André Wiersig Across The Strait Of Gibraltar By Dennis Daletzki
Photos of André Wiersig across the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco courtesy of Dennis Daletzki.André Wiersig of Germany became the 16th person in history to completed Oceans Seven, the first German swimmer to do so. His solo journeys across the 33.8 km English Channel (in 9 hours 44 minutes between England and France), the 42 km Molokai Channel (in 18 hours 26 minutes between Molokai and Oahu), the 35 km North Channel (in 12 hours 16 minutes between Northern Ireland and Scotland), the 32.3 km Catalina Channel (in 9 hours 48 minutes between Santa Catalina Island and the Southern California mainland, the 19.5 km Tsugaru Channel (in 12 hours 55 minutes between Honshu and Hokkaido in northern Japan), the 23 km Cook Strait (in 8 hours 2 minutes between North Island and South Island in New Zealand), and the 14.4 km Strait of Gibraltar (in 4 hours 17 minutes between Spain and Morocco) took him six years to complete. He recalls the final 14.4 km crossing between Spain and Morocco, “There were no presents from the ocean on Sunday, but there was strong currents in the second half of the crossing. But I was super happy to touch the continent of Africa and to complete the Oceans Seven. All crossings were solo with my brother-in-law Jürgen Peters as my [constant] support.The love for the open ocean, the privilege to swim offshore as a guest in this beautiful marine environment with all its beauty that was – and is still – my motivation. The Oceans Seven took me 6 years to finish. I had, or rather was allowed, to swim through every channel successfully in my first attempt, all solo.I always swim with the ocean – never against it. If I am asked today why I do that and voluntarily absorb these strains, then I can only answer: I have an unconditional love for the ocean and that is how love should be – without conditions.More than ever, I feel connected to the ocean and I can say to myself: I am a man who can speak for the ocean and I have a lot to tell you all out there, because it can not and should not go on like that.I would now like to use the recognition and attention to sensitize more people for the protection of our seas and to stimulate the behavior of each change. We need more consciousness and it is high time to rethink: not just to take, but to give.” Wiersig’s Oceans Seven Journey:
In September 2014, he crossed the 33.8 km English Channel in 9 hours 44 minutes from England to France
In October 2015, he crossed the 42 km Molokai Channel in 18 hours 26 minutes from Molokai to Oahu
In August 2016, he crossed the 35 km North Channel in 12 hours 16 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland
Southern California native, born 1962, is the creator of the WOWSA Awards, Oceans Seven, Openwaterpedia, Citrus Corps, World Open Water Swimming Association, Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Global Open Water Swimming Conference. He is Chief Executive Officer of KAATSU Global and KAATSU Research Institute. Inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Swimmer, Class of 2001) and Ice Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Contributor - Media, Class of 2019), recipient of the International Swimming Hall of Fame's Poseidon Award (2016), International Swimming Hall of Fame's Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award (2010), USA Swimming's Glen S. Hummer Award (2007, 2010) and Harvard University's John B. Imrie Award (1984). Served on the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee and as Technical Delegate with the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, and 9-time USA Swimming coaching staff.