In a few words, I now know why this is the toughest swim crossing both mentally and physically in most people's eyes. 

The journey across was challenging, especially the last hour and a half where I had to sprint to make the tide to land on Cap Gris Nez. Miss this point and you have another 6 hours until the tide turns and you can make it onto French shores as the current is so strong. The scariest moment was 50m offshore at the end when the tide turned and started to carry me back out to sea.... I had already given everything I had, my left shoulder had given in 6 hours earlier with extreme pain, and somehow had to find a little bit more to make it onto the rocky shore, it was the hardest thing I will probably (and hopefully) ever have to endure. I will now also have a nice scar from the barnacles on my leg as a permanent memory of what I achieved.

I can't thank the support crew enough: 
My parents, Chris and Yvonne, who have always supported any goal I set, and who spent the whole entire day on the side of the boat yelling "Go Tor"and waving. Not to mention feeding me and Dad being at the ready to jump in for an hour as my support swimmer should I require a boost. 
My sister Bel, who kept audiences entertained and updated all day with amazing Twitter and Facebook updates and who smiled, cheered and wrote white board messages all day to keep my spirits up. I owe her for life. 
And my brother Mark, who waited a whole week in Dover for my swim before he had to head back to work commitments in Hong Kong when my window got blown out/cancelled, and who was on the phone to my crew most of the way yelling encouragement.

And most of all, a massive thank you to everyone out there who has supported this goal of mine, whether with fundraising for Multiple Sclerosis (over $53,000 raised), tweets, Facebook messages, emails, SMS's, training support, coaching.... the list is endless and I will address in far greater detail in my next post. But to the insane number of people back home in Australia who did not go to bed for the entire night as they watched their computer screen with the flashing GPS dot of my location... you guys kept me going when I hit a wall at 9.5 hours. It was 3am in Sydney, and when I heard you were still up watching, I knew I had to finish this thing!

A famous swimmer's quote by Capt. Matthew Webb, the first person to swim across the English Channel, was "Nothing great is easy". He was right. There is no greater feeling than knowing it is over! It was insanely hard, only sheer determination, excellent preparation and everyone's support got me there in the end and I am so glad to have achieved this goal. Now for some recovery!
...........................
 

How on earth did I get here? 2 years ago whilst holidaying in the UK  I popped down to Dover Harbour to check out what the Channel swimming madness was about and ended up doing a 5 hour swim in 15 degree water with all the Channel swimmers. When I booked my slot two years out, I thought it was a very, very long way away.... now with days to go until I swim, it’s quite an exciting and scary reality. Yes I am really doing this! I am aiming to raise $50K for Multiple Sclerosis as part of my challenge. Subscribe to receive email updates or follow my journey at: www.torigorman.com.au

 

The English Channel is the Holy Grail for long distance ocean swimming. An expanse of 34km directly across the shortest points from England to France, it is a challenge that only 1244 swimmers have ever completed successfully, 78 of those being Australian. 

 

Between 10-18 July, 2012, I aim to join that list of successful solo swims from England to France, enduring approximately 12 hours of continuous swimming in water temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius, wearing nothing but a standard swimsuit, a silicone cap and one pair of goggles. I am not allowed to touch anyone, or any boat during this entire time. When I hit the shores of France, I will be the 22nd female Australian to achieve this.

 
 

The English Channel: 

Swimming across the English Channel has a fail rate of over 60%. It is one of the most challenging swims a long distance swimmer can do, as it also the world’s busiest shipping lane, with over 500 ships a day passing through it. Channel swimming began back in 1875, when Captain Matthew Webb made the first observed and unassisted swim across the Straits of Dover swimming from England to France on 24 August 1875 – 25 August 1875 in 21 hours and 45 minutes.

 

Since then 1244 swimmers out of over 7000 attempts have made the solo crossing with a number of these doing multiple crossings and only three whom have ever made a three way crossing. Crossing times vary dependent of conditions, speed of swimmers, and the tides. 

 

Whilst the shortest distance from Dover to Cap Gris Nez (the headland halfway between Calais and Boulogne) is 34km (18.2 nautical miles or 21 land miles), most Channel swims clock up distances more in the vicinity of 45km’s due to the strong tidal flows which sweep swimmers from side to side throughout the duration of their swim. Swimmers must be aware of and give caution to the 500+ ships traveling through the channel daily as well as ferries, seacats and jetfoils crossing between England and France at regular intervals. There are also plenty of hazards in the form of seaweed, flotsam and jetsam (rubbish, timbers, etc) and a fairly solid swell which can get extremely choppy in winds. 

 

The hardest and toughest condition of all though is the cold. In July, the water temperature sits at about 15 degrees Celsius. Whilst the daylight hours are longer, the water temperature is colder than say in September, when the water is warmer but the day is colder. Many swimmers pull out of the Channel due to hypothermia and it is due to this fact that fewer people have achieved the glory of crossing the Channel than have conquered climbing Mount Everest.

 

Swimmers across the Channel are escorted by a certified Channel escort boat which is chartered by the swimmer to ensure their best chance of success. The pilot is responsible for plotting the course and taking into account the weather and conditions for the swimmer and is also responsible for ending a Channel swimmers dream if they are showing signs of hypothermia. Their experience and that of the crew is there to monitor, feed and encourage the swimmer and ratify the completion of that journey when French soil is reached. 

 

My Challenge:

 

This past winter I have endured some solid cold water training down at Balmoral Beach and just recently I have completed an 8 hour swim in Melbourne in sub 15 degree C waters. On top of this I am also training 30-40km's in the pool weekly.   Balmoral Beach got down to 13.9 degrees C during winter and swimming for up to 6 hours continuously at some points really tested me, both mentally and physically. I also undertake gym sessions and have raced in 4 marathon swims (10km +) this year alone. 

 

Until I reach the Channel, I will be steadily hitting out the kilometeres, working on my night swimming, enduring cold showers daily, as well as ice baths on occasion, fattening up physically, building my mental strength, reading inspiring books and blogs, talking to people who have and haven't made it,  and keeping my eyes well and truly on the prize of conquering the Channel.

 

I aim to achieve this challenge in the week of July 10-18, 2012 and will be relying on the weather gods and 2 years of training and preparation to get through it. 

 

Some results over the last 15 months include:  February 2012: Cole Classic Dee Why to Manly 9kms in 2hr 24 mins, and came 1st female, Rottnest Channel 21kms 5hr 45 mins and came 12th female. In 2011, I swam 19km’s solo from Fiji mainland to Beachcomber Island and came in second female (5hr 9 mins) in August , followed by a 15km open water swim in Hong Kong in October, which I won, and came 4th overall (4hr 4 mins). Over the last 12 months I have a raced distances totalling over 100km's and have placed third female in 2011 Bondi to Watson’s Bay swim (12kms) (2hr 52 mins), third female in Fiji in 2010 (5hr 14 mins)  and also third female in the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Manly swim (11kms) in 2010. I also completed the Rottnest Channel in 2011 6 hours 23 minutes, coming in as 14th female.

 

Whilst setting out to achieve this massive feat, I am also going to be raising money for Multiple Sclerosis. Whilst I will self fund my trip and challenge, my goal is to raise somewhere in the vicinity of $25,000 - $50,000 for MS as I have been inspired by a great family friend who has two children who both suffer from the disease.

 

Please support my quest to raise funds for MS and donate generously!

Thank you!!

 

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MS (Multiple Sclerosis Limited)

MS is the preeminent source of information, advice and services for people living with multiple sclerosis. A combined entity of ACT, NSW, Tasmania and Victoria, we support people living with multiple sclerosis to achieve all the everyday things we take for granted, while our search for a cure continues. 

We’re here to help people live their lives with multiple sclerosis and provide them with the best long term options and life outcomes.

We offer a suite of services to support people living with multiple sclerosis, including:


  • - Phone and email support through MS Connect — our gateway to living well with multiple sclerosis
  • - Free, specialised consultation with a health professional through our MS Advisor service
  • - Everything you need to support your goals for living well, from exercise and nutrition through to social engagement and specialist employment support, through our MS Wellbeing services
  • - Around the clock support when things get challenging, through our MS Respite and Residential service.

When you fundraise for MS, you're helping someone achieve the everyday things we take for granted, while the search for a cure continues.

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