Strong winds frustrate anew Aquaman’s English Channel swim attempt

Posted 6 years ago

The dream of “Pinoy Aquaman” Ingemar Macarine to become the first Filipino to cross the English Channel will have to wait for another chance again, it seems. Macarine this month made two attempts to cross the channel–considered as the “Mt. Everest” of open water swimmers like him. Both had to be called off for safety reasons.

By Patrick Roxas

Strong winds frustrate anew Aquaman’s English Channel swim attempt

The 41-year-old election officer in Bohol, but who originally hails from Surigao, tried to cross the perilous 33.8 km (21 miles) English Channel last August 13 but his navigators halted the attempt one hour into the swim because of strong winds.

The supposed swim from Dover, England to Calais, France was reset August 18, but before the swim, he was again told it was unsafe to try and the attempt was cancelled.

Last year, Macarine also had to call off his bid to cross the English Channel due to bad weather.

The lawyer triathlete, who has successfully made 32 open water swims in and out of the country, has prepared long and hard for the attempt. In July, he made a 10-kilometer open water swim with Frank “The Legend” Lacson, from Anvaya Cove in Morong, Bataan to All Hands Beach in the Subic Bay Freeport.

The Morong to Subic open water swim, co-sponsored by All Hands Beach, served as Macarine’s last endurance training prior to his trip to England.

Macarine and Lacson were welcomed at the finish line by no less than Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority administrator Wilma Eisma and director Tomas Lahom III, along with the management team of All Hands Beach.

Macarine’s concern before going to England was actually the water temperature as most of the endurance swimmers who have tried to cross the English Channel bordering southern England and northern France have given up of because the water temperature, which is normally 15 degrees Celsius.

In an effort to acclimatize himself with the cold water, Macarine traveled ahead of his scheduled swim weeks before the attempt and began swimming two hours every day in the cold water under instruction of a coach.

So far, he needs another opportunity to see if he can withstand the cold water of the English Channel.
There were actually 2,153 successful swims in the Channel, 720 of which were relays. Macarine would have been the first Filipino to try.

According to Macarine, long distance swimmers consider the English Channel as their Mt. Everest.
“If mountain climbers have Mt. Everest, English Channel is considered the Mt. Everest for long-distance swimmers,” the endurance swimmer said.

Crossing the English Channel be a test of physical and mental strength, courage, sheer human will and heart,” according to Georgian Honorary Consul Thelmo Cunanan Jr., founder of the First Filipino International Movement that is organizing the First Filipino English Channel Swim.

Macarine is not actually new to swimming cold waters having successfully swam the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland in 2015, from Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to mainland San Francisco in California in 2014, and in Lake Lane in Florida in 2014. The Pinoy Aquaman also conquered the 8.4-kilometer icy cold waters of Hudson River in New York.

Macarine said that the English Channel swim is part of his lifetime advocacy for clean seas, environmental tourism, and climate change awareness.

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