When you think of a marathon sea swimmer, you probably think the idea of sea-creatures and sharks doesn't scare them, for Tracy Clark, this couldn't be further from the truth. Sharks are one of her biggest fears but "land sharks", the people set to drag you down are what scare her the most.
She’d spent her life surrounding herself with people who didn't support or encourage her. even her father said her childhood dream of swimming the English Channel was a pipedream.
During Tracy's presentation "Avoiding Sharks" we could all relate to Tracy’s idea of encountering these land sharks in their many forms as we face physical or mental challenges in our own professional and private life
Tracy has found that by surrounding herself with positive people who build her up and support her life choice is the key to her success. She also has a support crew who push her to the ends of the earth but equally would never let her put herself in danger.
She believes in "Turning Negatives into Positives", never giving up when you have dreams to achieve and being focused on what you want to achieve. In swimming this has meant never asking "how much further". Repeating two of her biggest supporters’ names, her sons, over and over again with every stroke helps her focus on the end goal and not the pain it takes to get there. Every single swim she has undertaken, whether it be sitting on the banks of the Cook Strait for 3 weeks waiting for the wind to stop blowing, sharing the seas with great white sharks in the Catalina Channel, dodging freight liners in the Strait of Gibraltar or worse yet, dodging rubbish swimming around Manhattan Island, Tracy believes that staying focused on the end goal and surrounding herself with her incredible support team has gotten her through.
Tracy is now a qualified swim coach and holds a five day English Channel Swim Camp in Dover, alongside Roger Finch twice a year. They have also launched a Robben Island swim camp based in Cape Town. If you would like to join Tracy in setting your own swimming goals and joining one of her swim camps, either in Dover or Robben Island, please check out her website for more details – (https://tracyclarkswims.com/varne-ridge-english-channel-swim-camp/). Tracy shared that from her experience those most likely to succeed are mothers who know how to dig deep when they need it the most.
Tracy has raised close to £25,000 for various charities close to her heart. Her philosophy is, choose something or someone dear to your heart and this will help you get through the tough times of your challenge.
Tracy will be flying the kiwi togs and flag as she attempts the North Channel (Northern Ireland to Scotland) for the second time in September. She is looking to raise money for her son’s rugby club, The Crusaders, who are needing to redevelop their rugby club rooms. You can get behind Tracy and this cause using the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/crusaders-rugby?utm_id=107&utm_term=YgRNgx8JY&fbclid=IwAR2rWgThtYT59rnlJNiX40z8t5AUm-nMG-qW7K11hwxBsOCCokEZ9I60CXk
Tracy is also looking for sponsorship (£4,500) to cover the boat costs for the crossing. If you know of any brands, people who might be interested in this opportunity, please get in touch with Tracy directly via her website: https://tracyclarkswims.com/.
Tracey has proven that when there are set-backs in life, whether it be in the boardroom or 1 mile off the Scottish coastline, after 11hrs of swimming, by surrounding yourself with the right people (avoiding the sharks) there is so much we can overcome.
She continues to "Dream big" and with the big 5.0 around the corner, saying that you are never too old to achieve your dreams. She has so far completed her Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming and is looking to complete the Oceans Seven within the next few years.
Special thanks to The Dental Surgery for hosting us for the evening, to Walker Wines for providing the wine and of course to Tracy Clark for donating her time to come in and speak with us.