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Preparing For Swimming The Big Blue

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Ben Hooper answered some quick questions before his adventure, Swim The Big Blue across the Atlantic Ocean begins. He will start from Sénégal around February 10th.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is the exact location of your start? Why there?

Ben Hooper: Dakar, Senegal – Shortest route across The Atlantic and ideal conditions temperature-wise.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What do you think your last thoughts will be when you enter the water at the start?

Ben Hooper: Have I got everything I need? Did I switch the iron off? I hope I do this and show that nothing is impossible! My daughter…

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Does nervousness ever come into your psyche?

Ben Hooper: Not nerves, just a fear of failure and not swimming every, single mile for the record and a world-first.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What will be your favorite meals on board during your crossing?

Ben Hooper: No idea, they are all military ration. It is all about functionality I am afraid, although I may take some Mars bars with me.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you estimate the time it will take you to cross the Atlantic? What were your assumptions?

Ben Hooper: Based on my current performance in open water/ocean swimming; with breaks during the day and over night; and worst case weather, I should be looking to range between 10-13 miles per day over 140-150 days (after deducting current assistance from total daily swim mileage). Remember, the straight line course is 1,863 miles. Sailing route nearly 4,000 miles to allow for controlled drift at night and deduction of current assist.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What kind of training are you doing between now and the start?

Ben Hooper: A lot of logistics and boat preparation; training has had to ease off. I will be pool swimming sessions of 10 km plus gym and moving to Senegal as soon as possible to take 20-25 km into heat and appropriate conditions for a month before the start, including sea swimming in the Atlantic once more.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Good luck to you.

Ben Hooper: Thank everyone for all of their support – nothing is impossible!

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: You will come across all kinds of currents, eddies, and possibly even the doldrums during your transoceanic swim. How can people follow you?

Ben Hooper: Our progress across the Atlantic will be made public on the website so our progress and calculations can be seen from east to west, from Dakar to Natal, Brazil, a distance of at least 1,731 miles (2,786 km).br>

Ever since childhood I have dreamed of swimming across the giant Atlantic monster we call an Ocean. Her depths, mystery and sheer power are all consuming of not only my vivid imagination but our weather, our lives and the lives of those who live in and sail upon her.

As a child I have played, dreamed, watched her horse’s race up to our shores and when angry, punish the United Kingdom coastline. I have witnessed and heard stories of sharks, jelly fish, and waves as tall as a cruise ship, mysterious lights and fish that leap out of the sea to greet you. As an adult I have dived beneath her watery body and recreationally swum among her beautiful crests, the most dangerous of territories that is both unpredictable and awesome in appearance.

The dream of swimming with her, free and so insignificant in the aquatic hands of Poseidon, conquering the unknown, is frightening, inspiring, exciting and now.”

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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