International Swim Feature: Swim Hellespont

As with our very own Harbour Crossing in Auckland, we think it’s pretty incredible just to cross from one side of the harbour to the other. So imagine swimming from one continent to another! Well that’s exactly what this group of kiwis did when they took on Swim Hellespont, which traverses the Turkish border of Europe and Asia, over the stretch of sea now known at the Dardanelles.

The historic swim originates in Greek mythology as the route that Leander would take every night to visit his lover, Hero. This would later serve as inspiration for the notorious British poet Lord Byron, who completed the swim in 1810, his experience of which is evident in several of his poems, including the famous Don Juan.

What started as a bunch of mates taking on a new open water challenge, soon grew into ‘Team Kiwi’ as several additional New Zealanders were discovered in the starting town of Çanakkale and ‘recruited’ into the pack! As participant Mark rightly says, “new friends, exciting locations, great challenges – and all down to open water swimming!” Now isn’t that what it’s all about?

What’s really touching is that these guys took a moment to remember their very own ocean swim series back home in this photo (from left to right: Rob Boston, Mark Hayes, John Sieprath, Peter Springford, Steve Haslett, Paul Cane & David Kennedy). Cheers guys – you did us proud!

Inspired? Or just darn jealous? Take a bite out of the legend yourself and find out more at Swim Hellespont.