In Memory of Deborah Beier who I had the pleasure of crewing alongside for Paula’s English Channel Swim. 30 November 1952-24 April 2017
I first met Paula in Ireland at the Cork Distance Week in 2015 based in Kinsale. We were housemates and had only communicated via email. We got on well immediately! So much so, we decided to share a house again in 2016 and will do so again this year, 2017. When Paula asked me to crew for her on her English Channel swim, I said yes immediately! To be a part of someones dream team is such an honour. I liked very much what I saw in Paula when swimming with her in Ireland. She is so gutsy and determined – both of which are needed to succeed in the English Channel. Paula’s biggest hurdle was the cold. I saw her push herself so hard in every swim over the course of the 9 day camps. Temperatures were between 10-14 degrees and not once did she ever give up. I had every confidence in her ability to succeed should conditions in the Channel allow her to do so!
I came to Dover a week before Paula’s swim and we managed a quick lunch, swim and a catch up. Paula’s years of cold water preparation had really paid off. The water temperature in Dover Harbour was about 17 degrees and Paula was handling it so very well. This added to my confidence in her! I met Deborah Beier, Paula’s long time friend, paddler and the other crew person on her swim. It’s so important when choosing crew, that you choose crew who you know will look after you – not the other way around. I could see immediately the trust and strong friendship between these two women and also liked Deborah upon meeting her.