PHUKET: Swedish Ultraman World Champion Jonas Colting splashed into Phuket’s waters this morning with the goal of swimming around the entire island in eight days.
Mr Colting led a group of swimmers, including four-time triathlon World Champion Chris McCormack, on the first leg – 14 kilometers – of the ‘Swim Around Phuket’ challenge.
The endurance swim will take place from 7am to 1pm everyday, as swimmers work their way counter-clockwise around the island, passing the Andaman beaches, the iconic Laem Phromthep and Chalong pier. The route will then turn northward, going past Ao Po Pier, under the Sarasin Bridge and curve down to end back at Mai Khao Beach.
“I’m very excited and look forward to getting started on this adventurous and inspirational journey around beautiful Phuket,” said Mr Colting, before commencing the first leg. “My preparations have gone well, but I have a lot of respect for the challenge of averaging more than 15 kilometers per day in the ocean. My main concerns are the heat and the sun. I will make an effort to pace myself over the eight days.”
Mr Colting aims to raise funds for the Yaowawit Orphanage School, which was first built to support victims of the tsunami 10 years ago, and the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which is committed to protecting the marine and coastal environment for the well-being of the sea turtles that nest in the Sirinath National Marine Park and surrounding areas.
“I’ve known Jonas my entire racing career,” said Mr McCormack. “I believe he’s the perfect athlete with the endurance engine and the will to be the first person ever to swim around Phuket. When he took on this challenge, we decided to put our full organizational support behind him, hosting him and his team from Apollo Travel Group as they prepared for the swim.”
Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada presided over the this morning’s launch of the circumnavigation.
“We support the campaign of Jonas Colting to be the first man to swim around the island, which is a great way to promote Phuket’s beautiful beaches and clean water. It is also in line with promoting sports and tourism on the island,” he said.
Mr Colting’s itinerary is as follows:
March 30 – JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Mai Khao – Trisara (14 km)
March 31 – Trisara – Merlin Beach Resort Patong (16 km)
April 1 – Merlin Beach Resort Patong – The Nai Harn (15 km)
April 2 – The Nai Harn – Sri Panwa Resort (14 km)
April 3 – Sri Panwa Resort – Phuket Villa Resort, Coconut Island (15 km)
April 4 – Phuket Villa Resort, Coconut Island – Ao Por Grand Marina (15 km)
April 5 – Ao Por Grand Marina – Phuket Yacht Haven (15 km)
April 6 – Phuket Yacht Haven – JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Mai Khao (15 km)
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