Payas attempts double crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar
Local marathon swimmer Nathan Payas will attempt a double crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar today. Mr Payas is set to start his swim at 8am at Isla de Tarifa and hopes to complete it in around nine hours. This swim is in aid of the Calpe House Trust.
Only 12 other swimmers have ever completed this swim to date. It has not been achieved since 2011.
“Only nine swimmers have done the swim without the use of Neoprene. I shall not be using a neoprene suit which retains warmth and provide extra buoyancy. No other Gibraltarian has ever done this swim and if I achieve this I would also be the third British person ever to do it,” he said.
“I've been wanting to do the double Strait crossing ever since I swam the English Channel as it is a similarly sized challenge. The attraction of it is that very few people have done it. It is likely to take between 9 and 11 hours,” he told the Chronicle yesterday as he prepared for the big day.
The tides and current in the Strait of Gibraltar are very strong, he said, describing the challenge as “a tricky swim to plan” as the challenger has to change direction half way through and return.
“You are then likely to have to swim against a strong current for a long time,” he added.
Mr Payas is aware that the last double Strait attempt some two weeks ago saw the swimmer taken out of the sea after swimming 10 hours because of the fading light.
“I hope to have the strength to swim the distance, to swim fast enough to complete before sunset and that the tides are kind enough to allow me to pass and reach each side, twice.”
Mr Payas completed two round the Rock swims in 2015 and one double round the Rock swim in 2016, the Strait of Gibraltar swim last year - one-way – in 2016, the English Channel swim in 2016. He also carried out a six hour swim in 15 degree waters last year to qualify for the English Channel which he also considers an important milestone.
But if the double strait of Gibraltar swim were not enough Mr Payas will also aim to swim around Ceuta, complete a triple round the Rock swim and also attempt the famous Catalina Crossing - a 20-mile night swim off the coast of California - on 10 August.
Mr Payas has a Justgiving website for donations to Calpe House Trust. All you need do is type in his name and the event will show up.
You can also track his progress live at www.vesselfinder.com and type in the name of the vessel "Duende del mar".