Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Raising the Bar in New Zealand

Two 50-person relay teams recently set a world lake swimming record in Lake Cane, Florida in September 2008 to benefit a local YMCA. The two groups finished their 100 km world record lake swim in 37 hours 6 minutes and 41 hours 15 minutes respectively. But, as the sport grows in popularity, the stakes just keeps getting higher…

Sometime between January 5-8th 2009, two groups of six swimmers each, lead by Chris and Penny Palfrey, will attempt a 126 km relay (78.2 miles) in Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand.

One relay will be all-female and the other team will be all-male, from four countries, each attempting a triple crossing of the beautiful crystal-clear lake. Using the relay rules of the English Channel, the swimmers will rotate one-hour legs throughout the swim which is estimated to take them between 30-35 hours.

Famed New Zealand swimmer and coach Philip Rush (shown above) is organizing the record attempt. The water temperature is expected to be between 14–18°C (58–66°F) and the swimmers will be swimming through at least one night.

Photo of Lake Taupo sunset by Travelx2. Copyright © 2008 by World Open Water Swimming Association

No comments: