To whom it may concern,
I am attempting a solo cross channel swim in July next year (the first available date when I booked it last October!) and have completed all qualifying criteria- namely a minimum 6hr swim in maximum 16’C water, without wetsuit and contact with any form of flotation or support. I swam from Lyme Regis to Charmouth and back, and thoroughly enjoyed myself, much to my surprise!
I am doing this as a fulfilment of a life’s ambition- one that was scuppered at the age of 17 by ending up in a wheelchair with ME- I had suffered from the age of 10; but as is still too often the case, lack of diagnosis makes this a truly debilitating and disheartening syndrome. I have since fully recovered, and am hoping not only to raise awareness of ME but also to give hope and inspire those that are still suffering that there is an end and life beyond it.
What has this to do with Chillies? Your Chilli chocolate (particularly the orange flavoured one) is quite literally a life saver! In the quest to stay warm in such cold water, I have tried all sorts of tricks and the one that has worked the best is your divine creation. I am not a choccy girl, but add chilli to dark chocolate, and it’s a different story. A good chunk of your chilli chocolate every fuel rest gave me over 15mins of warmth…and considering over 6 hrs you end up stopping every 30mins, that’s a great percentage of heat! It meant that I suffered no cold snaps, no symptoms of hypothermia at all and therefore no drop in energy or speed over the 6 plus hours.
On the sports nutrition side,I have found it a challenge to put on the necessary weight to insulate and store glycogen for my ordeal. I have been reliably informed time and again to up the chocolate intake! Hard life, huh?
I am hoping that you will sponsor my quest by supplying some of your chilli chocolate, and be at the forefront of a ground breaking discovery into cold water swimming! I am happy to provide any information you require, and am incredibly grateful for any assistance you may be able to give. Please feel free to check out my blog and email me with any comments or ideas.

Yours hopefully,

Hi Beth,

Thanks for your letter telling us about your swimming endeavours and how chilli chocolate has proved to be a boost for you. I am a bit of a swimmer myself, though not in the league of cross channel swimming but I do long distance rowing races and I know how much of a boost chilli chocolate can be at times.

I am posting you some sample bags of broken pieces to use during your practices. If you need more supplies then let me know as I am interested in seeing how you do on it. I will send you some with ground coffee beans in too. I saw recently that Julie Bradshaw who swims long distance butterfly, across The Channel and around Manhattan Island, drinks strong coffee during her breaks as the caffeine keeps her going and apparently it also helps turn fat into energy more quickly so maybe the coffee chocolate will be a similar help to you.

Good luck with the swim and keep us posted.

Kind regards

South Devon Chilli Farm