Swimming Events Guide 2024

Wild Swimming Brothers take on world’s biggest whirlpools

Last year, brothers Calum, Robbie and Jack Hudson swam 145km down the river Eden. Their next challenge is somewhat shorter but perhaps more risky: they are taking on the world’s two biggest whirlpools, Saltstraumen and Moskenstraumen in northern Norway. The whirlpools lie off the edge of the Lofoten Islands above the Arctic Circle and the brothers will have to contend with some of the strongest tidal currents in the world.

1  Calum On The Boat With Lars And Therese From Aqualofoten On Route To The Moskenstraumen

Calum en route to the Moskenstraumen whirlpool

“We’re doing this to inspire you all to live a wilder life with a closer relationship to the natural world and to draw attention to the Norwegian government’s plans to drill for oil in this wildlife haven,” say the boys.

Saltstraumen is a narrow strait in Bodø with whirlpools of up to 10 metres in diameter when the tide is at its strongest. The brothers’ attempt to become the first people to swim the Saltstraumen will take place at slack tide when the strait is navigable. The crossing will be a 0.25km sprint across the channel.

The Moskenstraumen maelstrom is a system of tidal eddies and currents that forms whirlpools in the open sea between the islands of Moskenesøya and Værøy. The brothers will swim 8km across the maelstrom.

1  Calum In Reine Harbour After His First Swim In The Arctic Circle

Calum after his first swim in the Arctic Circle

“We’ve had journalists, reporters and many others tell us that the Saltstraumen and Moskenstraumen swims are impossible, that we’ll be sucked down into the abyss and won’t return from Norway,” say the brothers. “Sometimes it’s important to trust your instincts and follow your gut, we and our Norwegian team believe these swims are possible.”

The Hudson brothers’ Into the Maelstrom challenge started on Monday 22 August when they successfully crossed the Saltstraumen whirlpool. “The margin between success and the abyss turned out to be less than a minute with the current turning,” said Calum.

The brothers plan to tackle the Moskenstraumen on Wednesday 24 August.

Main image: Honza and Ivana Ebr

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Jonathan is a year-round skins swimmer with a particular love of very cold water. He has competed in ice swimming competitions around the world. He is a qualified open water coach with a particular love of introducing new swimmers to the open water.