English Channel Annual Dinner 2019

Updated: Nov 24, 2019

The annual CSA Dinner took place on 2nd November Saturday at Dover Town Hall. We celebrated the success of all swimmers and got our certificates. It was an amazing evening with so many inspirational and great people in one room.


Below you can see some impressions. Thanks to the CSA for getting us together.


My highlights:


At the dinner, our team, Out of Our Comfort Zone, was seated together: Me, Emre Deliveli, who swam the Channel solo 36 hours before our relay, and Yasemin Bagana. Raha Akhavan-Tabatabaei, our fourth team member, unfortunately couldn't make it. Our coach Kamil Resa Alsaran, himself a two-time solo Channel swimmer, and who also became the oldest man to swim the North Channel this summer, was there as well.


In our table, we had the first Turkish woman who crossed the English Channel : Nesrin Olgun Arslan. She swam the Channel in 1979 and celebrated her 40th Channel anniversary.


Furthermore, we had the first Channel swimmer from Kazakhstan, Anel Sytdykova. The next day, we swam in 10 degrees of cold water early in the morning and went together back to London. It was a pleasure to meet her and hope that we can do some swims together. Maybe in Cape Town :)


There was a beautiful couple: Lily and Teddy Fletcher decided cross the Channel together as a relay team and started training just two years ago without any swimming background. I loved their synergy and harmony. It was really inspirational and showed the strong teamwork in a marriage as well.


I had the chance to meet also the first Syrian woman to swim the Channel, Zeina Alsharkas. She swam to collect money for people who are in need in Syria. A real hope and inspiration for her country. Our short conversation is in the video below.


Some impressions of the dinner