Daredevil Duo Are Dreamers And Doers

Daredevil Duo Are Dreamers And Doers

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The recipients of the annual World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year are always the result of a wholly unlikely idea.

From a Special Olympics athlete like the Cayman Island’s Andrew Smilley for swimming in the cold water RCP Tiburon Mile and the 202-mile Ventura Deep Six that swam 202 miles along the California coast over 4 days to Nejib Belhedi’s 1400 km Swim Across Tunisia and the 86 km ice swimming Bering Strait Swim, the Performance of the Year are memorable, high-risk events.

It is as if the high-risk swims were specifically made for the Performance of the Year award.

The nominees in 2014 also included a number of unprecedented swims that tested the athletes from all perspectives: physiologically, psychologically, logistically, and financially.

The Madagascar Swim by Thane Guy Williams and Jonno Proudfoot was an idea that eventually morphed to reality based on a whole lot of planning and hard work.

A pair of South Africans Williams and Proudfoot completed a 24-day 458 km stage swim* between Mozambique and Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

The Madagascar Swim is one of those concepts – swimming between countries – that is the athletic goal sought of only a select few. The English Channel and Strait of Gibraltar are the known international crossings, but very few humans in history ever imagined swimming between Mozambique and Madagascar.

Williams and Proudfoot made it a reality.

Crossing 458 km of untested waters on the rugged east coast of Africa was an outlandish goal of the dynamic duo who were supported by Captain Norman Horner, first mate Vernon ‘Cubby’ Deas, crew member David Karpul, deckhand Bodean Bosogne, and Dr. Daphne Lyell.

But the daredevil duo and team are as much doers as they are dreamers. They researched an audacious course and worked out a 24-day unassisted stage swim where they swam for 155 hours in the turbulent Mozambique Channel through abundant marine life, dealt with innumerable equipment breakdowns, and two scary cyclones. During their unprecedented country-to-country traverse, they swam nearly an average of 7 hours per day and raised funds for Cipla Miles For Smiles.

Stage Swim Results:
Day 1 – February 28th: 9.67 km @ 3.22 kph
Day 2 – March 1st: 39.12 km @ 6.52 kph
Day 3 – March 2nd: 22.16 km @ 3.69 kph
Day 4 – March 3rd: 18.18 km @ 3.03 kph
Day 5 – March 4th: 14.43 km @ 2.31 kph
Day 6 – March 5th: 10.14 km @ 1.69 kph
Day 7 – March 6th: 11.26 km @ 1.88 kph
Day 8 – March 7th: 18.48 km @ 2.77 kph
Day 9 – March 8th: 20.17 km @ 2.77 kph
Day 10 – March 9th: 17.33 km @ 2.34 kph
Day 11 – March 10th: 13.78 km @ 2.12 kph
Day 12 – March 11th: 10.88 km @ 2.21 kph
Day 13 – March 12th: 24.89 km @ 3.32 kph
Day 14 – March 13th: 29.26 km @ 4.18 kph
Day 15 – March 14th: 11.80 km @ 2.62 kph
Day 16 – March 15th: 24.00 km @ 3.16 kph
Day 17 – March 16th: 26.82 km @ 3.58 kph
Day 18 – March 17th: 24.05 km @ 3.24 kph
Day 19 – March 18th: 23.47 km @ 3.09 kph
Day 20 – March 19th: 20.81 km @ 2.97 kph
Day 21 – March 20th: 24.53 km @ 3.42 kph
Day 22 – March 21st: 10.69 km @ 1.73 kph
Day 23 – March 22nd: 17.44 km @ 2.75 kph
Day 24 – March 23rd: 15.40 km @ 2.17 kph

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association