Nejib Belhedi has completed his latest Iron Swim, a 21km swim across the Gulf of Gabes. In what has been dubbed ‘Heavy Swimming’, Nejib made his task that little bit harder by pulling a boat behind him for the duration of the swim.
Nejib swims for a purpose. Previous swims have included a 1400km Swim for Peace along the coastline of Tunisia that was Nejib’s contribution to the Arab Spring. He has also used swims to promote sport for the youth of Tunisia and the power of taking on challenges as an alternative to jihad. His latest swim was to promote sustainable tourism in the Gulf of Gabes, an ecologically sensitive area with a diverse population of marine wildlife and flora.
Despite strong currents and choppy seas, Nejib successfully completed the 21km circuit in 6 hours and 30 minutes. Following his success, Nejib announced that a World Iron Swim Olympiad will take place in the Gulf of Gabes in 2016. The event will be hosted jointly by the World Open Water Swimming Association and the Gulf of Gabes tourist board. If you want to take part in the event, you must have at least three major crossings on your swimming CV (eg, English Channel, Catalina Channel, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim). The event will consist of a 21km swim pulling a boat weighing 120kg. The swim must be completed in under 6 hours 30 minutes.