Ross Edgley finishes his Great British Swim - Interview

Ross Edgley finishes his Great British Swim - Interview

“Naive enough to start, stubborn enough to finish” is Ross Edgley’s mantra when it comes to the extreme challenges that he takes on, and his plan to swim around the entire coast of Great Britain was no exception! On Sunday morning he arrived back on shore at Margate, in front of a huge crowd and accompanied by a flotilla of 300 swimmers, as the first person to have swum around the entire country.

[Image courtesy of James Appleton]

Ross believed it would take 100 days to complete this extraordinary feat, but it became clear early on that it would take significantly longer than this. In total he was at sea for 157 days, swimming for 12 hours a day (6 hours on, 6 hours off), travelling 1791 miles, setting two new world records and smashing the previous record for a swim between Land’s End and John O’Groats by an incredible 73 days.

Ross Edgley holding Union Jack. Photo by James Appleton

[Image courtesy of James Appleton]

Along the way, he encountered challenges that would have stopped a less stubborn individual in their tracks. Including - severe wetsuit chafing that earned him the nickname ‘Rhino Neck’, having bits of his tongue fall off due to mass exposure to saltwater (AKA ‘salt tongue’), a suspected torn shoulder and being stung by jellyfish countless times. Off the coast of Scotland, one jellyfish attached themselves to Ross’ face and wouldn’t let go for 30 minutes. This didn’t slow him down, Ross just kept on swimming!

Ross Edgley: Great British Swim. Photo courtesy of Red Bull Media Pool

[Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool / Harvey Gibson]

Despite the lows, there were many high points, including swimming alongside a Minke whale for 5 miles in the Bristol Channel, and playing hide and seek with a seal that had taken a shine to Ross’ pink buoy.

Ross Edgley eating. Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

[Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool / Harvey Gibson]

In order to have enough energy to swim for 12 hours, Ross consumed between 10,000-15,000 calories a day. Which meant a steady diet of pizza and fry-ups was on the menu and during the 157 days he also managed to put away 649 bananas!

Ross Edgley in his dryrobe. Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

[Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool / Harvey Gibson]

As well getting his diet right, managing the cold was essential. As soon as he was out of the water the first thing Ross did was get his dryrobe on. This got his core temperature back up quickly so he was ready to go again on the next swim:

 

“It became such an essential tool because without if you’re just starting the next swim cold. You can’t start the next tide already cold”

Ross Edgley on the importance of his dryrobe.

 

So what’s next for Ross? A victory lap around Great Britain? Swimming around the world? Turns out learning to walk again is the next big challenge! Spending 157 days in the water has shrunk (atrophied) the tiny ligaments, tendons and muscles in his legs and feet. This is similar to effects that astronauts suffer after spending months in zero gravity.

Ross Edgley Margate. Photo courtesy of Red Pool Content Pool

[Image courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool / Olaf Pignataro]

We’re proud to have supported Ross on this record-breaking adventure and we can’t wait to see what challenge he decides to take on next. Whatever he does, the legacy from this extraordinary feat has raised the profile of open water swimming and is already starting to inspire people across the world.

Check out his full interview with us below:

[Video Footage courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool]

[Cover image courtesy of James Appleton]

To browse this site you need to accept our cookie policy.
More info

Are you in the right place?

Please select a store