• Freestyle 4 Smile

Optimisation and Smile of Wight Logistics

The Cambridge Dictionary (2020) define 'Optimisation' as "the act of making something as good as possible.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin

In the past, I have placed all of my focus on the training aspect of my endurance events and neglected other important and obvious things such as nutrition and logistics. Of course, I ate healthy food, I planned the swims to an extent, but neither were what I would call - optimised. In a sense, I failed to fully prepare and thus reduced the likelihood of my past success. However, I understand to complete the Smile of Wight, all segments of the challenge must be optimised.

With optimisation of nutrition and logistics being the topic for this weeks blog, I thought I would provide the most recent updates in how I have been refining these areas.

Genetically Personalised Nutrition - Nutri-Genetix (NGX)

In sport, a number of factors contribute to improving performance, and diet is a key component. An athlete's dietary requirement depend on several aspects, type of sport, desired goal and environment. Beck et al., (2015) outlined that personalised nutrition and dietary advice is becoming increasingly recognised.

Sitting here in 2020, this is a statement that couldn't be more accurate. In a recent Global Wellness Summit (2018), personalised nutrition was a prominent topic of discussion highlighting 'One size does not fit all'. The emergence of epigenetics has shown our genes are fluid and shaped by our behaviour (such as diet, exercise, stress level and environmental choices). Therefore, the use of general supplementation will not match the requirements to your genetic make-up when compared to a product that can examine your DNA - simple.

Introducing NGX - Home to the world's first genetically personalised nutritional shake

I am extremely proud and grateful to have secured a partnership with NGX in the lead-up to undertaking the Smile of Wight, a 68 mile swim which will take approximately 24 hours of swimming!

As you can see in the first image, a really nicely branded DNA sample kit came through, but before you freak out, no... you don't need to be a scientist to figure it out. With the package, you are provided with a great step-by-step guide with how to do it correctly. But to put it simply, you get the swab and rub it into the back of your gums and place it into the tube provided. I have kindly uploaded an attractive video of doing just that which was on my Instagram (@Freestyle 4 Smile).

I cannot wait to use the product and work with NGX in optimising my nutrition in my swimming training moving forward. With it being just £1.80 per shake, environmentally friendly and vegan, I will definitely be recommending this to anyone who wishes to optimise their overall well-being. After all, can we really place a value on that?

The Grand Plan

Many of you are probably wondering how its 'going down', so after a meeting with my skipper and a Solent expert, the plan has been fine tuned. Although I can tell you the plan, it is difficult to provide the reasoning. However, all I can say is that a lot of analysis of current, potential wind direction, wind speeds etc was involved. Ultimately, the swim is broken down into four phases. This is to not only increase safety but to raise more awareness of the challenge by carrying out over a longer duration.

Phase 1

Starting on the 3rd of September (with alternatives awaiting due to potential bad weather), the plan involves heading East from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. This will be a start time of 06:00 to Bembridge in a hope to arrive at approximately 12:00 for a break. This break will be between 12:00-15:00 and phase 1 will be complete.

Phase 2

After the three hours break, I will head off from Bembridge and swim to St Catherine's Point and arrive their at approximately 20:00. By this time, 12 hours of swimming will be done on three hours rest. Therefore, I will be placed ashore and sleep in a tent till the next phase. This provides an excellent opportunity to start a Facebook or Instagram live stream to update everyone in more detail.

Phase 3

The 3rd phase will begin at 13:00 on Friday 4th of September after an overnight attempted rest on the beach. This phase will be a swim from St Catherine's Point to the Needles in which we hope to arrive at 20:00. Once I have reached the Needles, I will take another break and get ready for the last phase in which we hope to time it favourably for supporters to come and party on Saturday the 5th.

Phase 4

I will set off from the Needles on Saturday 5th of September at 08:30 to arrive at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes between 12:30-13:30 for a huge celebration. After the swim, I will be around for lots of photos, chats and food.

General Thoughts

There was much debate about

  1. Swimming it in one

  2. Swimming in the night

Personally, I have planned this with my team based on the objectives and aims I had surrounding the challenge. These were

  1. Ensure the safety of both the swimming and the crew

  2. Maximise awareness

  3. Increase likelihood of success

Being the social media savvy individual I am, its logical to carry it out for a longer duration to really get people engaging with the swim, sharing the content and donating. After all, this swim was created to transform cleft lives, worldwide.

All donations can be made

Till the next blog, keep smiling!


Beck, K., Thomson, J., Swift, R. and von Hurst, P. (2015). Role of nutrition in performance enhancement and postexercise recovery. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, p.259.

Global Wellness Summit. (2018). Nutrition Gets Very Personalized. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Feb. 2020].


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