Exclusive interview: Ross Edgley on 100 days swimming at sea
Reaching 100 days and 1,230 miles into his epic Great British Swim tomorrow (8th September), Ross Edgley is starting the journey back down to the South Coast. He took a break to tell us about whales, sprinting past ferries and plans for the next 600 miles…
220: So you’ve done 100 days at sea, Ross! How does that feel?
Ross: Well, it’s a weird landmark, 100 days, because there’s still so far to go! I think it’s like a lot of the things we’ve celebrated, for example when we did the South coast we were all like “yay!” because we only had to go up and round, then when we got to John O’Groats we were all like “yay!” again because then we only had to come all the way back down again… So now we’re all going “yay!” at 100 days but the funny thing is there’s still 600 miles to go!!
I’ve got such an amazing team and I think I speak for the whole team when I say the only thing we’ll celebrate from this point now will be arriving in Margate. By Open Water Swimming Federation rules, if we don’t touch Margate this entire swim will go down as a DNF! That would just be brutal!
220: Tell us about your highs and lows so far!
Ross: My high point was the Bristol Channel. I was swimming for about 10 miles and a giant Minke Whale guided me all the way to Wales! Me and the captain were talking and we realised the whale maybe thought I was an injured seal. It was so sweet. As soon as we got to Wales the whale kind of swum off, as if to say ‘ok, you’re safe now’. That was just amazing.
My low point… Probably the West coast of Scotland between Mull of Kintyre and Toblemory as it was between there I took the most jellyfish stings. That wasn’t pleasant!
220: What are you expecting next?
We’ve just done a huge mull in Scotland which was waaaay bigger than I thought it was! The next big hurdle is Peter’s Head which I’m told will make Dover look quite tame as we have to sprint across it when there’s a gap in the ships. The coastguards have been just amazing. They asked us “how quick is the swimmer, because it’s busy here”, and we said, well, if we have to sprint then we have to sprint! That’s an interesting point actually, because this challenge is a bit like triathlon in that we’ll have a game plan, but that all means nothing if you have to sprint because you’re about to get hit by a giant ferry! I can be like “yes, but I need to regulate my heart rate right now” and they’ll be like “NO. Just GO!” I’m looking forward to that, but only to get it out of the way…
Getting back to British waters is going to be amazing and going round Lincolnshire, which is home, I’m looking forward to… Then of course touching land in Margate!
Stats from Ross’s Swim So Far…
Ross has broken a number of records since the Great British Swim began. By the end of June Ross had became the first ever person to swim the length of the English Channel. In mid-August he surpassed the world record for the Longest Staged Sea Swim of 73 days, set by Benoît Lecomte who swam across the Atlantic Ocean in 1998. Finally, last week he became the first ever Britain to swim the 900 mile journey from Lands’ End to John O’Groats in a record breaking 62 days.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Ross has previously rope climbed the equivalent height (8,848m) of Mount Everest inside 24 hours, completed a triathlon with a tree strapped to his back, and completed a marathon whilst dragging a Mini Cooper!