Friday, October 9, 2009

By Way Of The Bristol Channel

Gethin Jones of Swansea became the first person to swim across the Bristol Channel from Ilfracombe to Swansea. The Bristol Channel is an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean that separates Wales from southwest England. Gethin swam 30.5 nautical miles in 21 hours and 39 minutes.

With an English Channel crossing under his belt, Gethin faced a longer distance and the world's second largest tidal variation when crossing the Bristol Channel. "The swim was definitely as tough as I imagined," said the 43=year-old Gethin. "In the end, we weren't sure where we were going to land. I just needed to touch the cliff, but I made the decision to swim that little bit extra in order to come into Caswell Bay, my training beach."

When asked if he ever thought about giving up, Gethin said, "Giving up? Of course, I did. It's all part of the challenge, but the the difference between thinking about it and actually giving up is quite simply the difference between success and failure."

Although the final stretch was extremely difficult due to a shoulder problem, Gethin enjoyed a great start, "The sunset was awesome. Then there was a star show. It was one of the most amazing nights I have ever had. It was like being in a cocoon."

A video of Gethin's swim, including his final walk up the beach in Swansea, can be seen here.

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