Pune man becomes first Asian to complete Ocean Seven Challenge

Feb 11, 2018, 12:00 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

32-year-old finished the marathon by swimming across Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand in 8 hours 37 minutes

Rohan More is only the ninth person in the world to have completed the marathon
Rohan More is only the ninth person in the world to have completed the marathon

The sea is as perilous as it is calm. And, no one knows that better than Rohan More who became the first Asian to swim across seven of the world's toughest ocean channels this month. On February 9, the 32-year-old resident of Senapati Bapat Road in Pune, swam across the Cook Strait between the North and South Island of New Zealand in 8 hours and 37 minutes. The Ocean Seven, a marathon-swimming challenge consisting of seven channel swims, is considered equivalent to the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge, that involves scaling the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. He is only the ninth person to complete it.

Speaking with mid-day from New Zealand, where he hoisted the tricolour on Friday, More said that he was trying to attempt this swim since 2015, but got the opportunity only now. "I started the Ocean Seven challenge in 2012. However, I didn't get the slot for swimming in the Cook Strait for a long time. Due to unusual weather conditions, the organisers of Cook Strait Swimming Association normally take only about 12 swimmers per year."

More started his swim at 9.30 am from North Island and finished covering the 26 km stretch by 6 pm. "For the first five hours, the water was calm at around 19 degree Celsius. But as I progressed towards the South Island, the water temperature dropped to 4 degrees Celsiusdue to the incoming currents from the Antarctic water," he said. For More, the challenge lay in withstanding the fluctuating sea currents and unpredictable weather. "In the last one hour, I was shivering and my body started to give up. The tricolour waving high on our boat motivated me to plough on," he said. For now, More plans to focus on speed training. "I hope to participate in the 10 km open-water swimming races and represent India in 2020 Tokyo Olympics."

The challenging route
English Channel: 33.8 km between England and France
Catalina Channel: 32.3 km between Catalina Island and the California mainland
Strait of Gibraltar: 14.4 km between Spain and Morocco
North Channel: 34.5 km between Ireland and Scotland
Kaiwi Channel: 42 km between Molokai and Oahu
Cook Strait: 22.5 km between the North and South Island of New Zealand
Tsugaru Strait: 19.5 km between Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan

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