Carlos Acosta Will Try, Try Again

Carlos Acosta Will Try, Try Again

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Carlos Acosta of Mexico completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming in 2018. Happy for his achievement, he set off towards bigger dreams and longer goals in the open water. He soon set his sights on a two-way English Channel crossing.

Acosta continued to train for his two-way attempt throughout 2020 despite the hardships and obstacles that he faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. “I missed my July slot because I was unable to travel due to the pandemic, but I was fortunate to find a new slot for September 9th for my two-way attempt.”

Unfortunately, Acosta was not able to finish. “I swam for 9 hours 9 minutes and had to get out. The exact reason is not yet clear to me. I believe it was the sum of some mistakes, the conditions, and I think I might have become too anxious. The sea was rough.  I made a feeding mistake; I drank too much caffeine. I didn’t realize some GU Roctane flavors are caffeinated and some aren’t.  I also hurt my left foot badly the moment I jumped out of the boat to swim to Samphire Hoe Beach to start. I didn’t communicate to my team that I was having troubles until it was too late. They didn’t know what was going on so they were not able to try something different

During the last hour before I had to stop, I started feeling agitated and my condition only kept getting worse. I started stopping often trying to catch my breath. I was breathing heavily and my heart rate was very high. I believe it was a mix of the effort in the difficult conditions and the excess caffeine. Maybe the blow on my foot played a part too.

I started to become hypothermic because I was stopping more often – and still couldn’t get enough air to swim normally. I tried a lot, but in the end, I could not keep it up. In the end, the captain decided I had to get out and my crew knew there was no way around it. As hard as it was, I was a feeling and had to agree. 

So I’ve got an unfinished business there and will try to go back in 2022.”

For more information about Acosta’s future marathon swims and pioneering attempts, visit

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Steven Munatones