The Swim & Rules agreed with WOWSA to verify for Guinness World Record:
"First person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean"
Departing: November 2016 in Dakar, Senegal.
Arriving: March 2017 in Natal, North-East Brazil.
”Swim The Big Blue” will chart a course from Dakar, Senegal to Natal, Northern Brazil across the open Mid-South Atlantic Ocean.
Using freestyle swimming (front crawl) Ben will swim up to a total of 10 hours per day in two sessions to allow for recovery and lowering injury risk, over approximately 140 days.
He will need to swim at least the straight line distance of 1,632 nautical miles (1,879 statute miles) to achieve the record, mainland coastline (Africa) to mainland coastline (Brazil).
He will be taking a near 3,000 nautical mile sailing route due South and across the equator, to account for drift whilst asleep on the boat at night and not harm the straight line distance needing to be swum for the world-first.
It would be impossible to return daily to the exact GPS exit point due to the volume of fuel required for the 4-month duration, to fight the ocean and following winds daily. Therefore, the controlled drift at night (on the long sailing route) will be accounted for in this extra-long, sailing route and of course DOES NOT count towards the swim total required.
Every day the total current assist in nautical miles will be calculated, and deducted from the gross swim total, to ensure that what is left is a raw swim distance in nautical miles. It is the raw distance that will be calculated for the record, therefore taking out current assist from the swim (agreed with WOWSA).
GWR Record definition
- This record is for the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean.
- This record is to be attempted by an individual.
- This is to be undertaken under the auspices of the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA).
GWR Rules for "First person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean," record
- This record is for swimming across the Atlantic Ocean from mainland coastline to mainland coastline.
- This record attempt must be undertaken under the auspices of the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA). Once the record has been ratified by WOWSA, the claimant must submit a confirmation letter from WOWSA, in which the record achievement and all details of it (dates, times and start and stop locations) are confirmed.
The straight line distance is 1,632 nautical miles to take account of conversion from land miles and curvature (as agreed with WOWSA) but is likely to be closer to 1650 nautical miles upon completion (1900 statute miles) or more.
Map of Straight line distance
His epic swim will take him over 30-foot swells, passing through shark inhabited regions, and without doubt, he will encounter jelly fish, flying fish and a harsh Equatorial sun. Then, there will be “The Doldrums” and her stillness, humidity, lack of movement…yet at any time the dead calm could explode into raging storms, heavy squalls and lightning to sting the sea.
Ben will feed every 20-30 minutes in the water during his swim sessions receiving food or drink by pole or throw from support team
Ben will have no contact with support vessels or kayak/RIB during his daily swim sessions (unless safety, emergency or health concern)
Ben will swim 2-sessions per day (weather and conditions permitting)
Records will be kept as per WOWSA solo-swim document, copy of captains log & additional spreadsheet of further information, evidence and film footage will be recorded daily
Ben will not be wearing a wetsuit unless extreme conditions or safety require this and it will be detailed and recorded if need be as assisted swim if so; otherwise, he will wear swim shorts, hat and goggles with Vaseline as per channel swim rules
Ben will be wearing or surrounded by at least one Shark Shield device, as will the boat be equipped with a counter-shark device and "Shark Defense" chemical repellents.
Swimming in sea temperatures ranging from 26 – 34 degrees centigrade, (68 – 94 Fahrenheit), with currents from 0.5-2 knots flowing westward and north-west, this will be a gruelling trial of endurance and mental strength unlike any before. When successful, Ben will be the first man in history to have swum an ocean in full, every single mile of The Atlantic Ocean and will be the first man to explicitly and transparently detail his swim (WOWSA & Guinness World Records).
There are no rules to date that have been created for full distance Ocean swims, as this is a word-first. Therefore, transparency is essential in terms of ensuring every single mile is swum and we will have our medic acting as independent observer, filming, GPS and marine logs as well as Ben's own watch computer to monitor his swims. All of which will be monitored and verified for and by WOWSA and then Guinness World Records.
During this rest period (and overnight) Ben will be aboard the boat where he will sleep and consume a high carbohydrate, fat and protein diet as well as rehydrating. He may burn up to 12,000 calories per day.
A total of up to 2000 land miles in approximately 140 days; 128,720 lengths of a 25m swimming pool; 3.21 million meters of open ocean using around a total of 2.1 million strokes depending on fatigue, weather and sharks.
Every detail will be logged, independently observed and verified and with filming from Chief Productions and video diary will give full and transparent accounts of the expedition and its support team.
This is it, Ben and The Atlantic Ocean.