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LETTER OF THE MONTH Open water swimming has given me experiences that you simply could not make up. A few weeks ago I led 14 fellow Hamilton

'Water Rats' to Lovely Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond for an evening dip. Before we entered the water, there fi rst came lightning, then thunder and then the heavens opened. With me being the most experienced open water swimmer everyone looked to me for advice on swimming in an electrical storm. My advice was for us to wait out the storm. A quarter of an hour later, the weather was calm, and the loch still, and so we took off .

We enjoyed a wonderful sunset swim and stopped at Luss Pier on the way back for our customary jump off the pier. There, at the end of the pier, stood a lone bagpiper. He explained that he was waiting on a young couple to arrive; he had been hired by a young man who planned to propose to his girlfriend on the pier.

Sure enough, 10 minutes later the couple appeared and the young man got down on bended knee to propose. She said 'Yes', and the piper played a lovely tune, and added Cliff Richard's 'Congratulations' for good measure.

We carried on with our swim, and eventually ended up in the car park eating cake, while the midges ate us.

What a day to remember. It's why I love open water swimming. John Dyer

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FROM BAD TO GOOD I was delighted to be featured as the subject of I love Open Water Swimming in your June issue. I bought the online version of the magazine in order to view this. Thank you very much for the coverage. Aſt er my appearance in your pages, I posted on the Across the Lake Swim Facebook page that the key to get ing noticed might be being very bad at something, rather than good. It defi nitely worked for Eddie the Eagle, the Jamaican Bob Sled Team… and me! But maybe I am being a bit hard on myself. For your information, I have since again taken part in the Across the Lake Swim in my home town of Kelowna, British Colombia, Canada, and had by far my best open water swim to date.

On a day when most swimmers, including the repeat winner, had slower times than last year, I took six minutes off my 2011 time – which is a 17-minute improvement over the course of two years. This time, cramp did not set in until I was 100m from the fi nish, so I went for it, and

reached the beach before the cramp had the chance to sink me. Overall leg cramps are still a factor for me, and I'd like to get a handle on the cramping issue. Maybe some of your readers can share some top cramping tips on the H2Open Facebook page? Anyhow thank you again for giving me my 15 minutes of fame at my late age. Ron Buddo

We're delighted to hear your times have improved, Ron. If readers have ideas on how to avoid or tackle cramp – or any other open water topics – please visit our Facebook page and share your insights (


The Editor, H2Open, 20 Burnell Avenue, Richmond, TW10 7YE, United Kingdom Email: or go to our website:

Diana Nyad Diana Nyad is the Grand Dame of marathon swimming. As part of her offi cial website she writes a blog, where she discusses open water news items and writes about her many swimming challenges, most recently yet another heartbreakingly close at empt to swim from Cuba to Florida. Best bit: Nyad's writing is engaging, informative and thoughtful.

Trent Grimsey Trent Grimsey – who's just set a new English Channel record – is a prolifi c blogger. For example, he talks about his recent Channel achievement in such depth it is like listening in on his innermost thoughts. He has some great pictures from his Channel exploits, too. Best bit: The fascinating insight into the preparation and at itude needed to be a world class marathon swimmer.

Penny Palfrey Penny Palfrey is one of the world's most accomplished marathon swimmers. She recently narrowly missed out on becoming the fi rst swimmer to complete the Oceans Seven challenge. A recent convert to blogging, she focuses squarely on her swimming life. Best bit: Fascinating revelations into the characters and challenges in the marathon swimming world.


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