Tough conditions for Cold Half Extreme Marathon Swim

The Cold Half 14km marathon swim took place in Hong Kong at the weekend. Seven solo swimmers and 16 two-person relay teams set off in tough conditions on Saturday morning from Tai Tam Bay. But the challenge of choppy water and 15 to 20 knot winds meant that only two of the seven soloists finished the course.

English Channel swimmer James Penrose, who had traveled from the UK for the race, said that the conditions were tougher than his Channel swim. Penrose was unable to complete the course. The challenge of the wind and waves can be seen from the GPS track lines of the swimmers (see below). “Many swimmers were pushed off-course and swam wider than usual,” says Doug Woodring, race director. “The winds after the Wall, just after the half-way point, were a force to be reckoned with, particularly if you were breathing on the right side and into the white caps.”

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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.