What made you want to be a SWIMQUEST guide?
I have always loved swimming and started teaching swimming once I was old enough to do my first teaching certificate, which was 16 at the time. Since then I have been lucky enough to experience some great swims at home and abroad. Being a swim guide allows me to encourage and support swimmers as well as meet new people and find new inspiration.
What is your most memorable swim?
I recently spent 14 hours in the North Channel – but was pulled out 4km from Scotland. I fell back in love with long swims about 2 hrs in once I made it past the Copeland Islands (top tip for the North Channel – go on the opposite side of the boat to the islands!)
What is your proudest achievement?
Completing an Ice Kilometre in Antarctica. I had written off any kind of distance ice swimming for myself after I drifted into a more safety support role for friends who were training. When the opportunity came up to be part of a swim trip to Antarctica, I knew it was something I couldn’t say no to, and I’m sure had this been anywhere else I may not have been too interested in swimming more than 500m. An ice mile hasn’t called loud enough for me to go there just yet …
What is your relationship with the open water?
It’s a long term love affair. I often think I don’t want to go for a swim and I’m often slow to get in the water – then generally, I don’t want to get out once I’m in. I am always respectful of the water conditions and more recently disheartened by the amount of swimming bans for poor water quality around where I swim in Ireland.
What Swimquest locations have you guided? What do you love most about them?
I have guided on Channel and Distance Training week in Croatia and I’ve been part of the safety team for the Scilly Swim Challenge. In all cases, the trips are made by the people on them and I have been lucky to meet all sorts of great people on trips. I love the clear water in Croatia, and it’s not too different to the Isles of Scilly when the sun shines.
What are your swimming plans / aims for the coming year?
I’m booked to swim Jersey – France in June and North Channel (take 2) in July.
Describe yourself in three words.
Open, Curious, Positive.
Wetsuit or skins
What piece of advice would you give to somebody looking to book a Swimquest holiday?
If you are nervous – look at a trip with less travel and shorter swims, but never worry about travelling alone as most guests are solo travellers and that is the part of the beauty of it.
If you are booking a trip that includes more travel then make the most of it and give yourself some time to settle in ahead of the swim trip starting so you can really enjoy it all.
Do you have a life motto?
Just be sound.