Cheltenham resident, Ben Hooper, is hoping to become the first person to ever swim the length of the Atlantic Ocean on a record-breaking expedition that will see him swim a staggering 2,000 miles in 120 days.
Dubbed ‘Swim the Big Blue’, the fearless swimmer will be setting off from Dakar Harbour in Senegal in November 2016, hoping to arrive in Natal in Brazil around four months later – tackling 30-foot surges, shark inhabited regions, jelly-fish, flying fish, the harsh Equatorial sun, and more.
Raging storms, heavy squalls and deadly currents aside, the former soldier and police officer is training locally at Leisure at Cheltenham to be in peak physical condition for the challenge.
Swim the Big Blue will see Ben swim in six-hour sessions, twice a day, with two hours rest in between, and time to sleep on the boat. The crew will note Ben’s distance to ensure he swims the full 2,000 miles and will pass him water every 60 minutes, making sure Ben does not touch the boat during his sessions in the ocean.
What’s more, the crew will keep an eye out for sharks and other deadly marine life with a counter-shark device and shark-safe chemical repellents equipped on the boat.
Ben will be raising money for four charities, SOS Children, Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre, Addaction, and County Community Projects. Plus, he hopes to create a sporting foundation to support other British explorers and endurance athletes.
Swim the Big Blue patron and great explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has described the challenge as ‘one of the last great bastions of exploration to remain unconquered’.
Monday 20 October 2014
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