Let the Games begin!

I am just a couple of days away from starting my global journey and it is hard to keep the excitement. I have put down a significant amount of training, planning – and yes, investment – behind my Continents Seven project and I feel very much ready to start tackling continents, one by one.

My first major swim is going to be the so-called Port to Pub in Western Australia, i.e. the longest organized race in Oceania with 25km between Perth and Rottnest Island. The slightly shorter route of 19.7km was covered by the Rotto Swim last week and over 100 participants had to be taken out of the water after a 4-metre-long great white shark was sighted circling some of the swimmers. It is the first time this happens in 60 years but it is a good reminder that we sometimes swim in hostile environments that are not made for humans. If anything, this warning pumps further my adrenaline.

Flying from New York to Perth is not easy, so I will be breaking the trip in different legs and training in Waikiki Beach (Hawaii), in Tauranga (New Zealand) and in Sydney (Eastern Australia) during the week leading to the Port to Pub. Swimming in kiwi waters at the Sand to Surf race in Mount Maunganui on March 10 (2.6km) will actually be a good warm up and a great help for my Global Swim Series rankings. On the way back, I chose to fly via the Atlantic Ocean, so this will represent my second Round-The-World (RTW) trip in barely six months - this time Westbound and in 12 days.

Go West Young Man

The 25km version of the Rottnest Channel is tricky in the sense that you do a 5km loop by the shore in Cottesloe before you head out to Rottnest Island. Judging from the Rotto feedback it may also be choppy and have abundant jellyfishes… and sharks. And competition will of course be superb, in a country where open water swimming is almost a religion – Olympian Jarrod Poort won last year with a blazing fast 5h34’ (a few months before he was banned for 12 months for missed doping tests, but that’s another story). I will be competing with 44 great Australian swimmers as the first Spaniard ever to tackle the 25km, and the first to add a “second prison break swim”, given the past of Rottnest Island as lock-up land for indigenous men.

To sum up, the challenge of the first Continents Seven is great – but so are the rewards. I will be broadcasting live via my YouTube channel and Facebook page, and there will be a live tracker during the race, so stay tuned!