It took him 157 days, but Ross Edgley has completed his circumnavigation swim around Great Britain. Edgley began his attempt to swim around the entirety of Great Britain on June 1, leaving from Margate in southeast England. The swimmer completed the 1,791-mile swim on Sunday.
The swim was sponsored by the energy drink Red Bull. Edgley swam for 12 hours every day, sleeping at night on a catamaran. His diet consisted of 10,000 to 15,000 calories every day to keep up his stamina.
During the swim, he was stung by jellyfish 37 times. He also endured spells of wild weather, strong tides, and tough currents in the cold water. There were also many magical moments. A female minke whale swam next to him for several miles in the Bristol Channel.
Edgley was joined for the final mile by hundreds of fellow swimmers, swimming hard against the tide to return to Margate where he started. As he reached dry land, scores of supporters gave him a rousing cheer. In an interview, Edgley called the swim “hands down, the hardest thing to do on so many levels.”
He is now being treated for several medical issues that arose during the swim. The effort took toll on his body, most significantly with shoulder pain and wetsuit chafing. The exposure to saltwater led to the disintegration of part of his tongue.
Edgley broke three world records with the attempt. The 33-year-old British endurance athlete becomes the first swimmer to successfully circumnavigate the coast of Great Britain. Edgley also broke records for the longest staged sea swim and for the fastest swim between Britain’s southernmost and northernmost points.
This was not Edgley’s first world record attempt. He was previously entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for completing a rope climb the equivalent height of Mount Everest in 19 hours in April 2016. Edgley now says that he is looking for his next challenge.