Ocean Swimming To The Extreme

Ocean Swimming To The Extreme

In this year of the London Olympics, the theme Citius, Altius, Fortius (Latin for Faster, Higher, Stronger) is the theme of the world’s elite athletes.

In the open water swimming world, it seems the theme Longius, Durius, Frigius (Latin for Longer, Tougher, Colder) is the theme for the world’s most adventurous thrill-seeking swimmers.

The elements of risk on the most outlandish open water swims have gone up exponentially.

Not only are swimmers like Paul Lundgren, Penny Palfrey, Diana Nyad, Ram Barkai, Lynne Cox, and Joseph Locke pushing the envelope in terms of distance and temperature, but so are also the regulars at Sandycove, Serpentine and their colleagues from Melbourne to San Francisco.

In May, while Benoit Lecomte pushes off Tokyo Bay on his cross-Pacific Ocean swim to San Francisco, Dan Martin will wade into the waters of New York for his cross-Atlantic swim to the French port of Brest.

Both Lecomte and Martin will pinpoint their positions via GPS at the end of every swim and then jump back in at the same spot so they literally can say they will have swum the entire way across the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, respectively.

While Lecomte has the longer route and longer plan than Martin: 5-6 months to swim 5,419 miles or 8,721 km vs. 4 months swimming 3,600 miles or 5,793 km), Martin is doing his swim with only a swimsuit under traditional English Channel rules on his expected 18-month long Global Triathlon. After his 3,600-mile ocean swim, Martin takes off on a 9,000-mile bike ride across Europe and Asia into Alaska, then a 5,500-mile run across North America through Canada and back to New York.

Longius, Durius, Frigius indeed.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones