Fogle’s Atlantic swim attempt

Ben Fogle

In 2013 Ben Fogle will attempt to swim more than 3,000 miles from America to Cornwall. Supported by a yacht, Ben will need to swim more than 30 miles a day to reach his target of completing the crossing in under 100 days.

Swimming up to 12 hours a day, Ben will use the support yacht for sleeping and eating, logging his stop and start position each day to ensure he swims the entire distance himself.

The National Oceanography Centre is undertaking to assist with Ben’s challenge. In addition to providing information about the powerful Gulf Stream current that will make this attempt a possibility, scientists at the centre will be providing the latest micro sensors that can be attached to Ben’s wetsuit. This technology will provide information about the marine environment – such as temperature, salinity, biology – in remote areas that cannot usually be sampled.

In effect, Ben Fogle will be a human research probe, relaying information about his ocean environment to scientists back in the UK.

To complete the challenge in his target of 100 days Ben will have to swim the equivalent of the English Channel every day. Just one person has swum across the Atlantic Ocean to date. Ben will use a support yacht for sleeping and eating, logging his stop and start position each day to ensure he swims more than 3,000 miles. The exact start point and date will be dependent on meteorological and oceanographic conditions.

Ben has limited open water swimming experience and will spend the next year working with experts and swimmers to prepare him for the physical and mental challenge. He is also Trustee of the Royal Parks Foundation so he chose to launch his challenge at the Serpentine, an iconic open water swimming location in Hyde Park and the venue for the Open Water Swim at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

He said “I am daunted by the magnitude of this challenge, but I have never been one to take the easy option. You get out of life, what you put in and the greatest achievements come from the biggest challenges. If I can complete it, it will be the culmination of a childhood dream and the completion of an Atlantic circle that began in the North Atlantic in 2000 where I spent the year on Taransay. Having rowed East to West, I will complete the circle by swimming West to East back home to Cornwall.”