Ned Weiland Historic English Channel Swim

Ned Weiland Historic English Channel Swim

On 25 July 2017 Ned Weiland became the youngest Australian male to swim the English Channel. At 16 years and 10 days he swam the 33km as the crow flies, in the time of 9 hours and 45 minutes. 

Ned’s dream of swimming the Channel was put into action over 12 months ago. Once the pilot (Andy King) was booked, it was time to start serious training.  Ned went through the North Bondi Nippers program and in the last few years he has been in the youth group under the watchful eye of Jim Walker. With his decision to swim the Channel, Jim volunteered to oversee his dry land training.  Close to Ned’s departure, he was up to 4 chin ups.

Ned would like to remind people that athletes come in all shapes and sizes.

In the water, training involved swimming 5 to 6 two hour sessions in the pool each week. Early Saturday mornings were spent with Vlad’s group at various open water venues.  And Sunday’s were spent either resting or racing to get and keep his mileage up.  There was little time for rest in the last few months.

On top of this, Ned also needed to adapt to cold water. One of the English Channel Association requirement’s is an 8-hour qualifying swim in cold water. He achieved this at Vlad’s cold-water camp based in Brighton Beach, Victoria, in water temperature of 14 degrees Celsius. 

Ned has always been a keen and regular swimmer at open water events. He has a great love of what goes on under the sea. His first major marathon race was the Port to Pub 25km race in Perth in late March this year. This race is the longest ultra-marathon swim held in Australia. Ned finished 4th overall in a time of 6 hours 55 minutes. 

He also used the Bondi to Watson’s Bay swim as a training outing. However, he started the morning at Coogee, swam to Bondi, then swam Bondi to Watsons Bay and then Watson’s Bay to Bondi.   About 23kms.  Ned finished this training with a nice quiet warm shower at the club house before heading home.

Ned has always been proud to represent North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club. He was stoked to do well at the Bondi Rough Water swim finishing 2nd in the 1km and 3rd in the 2km, both in the Open Division. Tony Hamilton, the starter on the day, seemed happier and prouder than Ned at his achievements.

However, Ned’s most prized achievement was being able to represent the Club as part of the Stan Mac Team which dominated on the day.

All these events lead Ned to his great swim on 25 July. After 10 days of high winds and big swell, a small window of decent English weather opened. He was given 4 hours’ notice for his swim departure.  Due to the delay, his support team was reduced to his Dad, Mark and the boat crew.  To reach favourable currents, Ned was assigned the task of holding a 1minute 30second pace per 100m for 33+kms (swimmers talk). 

Ned managed the swell, the water temperature (he said he almost overheated in 18 degrees Celsius) and distance in 9 hours 45 minutes. Fasted time of the season so far on a spring tide (not favourable). 

An even a bigger achievement and to his delight Ned has managed to raise almost $30,000 for his chosen charity RU OK? 

Ned hopes his swim encourages all North Bondi Members to love the great big open water that sits pride of place in front of our great and best Surf Club.