Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Imagine taking calls and emails from swimmers of all ages and abilities around the world – all throughout the year.

They all want to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar – one of the world’s most iconic waterways – and they want to do it roughly at the same time, at least during June through October.

Rafael Gutiérrez Mesa and his colleagues of the Asociación Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar – including Antonio Gil Bravo, Antonio Montiel Martin, Fernando Diaz Piñero, Sebastian Sanchéz Rios, and pilots Antonio Montiel and Sebastian Sánchez – deal with them and their goal to swim between Spain and Morocco at the entrance of the Mediterrean Sea,” says Steven Munatones.

Collectively, the Asociación Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar deftly manages tides, government authorities, marine traffic, personalities, schedules and expectations will professionalism, passion and care with requests coming from Spain, South Africa, England, America, Peru, Morocco, Mexico, Argentina, Poland, Denmark, Rumania, Italy, France, Germany, Chile, Puerto Rico, Luxembourg, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Australia, Gibraltar, Panama, Israel, Slovakia, Belgium, the Philippines, Cuba, Portugal, Brazil, Venezuela, Taiwan, India, Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Greece, Iran, Serbia, Austria, Croatia, Canada, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Guatemala, Switzerland, Uruguay, Japan, Sweden, Turkey and elsewhere around the world.”

The swimmers from various cultures and walks of life ultimately leave with a warm smile and a deep sense of satisfaction and gratitude due to the hospitality, safety precautions, and expertise of this hardy group of passionate channelistas.

They help deliver smiles and achieve dreams by safely escorting swimmers from one continent to another in one of the Oceans Seven channels. The Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association provides the opportunity for many individuals from all walks of life to achieve their greatest career athletic achievement or one of their life’s most memorable challenges. They plan, guide, and certify solo and relay crossings – both neoprene and bioprene – of the Strait of Gibraltar year in and year out. They manage everything from the bureaucracy of the Spanish and Moroccan governments to providing beautiful commemorative charts of swimmer’s crossings.

For their years of service, the Asociación Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar (Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association) was recently selected as an Honour Contributor (Organisation) in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in its Class of 2017. The Asociación Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar joins a stellar group of swimmers, administrators, escort pilots and organisations that will be inducted on April 22 in Windsor, England at the 2017 International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Ned Denison explains the honor. “The magic between two continents is further enhanced by the Rock and the Atlas mountains as well as the strategic importance of the opening to the Mediterranean. The shortest distance is from Punta Oliveros in Spain to Punta Cires in Morocco, a total distance of 14.4 km. More than 80 years of swimming have shown that the strong currents best support 16.5 km attempts from Tarifa to Punta Cires and depending on speed and conditions – landing along the coast to the south east for swims up to 22 km.”

The association’s website is here at www.acneg.com.

For more information on the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the April 22nd 2017 induction ceremony, visit its website at www.imshof.org or its Facebook page here.

Vito Bialla of California is shown in the ACNEG video above by Rafael Gutiérrez Mesa.

Lower photo shows Rafael Gutiérrez Mesa escorting Darren Miller across the Strait of Gibraltar together with Jamie Patrick, Jen Schumacher and Oliver Wilkinson.



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