LAWYER-triathlete Ingemar Macarine will lead an attempt to have the first Filipino swim the length of the English Channel.
The First Filipino English Channel Swim, organized by the First Filipino International Movement, is the first crossing by Filipino swimmers of the sea passage that separates the United Kingdom and France. The 35-kilometer swim in the icy waters of the North Atlantic is considered the “Mount Everest” of open water swims and is a test of physical and mental strength, courage and sheer determination.
Dubbed the “ Pinoy Aquaman” for his successful long distance swims between islands around the Philippines, the Bohol-based Macarine will attempt the feat in mid-August. Official open water rules require swimmers to attempt the challenge clad in nothing more than ordinary swimming trunks, swim cap and goggles.
Cunanan said the team expects the swim to be completed in approximately 13 to 15 hours, depending on weather conditions and currents. According to the Channel Swimming Association website, the temperature in the channel varies from 15 to 18 degrees celsius.
As part of preparations, Macarine will make several regular open water swims all over the country and multiple sessions in the cold water pool of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City. From late June, he and his team will be based in the seaside city of Folkestone, in the southern UK where Macarine will continue cross-training and begin open water trials and temperature acclimatization.
The swim is intended to raise awareness of climate change and global warming and foster international friendship.
For the historic event, the First Filipino International Movement tied up with San Miguel Corporation and its subsidiary San Miguel Brewery Inc., the makers of Red Horse Beer which holds the company’s extreme sports equity.
In February 2014, the organization’s kick-off event took place in South Africa when two of its swimmers braved the threat of great white sharks and the cold waters of the South Atlantic to become the first Filipinos to cross the Robben Island channel to Cape Town.
The swim, a distance of 8 kilometers and accomplished in under three hours, was done in honor of the late Nelson Mandela and to thank South Africans for their help in Leyte in the aftermath of the Typhoon Haiyan.