Cook Strait swimming record smashed
Casey Glover wants "a bit of a break" after becoming the fastest Cook Strait swimmer, knocking off the crossing almost as swiftly as a ferry.
In his first attempt at the 26-kilometre strait, the 21-year-old from Lower Hutt touched land at the Marlborough Sounds' Perano Head yesterday 4 hours 37 minutes and 56 seconds after leaving Ohau Pt on Wellington's west coast.
He took more than 27 minutes off the previous best time of 5 hours 4 minutes - set by Dunedin swimmer Denise Anderson south to north in 1986 - and astounded Cook Strait veteran Philip Rush. Glover's time was also 2 hours 11 minutes faster than the previous best north-south swim.
His time equates to nearly 6kmh and compares favourably with the roughly three hours it takes ferries, though they travel a longer route from Wellington's inner harbour to Picton at the end of the Sounds.
After being welcomed by delighted family and friends back at Porirua's Mana Marina, Glover said he had no idea he would break the record by so much.
"It was a good day and I had good tides to push me. But it was hard the whole way."
He attributed his success to "training hard and swimming hard". The seas were choppy, but there was little wash and his main recollection after coming ashore was feeling "cold and stuffed".
He decided to swim the Strait because he liked sea swimming, having won the annual race between Kapiti Island and Paraparaumu five times.
He trained by swimming an average of 60 kilometres a week.
He was not planning another attempt - "unless someone breaks my record".
Rush, the attempt coordinator, said conditions were absolutely ideal.
"It was a good day and everything fell into place. We had a good swimmer, good weather conditions and a good pilot."
The record would stand for years. "You'd have to be someone pretty special to break it."
Glover's grandmother Andy Casey said she always knew he was special. "I think he's fantastic. He's got the drive to keep on keeping on instead of giving up. I'm very proud of him."
THE LONG CRAWL
There have been 69 successful swims by 59 individuals - 28 men and 31 women.
First successful swim: Barrie Devenport, 11 hours 20 minutes, November 20, 1962.
Fastest south-to-north: Denise Anderson, 5h 4min, January 20, 1986.
Fastest north-to-south: Casey Glover, 4h 37min 56s, April 13, 2008 (previously Tammy van Wisse, 6h 49min, March 10, 1999).
Slowest successful attempt: Rupali Repale, 19h 44min, March 9, 1998.
Youngest male: Eleven-year-old Aditya Raut, February 8, 2005.
Youngest female: Stephanie Bennington, 13, April 22, 2007.
Oldest male: Scott Coleman, 52, February 8, 2007.
Oldest female: Hana Wolzak, 46, April 9, 2007.
The Dominion Post