A few Sundays ago there was a swim in one of my favorite places, Lyall Bay, a beautiful beach looking towards Cook Strait. I could not swim as I am still recovering from my 10k swim. But I went to cheer the brave swimmers that were defying the elements. As opposed to swimming in the harbor, this is real Open Ocean Swimming. Like crossing the Cook Strait. 26 km in one of the most energetic parts of the world. Crazy!! My 10 km swim, which I already thought it was a massive effort, it would have only taken me a bit more than 1/3 of the way!!! I cannot even think what would have been to swim what I did again, and again, in salt water, with strong currents pushing me around, and with all sort of creatures lurking underneath me… Those guys are my heroes!!!
Actually, not all the Cook Strait swimmers make it to the other side and it mostly depends on the tides. Do you know that only 103 swimmers have achieved the Cook Strait crossing so far? The whole crossing is a mission! You have to be careful planning the swim and coordinating with the tides if you don’t want to end up like the swimmer in this paper!
And talking about swimmers achieving the Cook Strait crossing, last Friday (25th February) Caitlin O’Reilly swam the Cook Strait in 7 hours, 19 minutes and 15 seconds, becoming the youngest female to do it, she is 12 years old. How amazing is that? To put things on perspective, my 10 km swim took me 4h and 20 minutes, she has done 3 times that distance in less than double the time.
But this is not the first time that very young swimmers achieve such huge swims, and neither older swimmers. I will leave the singularities of swimming as a sport for next post. In the mean time, have you even swum in strong currents? Did it make a difference the time of the day you went swimming?