Alister Stocks

Alister Stocks – Swimming The Channel

Helping Raise Money For Martin House Children’s Hospice


Channel Swim Successfully Completed – 20 August 2011 In 15 hrs 34 mins

Watch The Video Below:

To read more about my channel crossing, please click on the link: Channel Swim

Radio Leeds Interview

Hi, thank you for taking the time to visit my webpage, your support is very much appreciated.

Later this year in August 2011, I will be attemping to swim the English Channel.  I am hoping to raise as much money possible for the very well deserving charity ‘Martin House Children’s Hospice’.

I fully understand that in this present economical climate, finances are tight for everyone but any donation, no matter how large or small is greatly appreciated.  You can donate money by simply clicking on the ‘Martin House’ logos on this webpage and donating via the ‘Just Giving’ website, it only takes seconds!  May I take this opportunity in advance to thank you for your support.

I would like to take this opportunity, to say a very big thank you to ‘Kirklees Active Leisure’, who have shown their support throughout my preperation and continue to do so in letting me use use their facilities for training.  This support is very much appreciated and with their ongoing support, makes my training much easier. THANK YOU! 

Preperation Swims

The next few months are going to be extremely challenging as I prepare for the swim.  Utilising the time between my job and ensuring I can fit in training sessions, is not the easiest of tasks but I am managing.  In addition to training in the pool and gym, I will be parting in several BLDSA (British Long Distance Swimming Association) outdoor swims.  These are listed below:





 Exmouth  15 May 2011  4.5 Miles Completed
 Scarborough  12 June 2011  3.5 Miles Completed
 Dover Harbour  18 June 2011  9 Miles    Completed
 Torbay  2 July 2011  8 Miles    Completed
 Bala 2 Way  9 July  6 Miles    Completed
 Bala 1 Way  10 July  3 Miles    Completed
 Coniston  17 July  5.5 Miles Completed
 Ullswater 30 July   7.5 Miles Completed

First Outdoor Training Swim Of The Season!

The first outdoor swim of the season was on Saturday 9 April.  It took place at Gadding Dam just above Hebden Bridge.  It is a cold place to swim at the best of times i.e summer, so as you can imagine, it feels a little chilly in April.     Please click here to view Gadding Dam photos     

Exmouth Swim 15 May 2011

The Exmouth swim, was the first actually organised open water event on the calendar for 2011.  It was a beautiful sunny day but unfortunately, this didn’t have much affect on the water and as the swim was held a couple of weeks earlier than usually, the water temperature was still very cold at 10-12 degrees.  This was always going to be a hard swim due to the environment but having had a knee injury a few weeks previous, that restricted my training and then leading up to the swim having a cold and toothache (honestly!!!!),  I am a pleased to say, I had a really good swim and completed the swim in a good time.         Please click here to view Exmouth swim photos

Scarborough – Wykeham Lake 12 June 2011

Wykeham Lake was the second official outdoor swim on the calendar.  It is a circuit race that consists of 5 laps around the designated circuit, where each circuit is 1klm in length. Traditionally, it is a fairly warmer swim compared to the other outdoor swims but due to the weather, it was actually quite a cold swim for the first couple of miles.  The weather was not the best for swimming, despite it being warm and sunny in the morning.  By the time the race started, the weather had changed a little and became overcast and windy.  However, another enjoyable swim on the whole, especially as my mum and daughter where there to lend their support.  So, another training swim under my belt in the build up to the channel!  Please click here to view Wykeham Lake photos

Dover – Champions Of Champions 18 June 2011

Notoriously a harsh swim and this year was no exception.  On Friday night, rumours were that the swim may be cancelled due to bad weather and winds but this was not to be the case.  Come Saturday, the weather was still miserable and the rain didn’t stop, resulting in the length of the swim having to be reduced a little for the swimmers safety.  Usually, the ‘Champion Of Champions’ swim at Dover consist of a 5 mile swim, then 3 mile swim and then a 1 mile swim, a total of 9 miles.  Due to the bad weather on Saturday, the swim had to be reduced to around 7 miles, however, tackling all the eliments, sure made it seem like 9!! Please click here to see Dover photos

Ilkley  Lido 25 June 2011

Well, this might sound like a leisurely Saturday afternoon swim but if you have ever swam in the Ilkley Lido, you will appreciate it isn’t!  No matter what the weather is like, that outdoor pool never seems to get any warmer!  Saturday was not the best of days.  It was overcast with showers and when the lifeguards are wearing winter coats and you are the only one left swimming in the freezing cold pool, there is something not quite right.  However, I was there for a reason and managed to fit in a good 3 miles so I was happy.  Please click here view Ilkley photos

Torbay 2 July 2011

Yet another tough swim on the calendar!  Torbay is one of those swims which you know will be tough and it was.  The sea swims certainly push you to your limits and make you deal with all the elements in one but, it is something that I need to face and get used to for my challel attempt in August.  The Torbay swim was definitely worth competing in, as it served it’s purpose as a preperation swim for the big one!  Please click here to view Torbay photos

Bala Lake 10 July 2011

Lake Bala, is a bleak place at the best of times and the weather forecast for the weekend was not set to be good!  Arriving in North Wales on Friday afternoon, I was glad I had taken my winter wear.  Yes, it was the middle of summer but I was in my camper van trying to keep warm.  As usual, the good old weather forecasts were the wrong way round, Saturday was meant to be bad and Sunday good but Saturday was good and Sunday bad! Typical, as the swim on Saturday was the longest at 6 miles.  The wind certainly didn’t help on the first 3 mile stretch of the lake and it was hard going fighting against the waves but I managed to fight them and completed the swim in a fairly good time and felt really good when i got out of the water.  Despite the weather being bad, it was an enjoyable swim and another in the bag!  Please click here to view Bala photos

Coniston Lake 17 July 2011

With a lake that holds so much history and offers stunning views, it is not hard to understand why this swim, is one of the most popular swims on the calendar.

Although the swim didn’t actually start til 12.15pm, an early morning briefing had been scheduled in The Blue Bird Cafe for 9.30am.  This was due to the logistics of the swim and so that everyone taking part could ensure they had everything in place (clothing, kayaks, vehicles etc….) before the swim.  As with many swims, the problem you are faced with, is that you need to be at one end of the lake for the start and then obviously, you finish at the opposite end! Yes, you guessed it, a logistical nightmare but as usual, a little team work with everyone involved and any problems are soon overcome.

Well, considering the swim is set for July, you would expect a lovely sunny day, with the warm rays beating down on your back as you glide through the nice warm water!!! Hmmm, it was more like November and never really stopped raining throughout the swim.  In fact, I think the kayakers’ were wetter than the swimmers by the end!

However, come rain or shine, Coniston always has a magical charm. 

Many people often ask me the question “Are You Mad?” when they hear I swim some of Britains’ largest lakes and this same question, I sometimes have to ask myself! Nevertheless, it is the beauty of Lakes like Coniston that confirm…. I am not mad but simply privileged to take part in these swims!  Please click here to view Coniston photos

Ullswater 30 July 2011

At Last!, finally a swim with beautiful summer weather!!!

Well, Ullswater has got to be one of the nicest swims on the calendar and this weekend proved why. Apart from the stunning backdrop Ullswater is blessed with, everytime I swim this lake, it just seems to get better and this weekend did not disappoint.

The water was like glass without a ripple insight and the visibility was unbelievable.  To add to that, the weather was blistering hot and you could have thought you were in the Mediterranean!  The water temperature  however was a bit temperamental, in some places it was like a warm bath and in other, it was ice cold.

This was one of the nicest conditions I have ever swam in and what a time to have it.  Ullswater was my last open water swim before the big one and it certainly provided me with positive thoughts to take with me.

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support on all the open water swims I have attended this year and to all those people who have made it possible, it is much appreciated.  Please click here to view Ullswater photos