It's Ian here, the folically challenged one of the pair.........
Having spent months training alongside some of the Lovelies, time alongside the girls on the vessels, I have to say WHAT A TEAM!
It's not often I feel genuinely emotional but seeing Paula climb out of the ladder on Ryde Pier was a momnent that genuinely moved me, ok I was probably suffering from a little sleep deprivation, but it was the end of an epic and eventful journey.
All the girls dug deep, deeper than I think they realised they could and hit every waypoint on or ahead of time, that combined with Henry's superb tidal calculations were the cement to keep the whole plan together.
On that note, as a (allegedely) professional mariner, I would like to single out Henry, the Pilot, Owner and driving force behind Marine Matters, for particular praise. His navigational calculations based on a particularly tricky area of water, was absolutely perfect. Tidal predictions are just that, predictions, but Henry interpreted them with amazing accuracy, and using his own judgement to sneak into shallower or deeper water as needed to pick up the best tidal stream. Mate............. Respect! I truly hope to work with him and Alex, again in the future, thanks for making it smooth sailing, literally.
Ian Muir, what can I say? Its been too many years since I have seen him, in fact he has known me over 35 years. He may be older, but he still has incredible energy and zeal, and was superb as Observer, Coxswain, dogsbody, whatever. He was constantly on hand to help the girls, talk them through their individual swims and offer an encouraging word when needed. What a brilliant and inspired choice.
Finally, and definitely not least, I have to say the girls were outstanding, each and every one of them, but I would like to take this opportunity to single Kathy out. Seeing your big sister (10years older, just to clarify!) be a part of something so incredible was inspiring, I dont think there is a prouder sibling in the world right now!
Girls, well done, you pulled it off, and, no ego trip intended but you had the right team behind you and rooting for you.
Thats it, thats me signing off, looking to the next challenge, but this one ladies and gents, is mine