He almost made it look easy and he certainly made it look fun.
“I swam with dolphins for over an hour,” reports Walker from New Zealand. “I think they were protecting me from a shark that drifted below.”
Armed with an innate tenacity and enhanced with years of swimming, the leading British Oceans Seven challenger admitted not all was easy. “The last 6 km was tough. I had to sprint for 1 hour 15 minutes solid to ensure currents didn’t take me.”
On Facebook, he wrote, “It was a swim of two halves really, although the tide took me wider than we would have liked from the start. I covered around 10k of the 26k in 2.5 hours, however this channel like the others wasn’t going to let me off that easy! It then began to slow me down no matter how hard I worked and there were times I had to put short spurts on to stay on course. However, more important than that a pod of dolphins accompanied me out of nowhere. At first I thought it was a shark when a fin went powering towards me, but fortunately not! However I did see a small shark around this time which was very deep and I wonder whether the dolphins had come to protect me…I’d like to think that. The dolphins were so close to me that on my pull I had to position it in between them and actually touched them a couple of times. It was a dream and even more so as my charity is ‘Whale and Dolphin Conservation’ They guided me forwards and kept me entertained staying with me for 15 minutes, going to the boat and doing some part tricks, then coming back to me. Phil Rush said they had seen dolphins before on crossing but only for a few minutes not for an hour, I felt very privileged and honored!
The most critical time of the swim was with 6 km to go, I had to stay west of some big rocks called ‘The Brothers‘ or the swim could be over. I shouted out to New Zealand open water swimming legend Phil Rush, ‘There’s jellyfish everywhere.’ He ignored this and screamed ‘Go, go fast as you can.’
I was due for a feed which he was very meticulous about up to now, but ignored that due to the necessity of beating the current. I had to swim flat out for 1 hour 15 minutes which was necessary to get past it. I’m glad it ended when it did!“
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