HUUB sponsored Open Water Swimmer Georgia Amison went through to the Ocean Man World Championship Final in Benidorm on 16 October and came away with Bronze. Here, in her own words, she walks us through her race day and about how she is feeling now it is all over.
"Now that a few days have gone by after the race, I have been able to let everything sink in and given myself time to recover. I’m at a place where I feel I can talk about my race now that I have some perspective on the big day itself.
There had been a massive build up to this race throughout this season of which I knew this would be one of, if not the hardest, races of 2016.
The night before the race we all had to sign in and go to the race briefing where we found out if the race was going to be a wetsuit or non-wetsuit race. Because of the water temperature being about 23 degrees the officials had decided that for the Elite category races it would be non-wetsuit race which meant we would wear knee skins or traditional costumes.
I wore my HUUB FINA Knee Skin for this race and personally I was happy with the race being non-wetsuit as I know it suits me better. I am used to swimming with and without a wetsuit, unlike a lot of the other swimmers, which gives me an advantage.
I was also glad the race was non-wetsuit due to the water temperature. Back in England I had been doing a lot of training in Stoney Cove where the water temperature is around 11 degrees so I was able to adapt better to the rise in temperature in the race.
The morning of the race I started to feel very, very nervous and anxious. I usually go quiet before a race and like to be left alone with my thoughts. But on Sunday morning, I needed a reassuring hug from my coach as I could feel that my nerves were starting to get the better of me. More and more people started to come onto the beach ready for the race but I just blocked them all out and tried to stop working myself up.
We were called through to line up for the race, where the Elites were to start 5 minutes before the rest of the field. The horn went off signalling the start of the race and we all ran into the water, dived in and started swimming.
Just over 1km into the race it started to get a little choppier with the swell and you could feel the current getting stronger as it was going from North to South. As the race went on, the water continued to get choppier. We were swimming 5km straight out to sea. However, when we reached the back of the island, the waves got bigger still and much more powerful. A lot of swimmers started to struggle at this change in conditions. Whereas I usually like swimming in choppy water, this was getting a little out of hand and becoming more and more difficult to make good progress.
Just over half way around the island one massive wave came when I was trying to sight for the turning buoy. It hit me and caused me to swallow a lot of salt water. If you swallow too much salt water it can cause your stomach to cramp up along with your muscles. I soon started to feel really sick and I started vomiting while I was swimming. I stopped to take a gel to try and get come carbs back in my body but I vomited that as well. So I went to find the feeding station and decided to take on some water to help wash out the taste before carrying on.
As I got closer towards the coast on the return journey, I tried to pick up the pace a little more with each stroke. Whenever I could see the finish line I tried to pick up the pace more but the last 300 meters seemed to take the longest out of the whole distance.
As we were coming round the last buoy at the finish I could see one of the other girls who I knew was in my race so I decided that I had to beat her. We ran out of the sea towards the finish line and it turned out that I had beaten the other girl by around 10 seconds. Still not knowing where this placed me, I ran straight to my coach and he said I had come 3rd!
I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I started to feel like jelly and wanted to just collapse onto the floor. One of the first people I saw after the race was the winner Rebeca Santos, who was the first person to congratulate me. It felt great to finally be on the podium next to her after a few of the races we had done together. When me, Rebeca and Camilla were stood on the podium I felt like I was on top of the world but I also felt physically broken.
The first two days after the race I started to get post-race depression but I have bounced back pretty fast from it. Today, 3 days after the race, was the first time since the race that I have been down to the beach and sat and looked out at the sea and the island. I have to say that at this point I felt immensely proud, but also very motion sick! I could see the waves and all I could think of was being around the back of the island when the swell picked up during the race.
And so to conclude, I am delighted to have taken Bronze in the final. It means so much to me. And I also just wanted to be able to say a huge “thank you” to everyone who believed in me and supported me along the way. You all know who you are, but you were instrumental in helping get me through the race and helping pick me back up quickly with my post-race depression.
All my love,
Georgia is 19 and already well accomplished as an Elite Open Water Swimmer. She lives and trains in Leicester and we are proud to have her as part of the HUUB family.