36-year-old Ben Hooper has explained how he plans to become the first man to swim across the Atlantic
British swimmer Ben Hooper hopes to write his name into the record books this year by becoming the first man to swim across the Atlantic.
The father-of-one will set off from the Senegalese capital of Dakar on November 1, heading for the Brazilian city of Natal.
And although he won’t be attempting to complete the 2,000-mile stretch without stopping, the effort involved in this four-month swim is truly monumental.
Ben will spend 12 hours a day in the water, split into two shifts of six hours, fighting currents of up to 7 knots and waves that can reach up to 30ft in height.
His diet will have to be heavily modified to offset the 12,000 calories per day that his body will burn through.
In between the legs of his swim across the Atlantic, Ben will sleep on board a support vessel manned by a team of 15 medics, maritime experts and marine scientists.
The expedition, which has been named Swim the Big Blue, will also be monitored by officials from the Guinness Book of Records, as well as a television documentary crew.
High-profile supporters include Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who said: “This swim is, in my view, one of the last great bastions of exploration to remain unconquered.”
Ben’s gruelling training programme has already involved swimming 100,000 lengths of his local pool in Cheltenham over the past 12 months.
However, he did not always have a talent for swimming and nearly died during a swimming lesson when he was 5 years old.
“I know drowning would make most people more afraid of water but for me it simply inspired me to become a better swimmer,” Ben explains.
“My moto is dream, live and achieve – nothing is impossible, no matter what hurdles are in your way.”