London triathlon 2008 Working swim safety

So the 9th 10th of August I went down to london town to help a friend out doing swim safety for the london triathlon.

I did some paddling, caught up with old friends, met some nice new people.  Id like to say all of green team rocked what a great bunch of folk especially Malc for letting the girls war paint him up with his french disguise.
rest of team
Saturday paddle to work
So Saturday a nice 7.30am start on the water, a day of boatin and then a few quiet drinks in the excel centre after dinner. Had a cracking nite loads of fun and games, starting off playing the box game and I introduced guys from the other unis that were there and the locals to the bake bean can game (using beer cans). A proper hoot was had by all, its amazing how competive paddlers get when having fun. Most importantly though my team won that game by miles (thanks Hazel). BUt early to bed, alseep by 11pm in a local hotel.  Saturday also saw a few decent breaks in the paddling so I went for a wander round the change over area and with all the stalls there it was like freshers fair but for healthly/fitness stuff. I picked up a few nice freebies but gutted as I missed out on getting a free Buff on sunday afternoon.
sunday start 4.30am
Sunday up at 4.15am on the water for 4.30am to paddle from Regatta centre to the Excel centre. Yes that is AM.  A Safety briefing and breakfast later (mmm big bacon bagette) and its on the water to work properly at 6am for the first race at 6.30am. The pros and elites seem to like racing early, havent got a clue why though I’d prefer a lay in myself
Spot dave
Dave and his medal
7AM sees Aussie dave turning up for a dip in the water and then he turned up when he finished to show off his medal.  Dan Waterstone was there too apparently but everyone looks the same in a wet suit and a bright coloured swim hat so I didnt see him. The waves of swimmers went from 498 swimmers a time for the masses down to 30 for the pro women. With about 13,000 people over the weekend competing thats a lot of swimmers.
on the start line

Last race on sunday at 4.30pm and a debrief at 5pm and off back to the regatta centre where we were based for a quick shower and off home or a go in the nice sauna for those that needed it. A great weekend with no swimmer casulaties and only a few people needing to be taken out of the water all weekend due to tiredness/cramp.

Over the weekend there was sun and rain and a pretty constant wind making tougher then last year. BUt it was a great bunch of guys to work with, I had loads of fun, got fed and paid to sit in boat all weekend, it was spot on and would recomend it to anyone.  If im not competing next year then you will probably see me in a boat helping out again. 
our pontoon

If anyone is interested in doing it next year its on the 1st and 2nd of August and they always need paddlers for the swim safety.


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