Most Difficult Swims In The World - Southern Hemisphere

Most Difficult Swims In The World – Southern Hemisphere

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. The world has innumerable locations for incredibly hard open water swims. Rough conditions, cold water, sharks, jellyfish, tides, currents, long distances, high altitudes and logistical considerations are the primary obstacles.

What are some of swims in the Southern Hemisphere that would be on the ultimate open water swimmer’s bucket list?

The potential list could be extremely long.

THe World Open Water Swimming Association selected fifteen tough challenges, excluding stage swims, adventure swims and relays that are categorized separately.

1. False Bay: The 33 km across False Bay from Rooiels to Miller’s Point has eluded many who have attempted it. It has been attempted 22 times with only five successes who have survived the hugely strong currents and ever abundant Great White Sharks.

2. Rottnest Channel Swim: 19.7 km of turbulent waters amid thousands of open water swimming colleagues of rugged stock in the largest marathon swim in the world with categories for both soloists and relays.

3. Cook Strait: 16 nautical miles of strong currents and tidal flows with sharks and abundant marine life. 81 swimmers have conquered the powerful ocean swells, turbulent conditions and cold water (sub-15°C or 59°F).

4. Southern (Antarctic) Ocean: 3 individuals – living legends of the extreme world – have pioneered swims at the bottom of the Earth. But with more and more people regularly swimming in sub-3°C or 37°F), expect more swimmers to take 1 km – 1 mile challenges in the driest, coldest continent on Earth.

5. Robben Island Channel: the infamous island prison sits 6.9 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. Site of the roughest, toughest annual competition in cold water has plenty of marine life, including sharks, that can give swimmers the shivers.

6. Beagle Channel: Even at its narrowest point of 5 km, the waterway between Chile and Argentina present significant obstacles for everyone but the most hardy extreme swimmers. Besides the cold water (sub-4°C or 39°F), swimmers also face currents, surface turbulence and the dreaded williwaw.

7. Strait of Magellan: Even for ships, this passage between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans is difficult because of the unpredictable winds and currents. Add the cold water and waves, and this waterway is gnarly and treacherous – too dangerous for everyone but the best prepared and most capable swimmers with expert safety crews.

8. Cape Horn: Long known as a sailor’s graveyard, the southernmost point of Chile is an extremely hazardous place to swim due to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs.

9. Lake Titicaca: Cold water (56-58°F/13-14.5°F) combined with high altitude (3,811 meters or 12,500 feet above sea level) in the highest lake in the Americas makes for tough swimming. Sitting on the borders of Peru and Bolivia, swimmers need to elevate their game in this leg of the Still Water Eight.

10. Cape Peninsula: 75 – 100 km of rocky shoreline bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the southwestern tip of the African continent. Between the Cape of Good Hope in the south and Table Mountain in the north, swimmers face unforgiving ocean swells, extremely rough conditions, cold water, powerful currents and an abundance of sharks.

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