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The Gladiator’s world swimming tour

Becoming an English Channel swimmer is tough, as we discovered in Oct / Nov 2011 issue of H2Open. For Thomas Noblett (AKA ‘The Gladiator), she (the Channel is most definitely female in his eyes) is his unruly mistress, and despite three times asking she is yet to let him across. But Thomas is nevertheless a remarkable swimmer who earlier in 2011 was part of a six-person team that achieved the longest every freshwater relay swim with 12 laps of Windermere, in the UK’s Lake District. Those 12 laps – in inclement weather and with 9 to 12 degree water temperatures – amounted to 126 miles.

After being fished out of the English Channel some 18 or so hours into his swim, Thomas decided to test his swimming skills and enjoy his passion elsewhere. He undertook a sort of world swimming tour, and sent us the pictures to prove it.
“I managed a dip in Bergen (Norway), was chased by seals in the Shetlands, fought rough seas in the Faroe Islands, braved 40 degree water in Iceland (Blue Lagoon), swam with icebergs in Greenland, was tracked by Killer Whales in Canada (Nova Scotia) and swam in the back end of the swells of Hurricane Katina, got dragged by a rip tide in Long Island New York, swam through a sewage compound in mid Pennsylvania (and wondered why people were shouting at me), and enjoyed the warm waters of Bermuda with a swarm of Barracuda and the odd Portuguese man of war. Finally I came home for a dip in my old swimming pool, Windermere, which is back down to 11 degrees.”

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I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.