First Circumnavigation Around Tiree Called Short

After the 16th hour, it was decision-time for Anna Wardley and her crew on her quest to become the first person to swim around island of Tiree off the west coast of Scotland.

54,720 strokes into the unprecedented swim as part of her Five Island Swim Challenge and she figures that the total number will increase to 82,000 strokes by the time the 30-mile circumnavigation is completed.

But the tides and currents are tricky as she plugged away along the north of Tiree with 5 miles to go to reach Gunna Sound, the narrow stretch of water between Tiree and the neighbouring island of Coll. The air temperature was 15.4ºC (59ººF) and the sea was only slightly cooler at 14.6ºC (58ºF) as Wardley was sandwiched by the safety team of Corinne Gillard, Matt Pryor, and Tom Savage in a RIB and kayak.

Her team reported, “…she was tired at her last feed stop, but still moving in the right direction. Darkness will be the next obstacle between Anna and a new world record. With the sun setting by 9.30 pm and very little moon to light her way, she will have to negotiate the final miles in darkness. We’ve had no further reports of jellyfish, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there, and Gunna Sound is also a favourite hang out of the giant basking sharks.”

She has received more donations towards her target of £50,000 for her three charities: The Samaritans, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, and Sail Africa. Every time someone makes a donation the information is relayed via text to Wardley’s crew on her escort flotilla.

But after 16 hours 9 minutes, her swim fell short and she was been taken out of the water after finishing approximately 22 miles of the 30-mile swim as she support team focused on getting her warm and onto dry land. Her valiant attempt proved the old maxim of marathon swimming that the very first success in a new body of water is the most difficult to accomplish.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
Steven Munatones