Oceans Seven, The Hell Of The North

Courtesy of Szentes Richard (Director), Dittrich Ervin (Director of Photography), and Kincses Árpád (Editor), North Channel, Northern Ireland to Scotland.

A documentary film about Mányoki Attila, a nominee for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Award, and his completion of the North Channel and the Oceans Seven.

Hungary’s Attila had left the most difficult channel of his Oceans Seven challenge for last. His long journey to complete the North Channel – with two previous attempts – was realized on August 26th 2019 with a tough 12 hour 11 hour crossing.

In August 2015, he attempted a crossing of the North Channel, but was pulled out unconscious. In August 2018, he attempted another crossing, but he was pulled by his escort crew and hospitalized for over a week after swimming 10 hours 40 minutes in the North Channel.

His cumulative time to complete the English Channel, North Channel, Tsugaru Channel, Catalina Channel, Cook Strait, Strait of Gibraltar and Molokai Channel was 64 hours 33 minutes 5 seconds – but none of it was as difficult as his final 35 km swim between Northern Ireland and Scotland. “I gave everything I had,” he explained later.

Infinity Channel Swimming reported the 53-year-old’s crossing as the 86th solo swim of the North Channel, the 79th swimmer, and the 47th male in history to be successful and caps off quite a prolific career of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Famer.

To achieve the Oceans Seven, he completed the following 7 channels:

1. English Channel in 2014 in 10 hours 46 minutes at the age of 49.
2. Tsugaru Channel in 2014 in 6 hours 29 minutes at the age of 49.
3. Molokai Channel in 2015 in 12 hours 1 minutes at the age of 50.
4. Catalina Channel in 2015 in 10 hours 59 minutes at the age of 50.
5. Cook Strait in 2016 in 6 hours 56 minutes at the age of 50.
6. Strait of Gibraltar in 2016 in 4 hours 8 minutes at the age of 51.
7. North Channel in 2019 in 12 hours 11 minutes 20 seconds at the age of 53.

But along the way, he also completed the 12.5-km Lake Balaton swim in Hungary in 1989, the 45 km Swimming Marathon of the Messinian Gulf in Greece in 1991, FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup events in Italy, Germany, Serbia, Greece, Egypt, Brazil and Argentina, open water swims in the Netherlands, Belgium, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, and Spain (Maratón Acuático Tabarca-Alicante), FINA Grand Prix races in Canada and the USA, crossed Lake Balaton in 2008 in 25 hours 42 minutes, did the Beltquerung swim in the Baltic Sea between Denmark and Germany, completed a 6 km Corinth Canal crossing, won the 15 km Cold Half in Hong Kong, completed the Swimming Marathon of the Messinian Gulf in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014, completed all four stage swims of the 2018 SCAR Swim Challenge in Arizona.

Attila was nominated for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Award with the following nomination:

Attila Mányoki is doggedly determined with several dozens of marathon swims under his cap all over the world. But the North Channel presented a massive obstacle for the Hungarian Hall of Famer. He was pulled out unconscious in 2016. He was pulled out by his escort crew and hospitalized for over a week after swimming 10 hours 40 minutes in 2018 when jellyfish venom led to his left lung to collapse only 2 km from his goal. Despite 12 days in a hospital including 8 days in the intensive care and 6 days unable to breath on his own, he came back a year later to complete his last channel goal and became the first Hungarian and 18th person in history to achieve the Oceans Seven. For being a charismatic ambassador of open water swimming and professional marathon swimming from Asia to Hawaii and from Europe to South America, for showing how meticulous preparation over years increased his ability to acclimate to long-time cold water immersion, for eloquently giving TV and media interviews and sharing explanations about achieving the Oceans Seven in the fastest cumulative time in history of 64 hours 33 minutes, Attila Mányoki is a worthy nominee for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

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