Pinoy Aquaman ready for English Channel swim

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/16 August) — Endurance swimmer Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine ended last week his final phase of training for his attempt to cross the English Channel this week.

Edwin Dela Cruz, coach and the swim navigator of Pinoy Aquaman said the marathon swimmer is now in tip-top shape.

“He is in his perfect condition and ready anytime for the swim,” Dela Cruz told MindaNews Monday evening here.

He said Macarine’s acclimatization training ended over the weekend as he is waiting for his window for the swim.

Dela Cruz, who has been with Macarine since the start of his acclimatization in Folkestone, United Kingdom early last month said there are 300 open water swimming enthusiasts all over the world who will cross the English Channel this year.

Though the acclimatization training had ended, Macarine was still doing a one-hour swim under cold waters in the morning and a one-hour walk in the afternoon.

“It’s part of the tapering,” Dela Cruz explained.

But Macarine was bothered by the weather condition in UK.

“Currently the sea is rough and it’s not swimmable,” the swimmer said.

Last Monday one endurance swimmer failed to reach his destination after a 12-hour swim due to strong currents and big waves.

“Looks like I’m going to miss my tide window which will close on Tuesday. Weather is not good again based on latest forecast. Our 2nd swimmer was able to swim yesterday, but aborted the swim after 12 hours because the current was just too strong.

Our 3rd swimmer might have a chance to swim this morning. I’m next in line,” Macarine said yesterday on his Facebook account.

Macarine, who has the fourth spot window, revealed that only one swimmer had successfully crossed the English Channel so far this year since the swimming window opened last August 9.

The English Channel, which measures 33.8 kilometers (21 mile), separates southern England from France and joins the southern part of North Sea on its east to the rest of the Atlantic Ocean on its west.

“The swim will start in between Folkstone and aim to finish at or near Cap Griz Nez (between Boulogne and Calais,” said Macarine.

If he succeeds, the Surigao-born and triathlete enthusiast will become the third man from Southeast Asia and the only Filipino to cross the historic channel, where the Spanish Armada lost to the English forces in August 1588.

Macarine is no stranger to cold waters, though, having successfully swam the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, USA last year and the Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to mainland San Francisco in California in 2014 and Lake Lane in Florida also in 2014.

Since November last year, the former varsity swimmer of Silliman University in Dumaguete City has increased his training exercise from two hours of swimming every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to the same number of hours all weekdays. Sundays are for cross training, either biking or running.

Anytime this week the Pinoy Aquaman will cross the English Channel which is considered the “Mount Everest” among open water swimmers.

His swim is sanctioned by the English Channel Swimming Association.

“I hope the weather cooperates because if not there’s a chance that the English Channel Swimming Association will close the window for the swim adding that the swimming window had started last week and will finish this week or later next week,” he said.

Macarine’s swim is part of his lifetime advocacy for clean seas, tourism and climate change awareness.

Just like his previous open water marathons, Macarine followed the Marathon Swimming Federation Rules and performed solo swimming without floating aid or help from any human or sea vessel.

Macarine’s quest at English Channel is supported by San Miguel Corporation. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)