Gustavo Oriozabala From Gran Malvina To Isla Soledad

Gustavo Oriozabala From Gran Malvina To Isla Soledad

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Carlos Aznar remembers his friend, Gustavo Oriozabala.

After his illustrious professional marathon swimming career, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer from Argentina continued to swim and challenge himself as a solo swimmer.

In 2006, Gustavo became the first person to swim between islands in the Falkland Islands.

Known as the Islas Malvinas in Spanish, the archipelago is located 290 miles (460 km) east from the coast of mainland South America. Oriozabala swam 8 km in 90 minutes between Gran Malvina and Isla Soledad – the first time anyone had swum between any of the 778 islands in the South Atlantic Ocean.

He had negotiated for years to arrange the swim that happened 24 years after Argentina and the UK fought over the islands. It took him 90 minutes to swim across between Saint Mont and Puerto San Carlos. “I knew it was going to be the most demanding test [of my career],” recalls the 8 hour 59 minute English Channel swimmer. “Two times, I was on the verge of quitting because of the intense cold of the water, 3-5ºC. The winds and strong swells were challenging as I was going hypothermic. I was slowing down, but I believe the emotion [about the war] kept me going.”

Oriozabala has also completed the following swims:

*42 km (26-mile) Traversée internationale du lac Memphrémagog in Canada in 1991, 1992, 1993
*34 km (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada in 1992, 1993, 1994
*36 km (22.5-mile) Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, New Jersey USA in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993
*32 km (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in 1991
*57 km (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda river swim in Argentina in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
*42 km (26-mile) Ponza-Cierco swim in Italy in 1990, 1991
*28 km (17.3-mile) Furth-Nurenberg swim in Germany in 1994
*41 km (25.4-mile) Cruce Bahia de Todos swim in Brazil in 1991
*35 km (21.7-mile) Silvan Lake swim in Canada in 1993
*88 km (54.6-mile) Hernandarias-Parana river swim in Argentina in 1993, 1994
*25 km (15.5-mile) Holland swim in 1995
*English Channel on 11 September 1993 in 8 hours 59 minutes
*41 km (25-mile) Rio de Plata swim from Urugary to Argentina in 1993 in 27ºC water
*180 km (112-mile) Parana River Crossing in Argentina in 20:07
*47 km (29.2-mile) double-crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 14 hours 14 minutes
*Strait of Magellan in 2001 two-way
*Beagle Channel in 1998 three-way
*Lake Titicaca in 1998, 20 km between Peru and Bolivia
*Strait of Gibraltar in 1994 two-way in 13 hours 42 minutes
*8 km between Gran Malvina and Isla Soledad in the Malvinas (Falkland Islands) in 2006
*Water World Swim 3rd Winter Alcatraz first skin in 30:05

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones