Colin Hill Was Guided By Giovanni

Colin Hill Was Guided By Giovanni

When two large personalities often meet, sparkes usually fly…on land. But in the water and especially in the open water world, when two large personalities meet, magic and triumph often results…in an unforgettable swim.

Abou-Heif and Greta Anderson. Michael Oram and Petar Stoychev. Marilyn Bell and Gus Ryder. These are only three examples of thousands throughout the annals of marathon swimming history.

Magic and triumph are exactly what Colin Hill, the visionary behind the Great Swim Series and currently the Marathon Swimming Technical Manager of the 2012 London Olympics, and Giovanni Fiannacca, a legend in the Stretto di Messena, made. It was an unforgettable swim.

As Colin writes here, “When I look at a map, I don’t see countries or borders, I see water I can swim across. Channels, straits. I want to swim them all.

So when I heard about the swim across the Strait of Messena, the stretch of water between Sicily and mainland Italy, I was immediately taken. Not because it’s a long or particularly difficult swim, it’s only 5km, but because of the history and because of Giovanni.

No matter how confident a swimmer you are, a swim like this needs a guide. Someone local to the area who knows the tides and can supply support boats. For the small group of swimmers that descended upon Sicily, that guide was Giovanni


Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association