Ross Edgley swims around Great Britain for first time in history

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

On Sunday, Ross Edgley, aged 33, completed his 157-day (five-month) staged swim around Great Britain mainland. He went ashore at Margate, Thanet, Kent, England at 8:40 a.m. local time. This was the first time a human swam the roughly 2,800 km (1750 miles) around the island.

Ross Edgley at the beach at Margate, wearing a UK flag around his neck.
Image: Nigel McGinley.
The crowd of spectators at the beach.
Image: Nigel McGinley.
Matt Knight, sailor of the support ship 'Hectate', ashore on Sunday.
Image: Nigel McGinley.

The finish line was marked by a large air-filled construction at the beach, with the Red Bull brand on it. Upon reaching the shore, Ross Edgley was welcomed by a large crowd, several hundreds of people. People ordered three pizzas for Ross Edgley at local theme park Dreamland.

Ross Edgley said, "It feels a bit weird on land, [...] a bit too solid for my liking! I almost fell over when I started to jog into shore. [...] My feelings now are pride, tiredness and relief. It's been a team effort and it's thanks to the whole crew, the support I've received from the public."

Several hundred swimmers joined Ross Edgley on the last mile. Two Red Bull planes also accompanied the swimmer at the last mile.

Ross Edgley had been swimming for six hours twice each day when possible, in a wetsuit. He spent the remaining time eating or sleeping on his support boat, a catamaran named "Hectate". Sailor Matthew Knight piloted the catamaran.

Ross Edgley shared photos and text about the adventure on Instagram. The photos and communication showed that he faced problems with jellyfish and large waves, while in other times the weather favoured his swim. He also sustained bruised feet as a result of the swimming. In the salt environment he also had "disintegrating tongue".

On August 14, the 74th day of the swim, Ross Edgley reportedly beat the world duration record for a staged sea swim, 73 days. Ross Edgley started the swim on June 1. Red Bull backed the swim.

In 2016 Ross Edgley climbed a height equivalent to Mount Everest's, on a rope in less than 24 hours.

Ross Edgley is from Lincolnshire.