Sylvain Estadieu Flies Into History

Sylvain Estadieu Flies Into History

Sylvain Estadieu, The Flying Frenchman, just does it. He plans a swim, trains for it, and does it. Over and over again.

And not just any swim in 2013. But a really tough swim, an unfathomable swim for everyone in the world but a small handful: a butterfly crossing of the English Channel – only the third such crossing in history.

For his 16 hour 42 minute all-butterfly swim was selected as the 2013 Male Solo Swim of the Year by the Marathon Swimmers Forum (see the finalists here).

Words do not give his courageous swim justice, but his video below gives a hint of his extraordinary effort across the English Channel:

More on Estadieu here.



His effort was also nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, an annual recognition of outstanding efforts by the world’s best open water swimmers. His nomination reads, “He publicly stated his goal; he trained diligently, and then stood confidently on the shores of Dover after long delays. Sylvain Estadieu was ready to tackle one of the most difficult feats in the ocean: 21 miles of uninterrupted butterfly, the most macho and most demanding of all swimming strokes. Double-arm forward, breathing straight ahead, legs together. One false stroke, one splitting of the feet, one breaststroke pull, one roll-over on his back, and his dream to become the third person in history to swim from England to France would be over. But he swam strongly and uninterrupted. For 16 hours 42 minutes of muscle-wrenching butterfly, for his courage in announcing his attempt and executing upon his plan, for his personable nature enhanced by his enjoyable, lighthearted approach to the sport, Sylvain Estadieu is a worthy nominee for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

Estadieu’s fellow nominees for the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year include:

1. BCT Gdynia Marathon, Prizing the Pros (Poland)
2. Bering Strait Swim, Crossing from Asia to America (International)
3. Emily Brunemann, FINA World Cup Winner (U.S.A.)
4. Héctor Ramírez Ballesteros, Battling Butterfly From Spain to Gibraltar (Spain)
5. Ka’iwi Channel Swim, Making the Most of Molokai (Hawaii)
6. Mateusz Sawrymowicz, The Polish Tiburon (Poland)
7. Melissa Cunningham, Every Stroke Counts (Australia)
8. Mohamed Marouf, Energizing Egypt (Egypt)
9. Ned Denison, 9 Swims Around The World (Ireland)
10. Night Train Swimmers, California Coastal Cruising (U.S.A.)
11. Richard Weinberger, Chasing Gold (Canada)
12. Swim4Good, Strait of Gibraltar Charity Crossing (Mexico)
13. Sylvain Estadieu, Flying Frenchman (France)
14. Wendy Trehiou, Two-way Toughness (Jersey)
15. Women’s 10K World Championship, Pack Finishing Fast (International)

The previous World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year recipients include:

* 2009: World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year – Andrew Smilley (Cayman Islands)
* 2010: World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year – Ventura Deep Six (USA)
* 2011: World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year – Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia)
* 2012: World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year – Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil (Spain) shown above

Online voting takes place here.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association