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Hats off to him but totally insane!
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Gus




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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

explorerJC wrote:
Interesting story about Maurice Wilson...thanks.


Here's a very weird thing.

I haven't read about his story for probably 20+ years (before the internet) but have always remembered most of it after reading various versions of it in books. We were both born in the same city and his story has resonated strangely throughout my life (my password on most websites, including on here since joining in 2007, for example, is linked to his story).

Just having seen your post I've read the Wikipedia entry for the first time which recites his winning his MC at Passchendaele. What I didn't ever know, was that he was a 2nd Lt in the West Yorkshire Regiment. My Great Grandfather (who apparently I am the spitting image of) was a Corporal in the same regiment and also fought at Passchendaele. A photo of Albert, my Gt Grandfather, sits on my Grandmother's table in his uniform.

The Wiki entry reports his 'repeated coughing spasms' - my Gt Grandfather also suffered the same, from the gas in the trenches.

By a very strange quirk of fate, it is very probable they knew each other.

I had been planning on going to Passchendaele in July next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle. It suddenly has an even more significance in my life now.

Goosebumps.
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We should have a 'people worthy of an hour of your time' thread to herald these eccentrics...in fact...
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The public swim has finished, the lane ropes are back up and he is off again by the looks of it...
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Symes




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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some interesting numbers mentioned in his recent post on FB, it's cost £350-400K to do what he's done so far, seems a tad high but then I've never sailed from Southampton to Dakar to Brazil.

Apparently he has swum 12 million metres in training for this over the last 3 years, nearly 11k per day, every day, part pool-based part open water.

Fair play to knock out 440 lengths every day of your life, he should be rewarded for his ability to deal with utter tedium if nothing else.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Symes wrote:
Some interesting numbers mentioned in his recent post on FB, it's cost £350-400K to do what he's done so far, seems a tad high but then I've never sailed from Southampton to Dakar to Brazil.

Apparently he has swum 12 million metres in training for this over the last 3 years, nearly 11k per day, every day, part pool-based part open water.

Fair play to knock out 440 lengths every day of your life, he should be rewarded for his ability to deal with utter tedium if nothing else.


is this from the donations or has he sold his soul?
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Symes




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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

explorerJC wrote:
Symes wrote:
Some interesting numbers mentioned in his recent post on FB, it's cost £350-400K to do what he's done so far, seems a tad high but then I've never sailed from Southampton to Dakar to Brazil.

Apparently he has swum 12 million metres in training for this over the last 3 years, nearly 11k per day, every day, part pool-based part open water.

Fair play to knock out 440 lengths every day of your life, he should be rewarded for his ability to deal with utter tedium if nothing else.


is this from the donations or has he sold his soul?


This is over and above any charitable donations according to his 'statement' on FB:

"Comments have been made that charitable donated funds have been diverted to pay expedition costs, this is not true."

...

"The final cost of the expedition is still to be determined but will be in the region of £350 - £400k."

...

"Personally, the swim halting was both distressing and painful but I believe we will return and achieve the impossible of swimming every single mile of The Atlantic. "
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Symes wrote:
explorerJC wrote:
Symes wrote:
Some interesting numbers mentioned in his recent post on FB, it's cost £350-400K to do what he's done so far, seems a tad high but then I've never sailed from Southampton to Dakar to Brazil.

Apparently he has swum 12 million metres in training for this over the last 3 years, nearly 11k per day, every day, part pool-based part open water.

Fair play to knock out 440 lengths every day of your life, he should be rewarded for his ability to deal with utter tedium if nothing else.


is this from the donations or has he sold his soul?


This is over and above any charitable donations according to his 'statement' on FB:

"Comments have been made that charitable donated funds have been diverted to pay expedition costs, this is not true."

...

"The final cost of the expedition is still to be determined but will be in the region of £350 - £400k."

...

"Personally, the swim halting was both distressing and painful but I believe we will return and achieve the impossible of swimming every single mile of The Atlantic. "


thanks - not your place to answer for him, I know, but when I saw the link, it was for a donation to the challenge which is not necessarily to any of the adopted charities.
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SidSnot




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Symes wrote:
Some interesting numbers mentioned in his recent post on FB, it's cost £350-400K to do what he's done so far, seems a tad high but then I've never sailed from Southampton to Dakar to Brazil.

Apparently he has swum 12 million metres in training for this over the last 3 years, nearly 11k per day, every day, part pool-based part open water.

Fair play to knock out 440 lengths every day of your life, he should be rewarded for his ability to deal with utter tedium if nothing else.


I'm very dubious about this claim
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SidSnot wrote:
Symes wrote:
Some interesting numbers mentioned in his recent post on FB, it's cost £350-400K to do what he's done so far, seems a tad high but then I've never sailed from Southampton to Dakar to Brazil.

Apparently he has swum 12 million metres in training for this over the last 3 years, nearly 11k per day, every day, part pool-based part open water.

Fair play to knock out 440 lengths every day of your life, he should be rewarded for his ability to deal with utter tedium if nothing else.


I'm very dubious about this claim


i'm dubious about the whole thing...
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ed_m




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

explorerJC wrote:


i'm dubious about the whole thing...


I'm glad you clarified that since you've been totally sitting on the fence all along Very Happy
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ed_m wrote:
explorerJC wrote:


i'm dubious about the whole thing...


I'm glad you clarified that since you've been totally sitting on the fence all along Very Happy


Laughing

I'm all in favour of wild and adventurous challenges, however...
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Gus




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where did the 'million metres' claim originate anyway?

I read the whole swimmers' forum thread a while back and there was no mention of that - lots of mentions that he'd barely done any realistic training for an ultra swim, never mind a silly distance swim.
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SidSnot




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gus wrote:
Where did the 'million metres' claim originate anyway?

I read the whole swimmers' forum thread a while back and there was no mention of that - lots of mentions that he'd barely done any realistic training for an ultra swim, never mind a silly distance swim.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-37451452
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Gus




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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.swimthebigblue.com/about-ben

Quote:
Training ensures that Ben's technique is developed and worked on with pinpoint accuracy and developmental feedback from the Sports and Exercise Science team of Hartpury College. The mileage in the first five-months of training ranged from 4-7 miles of swimming per day along with cardiovascular and core workouts. Distances in late 2014 increased to >20km per day and in 2015 the focus shifts to volume, load, nutrition and conditioning of Ben's body for the challenge ahead. This is pure endurance, technique and discipline building without which, his Atlantic Ocean swim would remain just a dream.

2014 with open water swimming in the roaring seas of Europe and The Atlantic Ocean herself, where distances and technique were further enhanced saw a total target mileage of 2.8 million meters of swimming in this year alone (approx. 115,000 lengths of a 25m swimming pool).

Ben will be conducting a large part, if not all of his open water training in the Mediterranean & Atlantic Ocean, working under the guidance of his support team and sports psychologist, endurance, nutrition and hydration specialists. The emphasis throughout is on both physical and mental conditioning to the seas and of course, the feat of endurance ahead.


I found this on his website. It looks like it was written at the end of 2014.

So, if this is genuine then he has been training full-time for at least a couple of years for this attempt (how on earth he's funded that is a different debate).

Which makes me think if this is genuine, then he's stupid. He's invested a huge amount of time, effort and money in going through the most monumental build-up that looks like it could, possibly, have given him a chance of success, then gone and undermined himself with this stupid concept of effectively ignoring the 'drift'.

He's basically said he needs to let the boat drift overnight because the cost of returning to each stop-point from the day before would be too expensive in fuel.

So years of cash invested in the training to blow the achievement on something as silly as this. He should've waited another year, raised a bit more, to cover that cost as well then maybe his record attempt could have actually been legitimate, rather than just a Brazilian beach holiday.
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Symes




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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 12 million metres came from a statement on Facebook, here it is in full for your viewing pleasure:

Hi world, we are alive and in Brazil, just. Quite literally, just.
The reason for radio silence on arrival in Brazil was to allow treatment and communication of injured crew to families, insurers and hospital and to check into port. I apologise for this and the communication issues with phone and trackers in The Atlantic. Power and storm issues did not help, nor did outright Iridium Go! Failure.
Since arriving in Brazil four days ago I have had the opportunity to directly review some of the comments and threads posted on Facebook over the last few months that I had only been informed of by the UK Land Support Team. Whilst the vast majority of comments are positive, there are some comments that uninformed individuals are making that are speculative, inaccurate and irresponsible to make on a public forum. I have addressed the majority of these over the past few weeks from the boat via the UK Land Support team but wish to reiterate them now in a final attempt to factually address the concerns of followers.
Charitable Funds
Comments have been made that charitable donated funds have been diverted to pay expedition costs, this is not true. The charities associated with STBB are clearly identified on the website and funds are donated to them through a link to each charities own ‘Just Giving’ page which is independent from STBB. At the moment I do not think it is possible determine how much has been generated for each charity from their association with STBB as opposed to their usual and on-going fundraising activities. This is something I will be examining with the charities concerned on my return to the UK and if it can be done I will publish the total sums raised. The only other source of funds for the charities is through the sale of hoodies, T.shirts etc. where the money is paid in to the STBB Paypal account, this is then transferred over to the charities ‘Just Giving’ pages by the UK Land Support Team.
It is worth recognising here that despite the spurious and false accusations of diverting charitable funds nobody associated with the charities concerned in an official capacity has raised any concerns publicly or privately about the possibility of this happening. To the individuals who claim to ‘know’ that this is happening I urge them to go to the proper authorities with their evidence and lets have a professional investigation of the facts rather than trial by slander and speculation.
‘STBB Ltd.’ legal status
STBB Ltd. is a UK private limited company registered and compliant with the regulations of Companies House which include submitting audited accounts for publication by them up to ten months after the end of the financial year. It is not, has never been and has no intention of becoming a charity in its own right. STBB Ltd. is the legal vehicle through which all the expedition expenses are paid from and income to it is predominantly in the form of loans from friends and family, sponsorship from a range of companies and public donations.
Whilst some of those loaning monies to the expedition have unilaterally chosen to go public with details of their business transaction I will not do so or comment upon the details as to do so is against good and sound business ethics and lowers me to their standard of behaviour.
As of now the company has a number of loans outstanding that are not due to be paid until May and no indication has been given by STBB Ltd that these will not be honoured. A number of smaller invoices are being challenged as no paper trail linking an official STBB Ltd. order to goods received can be found or the invoice appears inflated for the work undertaken.
The final cost of the expedition is still to be determined but will be in the region of £350 - £400k.
Damage to the S\V Big Blue
The sailing vessel Big Blue is of an ocean capable design and the construction, previous maintenance and current condition assessed by a registered boat surveyor as being fit for this purpose before it was purchased. With the 12 month delay for the expedition in 2015 the vessel was stored out of the water in the garden of the previous owner giving it an appearance of ‘chicken coop’ as previously commented upon by one person on Facebook. Upon getting the boat back into the water at Lowestoft further work was undertaken on the PV systems, instrumentation, safety equipment and adding the neccesary equipment such as a water maker for a voyage of this nature.
With the recruitment of the two professional sailors who undertook both the delivery and expedition a sea trails was undertaken which identified that: 1) the vessel was ocean capable and 2.) required some further work that was subsequently undertaken in the four week stop-over in Southampton and the various stop-overs along the delivery route to Dakar, Senegal.
Upon arrival in Dakar a full and comprehensive required maintenance schedule was prepared for the individual charged with managing this aspect of the expedition together with an expected timescale for it to be completed. The Skipper and First Mate were assured that this work had been undertaken and completed to the required standard.
Other individuals not associated with the expedition in Dakar and those expedition members with limited sailing knowledge and experience assessed the boat as unfit for ocean crossing, highlighting a number of areas for concern none of which subsequently broke or caused damage.
Uncharacteristic storms for this time of year for the route taken were encountered and damaged the vessel making the recovery of myself and the canoeist more time consuming and therefore more dangerous. At no time was the integrity of the vessel compromised and its ability to safely complete the journey was never in doubt. After the decision to cancel the swim was taken a sailing decision was taken by the Skipper in conjunction with the First Mate to continue to Brazil with the prevailing winds rather than take the shorter route back to Dakar or to the Cape Verdi in order to further protect the vessel.
The Skipper and First Mate with over 110,000 nautical miles experience between them have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of the crew under their command and would not have set out on the delivery to Dakar or subsequently the expedition if they believed that the vessel was not capable of safely completing the voyage.
Personnel Issues
With an expedition of this nature a number of personnel changes are inevitable. With both investors and expedition crew alike, individual personalities, their likes and dislikes and changing perceptions of what they wanted out of it on both an individual and professional level created challenges to keep everybody positively engaged. We have seen through the various comments posted by these people (and more damaging by their friends who are commenting by proxy) that this has not always been possible and I would ask them and you to reflect on their motivation for some of their comments which could be seen as self justification for some of their behaviours.
Whilst I will not at this stage comment directly about individuals I will say some former crew left at short notice after generating a lot of good publicity and products for a new business they had established, some were dismissed for lying and incompetence and some left only three hours before the initial start time with no explanation causing maximum damage to the expedition.
Only they can account for their behaviour but finding spurious reasons to withdraw from the expedition to cover their true reason indicates a weakness of character.
Swim
Whilst I appreciate the advice of others telling me how I should have approached this world first swim the truth is nobody knows, precisely because it is a world first. Advice from others who have attempted marathon open water swimming will always be listened to although I retain the right to determine for myself how best to prepare for a feat of this nature but those who offer advice from an armchair or behind the safety of their computer should not be surprised if I chose to ignore them and rely upon my own relevant experience.
In spending three years preparing for this expedition I have already swam over 12 million metres in the swimming pool and open water, many times more than the 25,000 metres recommended by one helpful commentator or the suggestion that swimming the English Channel somehow validates my attempt to swim the Atlantic Ocean. Physically and mentally I was prepared for this swim and it was only a series of unconnected factors out of my control that caused the attempt to be abandoned.
In total I swam a little over 160 km or 5% of the total distance, survived a jelly fish sting that almost cost me my life (unconscious, partial paralysis, 80/40 blood pressure and renal failure concerns). After not swimming for four days on medical instruction following the attack I swam for the next three days before ten days of uncharacteristic storms damaged the boat as an effective swim support vessel for myself but importantly not the integrity of the vessel itself as a sailing yacht. The decision to abandon although discussed collectively and agreed upon unilaterally by both the sailing and swim support personnel on the vessel was ultimately taken by the Skipper on the grounds of safety for a member of the yachts crew compliment.I was distraught to say the least having invested my own funds and time into this too, and worse, felt I'd let my sponsors and charities and my daughter and followers down.
Both WOWSA and Guinness World Records have been advised of the decision to abandon the swim and the ships log and independent observers daily WOWSA swim reports have been submitted and will be available in due course.
I would like to thank the majority who have supported, cheered, encouraged me and my crew globally. I can only apologise for the emotive and outright hateful comments posted on Facebook and hope those individuals will reflect on their actions. My charities and daughter have followed this page and expedition, and I am sure have been affected by such comments. To my sponsors, investors and donors, and all the children/schools following me, thank you so much. Personally, the swim halting was both distressing and painful but I believe we will return and achieve the impossible of swimming every single mile of The Atlantic. Thank you all so much from the swim the big blue team and our charities.
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