Deaxo Croes, Davy Bisslik, Romar Arendsz, Wendy Kock-Croes, Stephan Thijsen Swim From Venezuela To Aruba Following In The Wake Of Roly Bisslik

Deaxo Croes, Davy Bisslik, Romar Arendsz, Wendy Kock-Croes, Stephan Thijsen Swim From Venezuela To Aruba Following In The Wake Of Roly Bisslik

Deaxo Croes, Davy Bisslik, Romar Arendsz, Wendy Kock-Croes, Stephan Thijsen Swim From Venezuela To Aruba Following In The Wake Of Roly Bisslik

Sponsored by KAATSU Global, Huntington Beach, California.

Courtesy of Francisco Goedgedrag and Deaxo Croes, Aruba.

In 1975 coach Roly Bisslik started a swimming team with a few friends and his family on his native island of Aruba. Swimming workouts were held along the shore of the Commandeurs Bay where hand-painted lines on the rocks marked t25, 50 and 100 meters.

But Coach Bisslik always had a dream to build a 50m pool in his hometown of Savaneta on the southeastern side of the Caribbean island near the South American continent.

He swam to make his dream a reality.

On August 7th 1988, Bisslik swam for more than 10 hours from the northern shore of Venezuela to Aruba, capturing the hearts and purse strings of many Arubans who donated enough money for the team to buy land right in his backyard. The land was sold to the government of Aruba for the symbolic price of afl. 1.00 with the sole purpose of constructing a 50m pool. The pool was later named Piscina Olimpico Roly Bisslik.

Coach and inspiration Roly Bisslik in 2018
Swimmer-coach Roly Bisslik in 1988 in the first unprecedented 30 km crossing from Venezuela to Aruba
In 2018, Bisslik paid it forward and coached five swimmers from Aruba – including his son – to follow in his wake and complete a 5-person tandem swim from Venezuela to Aruba.






Francisco Goedgedrag reported that 38-year-old Deaxo Croes (10 hours 20 minutes), 36-year-old retired Olympic swimmer Davy Bisslik (a record-setting 8 hours 43 minutes), 38-year-old Romar Arendsz (9 hours 48 minutes), 41-year-old mother of two Wendy Kock-Croes (10 hours 2 minutes), and 22-year-old Stephan Thijsen (9 hours 13 minutes) completed the 30 km tandem swim from Venezuela to Aruba on November 11th 2018. Under the escort of pilot Johannes L.J. Versteeg, crew members Charlene Leslie, Seanbrick Topperberg and Incoe Marsinus supported their crossing from Piedras Negras on Estado Falcon in Venezuela to Barcadera on Aruba.

They started from Venezuela facing white caps on the Atlantic Ocean under moderate winds. The swim was recorded with a Suunto 9 Sports Watch; a visual representation of his swim can be seen here. The charity swim supported the charitable organization ‘Koningin Wilhelmina Fonds’ that helps assisting cancer patients on Aruba.

For more information, visit Crossing For Hope.

Roly Bisslik introduces the swim:


Davy Bisslik:


Romar Arendsz:


Wendy_Kock-Croes:


Stephan Thijsen:


Deaxo Croes


Copyright © 2008 – 2020 by World Open Water Swimming Association