Pablo Fernández Álvarez Starts Swimming For 36 Hours

Pablo Fernández Álvarez Starts Swimming For 36 Hours

In May 2020, Pablo Fernández Álvarez of Spain set a new record of 25 hours in an Endless Pool in Madrid, Spain for the Longest Continuous Swim in a Counter-current Pool category. Today, he started on a new challenge to try to increase the record to 36 hours.

Watch him live below. At his 5-minute break at the 11th hour, he had a small bite of avocado and water. At his break at the 25-hour mark (which was the former record back in 2020), he had a medical check-up and had a pulse of 72 heartbeats per minute.  He said, “I am feeling great and feeling even better than in the second hour of the record swim where I thought that maybe I wouldn’t make it.

The Longest Continuous Swim in a Counter-current Pool is a solo swim conducted in an Endless Pool or any kind of swim spa. The Guinness World Record for this speciality niche of marathon swimming (or perhaps stage swimming?) continues to be repeatedly broken.

  • In February 2014, Chloë McCardel of Australia set the record in 16 hours at the SPASA Victoria consumer Pool & Spa + Outdoor Living Expo in Australia.
  • In May 2018, Dennis T. Seiler-Holm of Denmark set a new record of 17 hours 7 minutes 1.82 seconds in a Swim Spa in Denform Expo in Aarhus, Denmark.
  • In October 2019, Yuko Matsuzaki of Japan set a new record of 24 hours 1 minute in the Seaside LagoonRedondo Beach, California.
  • In May 2020, Pablo Fernández Álvarez of Spain set a new record of 25 hours in an Endless Pool in Madrid, Spain.
  • In June 2020, Alberto Lorente of Spain set a new record of 30 hours.
  • In November 2020, Mayra Santos of Brazil set a new record of 31 hours 7 minutes in Caniço, Madeira Island, Portugal.
  • In November 2021, Olympic champion Maarten van der Weijden of the Netherlands set a new record of 32 hours 20 minutes 50 seconds in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

The rules governing these attempts are below:

  • Swimmers may take up to 5 minutes per every 60-minute period to use the restroom, eat, drink, stretch and rest.
  • Resting over 5 minutes per hour leads to disqualification.
  • Swimmers can split up their 5-minute rest periods per 60 minutes as they wish. For example, they can rest up to 2 minutes in the first hour and then up to 3 minutes in the same hour.
  • The maximum 5-minute rest periods cannot be consecutive. For example, you cannot rest for 4 minutes in the last 4 minutes of the first hour and rest another 4 minutes in the first 4 minutes of the second hour.
  • Standing up in the pool or hanging on the side of the pool is considered part of the allocated rest period.
  • Incidental and accidental touching of the sides or end of the pool – if momentary – are acceptable and is not counted as part of the allocated rest period.
  • Any swim stroke can be used (i.e., freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, sidestroke, kicking only).
  • Standard swimwear can be used, but no finshand paddlespull buoyskickboardssnorkels, or wetsuits are to be used.
  • Swimming can be performed at any speed. That is, the speed of the counter flow can be reduced. However, the swimmer must continue to swim, albeit at a slow pace if necessary.
  • Swimming consists of movement of at least one limb (arm or leg). That is, a swimmer can kick using one or both of their legs only or pull using one or both of their arms only if they wish or if they get tired or sleepy.
  • Eating and drinking is permitted while swimming if the swimmer can do so. For example, the swimmer can eat or drink on their back while they are kicking and using one or none of their arms. This is not considered part of their rest period.
  • Swimmer must be observed by at least one observer (witness) at all times. However, solo lengthy shifts over 4 hours by one observer are not recommended. For observation purposes and for the swimmer’s safety, it is recommended that a minimum of two observers take short shifts to monitor the swimmer at all times.
  • The observers should monitor and document in writing all major events during the attempt (e.g., time and duration of the rest periods, the start and finish times, the type of swimming stroke used and when, the number of arm strokes per minute periodically recorded, the types of food and drink consumed and when, the location of attempt, the names and contact information of key volunteers, observers, and staff).
  • It is strongly encouraged to have the swim videotaped and preferably livestreamed and posted on social media.
  • Swimmers can adjust the speed of the countercurrent as they wish.  That is, if they get tired, they can reduce the speed of the countercurrent.

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Steven Munatones