A British man is attempting an impossible human endurance challenge by hoping to become the first person to swim across 2,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to South America.
Ben Hooper’s bid to swim the Atlantic will rank alongside that of Edmund Hillary’s 1953 ascent of Mount Everest – if he succeeds swimming every single one of the 2,000 miles – according to legendary adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the only man to have travelled around the earth’s circumpolar surface.
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Ben Hooper’s 2,000-mile journey from Africa to Brazil should be likened to the conquest of the world’s highest mountain in terms of human accomplishment and historic importance, he said.
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Hooper, like Hillary, will create a “lasting and enduring legacy” if this year’s ‘Swim the Big Blue’ goes as planned.
Sir Ranulph, who reached the summit of Everest at the age of 65, said: “What Ben is trying to accomplish is remarkable.
“The Swim the Big Blue expedition has the potential of becoming the modern-day equivalent of Sir Edmund Hilary’s conquest of Everest.
“ Swimming every single mile of the Atlantic will require immense endurance, courage, bravery and, above all else, extraordinary willpower on Ben’s part to carry on despite his surroundings.
“If he can pull this off, then he will leave a lasting and enduring legacy in the world of record-breaking adventure and inspire many others to undertake their own personal challenges.”
Sir Ranulph is acknowledged as the world’s greatest living explorer today by Guinness World Records and the only man to have travelled around the earth’s circumpolar surface.
Hooper, a dad-of-one from Cheltenham, Glos., hopes to leave Dakar in Senegal on November 1 and reach Natal in Brazil within 120 days.
The 37-year-old will swim freestyle for 8 to 12 hours-a-day in two-blocks, sleeping aboard a support boat overnight during the near 4,000 mile sailing route.
He is expected to burn up to 12, 000 calories per day battling currents of up to seven knots and waves of over 20 feet high as he attempts to complete the straight line distance of 1,883 land miles (approx. 1600 nautical miles).
A prototype wetsuit developed by Arena will, he hopes, repel man-eating sharks and protect his skin from deadly jellyfish, extreme changes in water temperature, and the harsh equatorial sun.
If he completes the challenge, Hooper will be the first person in history to have swum across an ocean in full, every single mile.
His journey will be independently recorded, documented and verified by WOWSA and Guinness World Records through an independent observer.
The Swim the Big Blue expedition aims to raise £1million for charities including SOS Children, County Community Projects, Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres, Addaction, and Help 4 Henry.
Hooper, a former soldier and police officer, said: “The closer I come to starting the expedition, the more it sinks home just how momentous the challenge facing me really is.
“However, I feel that this is something I was born to do. I have a ‘water instinct’ and am ready to prove that anything is possible when you put your mind and spirit to it.
“The support of Sir Ranulph, the British public and, of course, my daughter will drive me on to success. As with Hillary and all the other great adventurers before me, failure is not an option I consider; and as the legend Muhammed Ali once said, nothing is impossible.”
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