A record-breaking West Cork-based swimming hero is to be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF).

Endurance athlete and open water swimming legend Stephen Redmond, who lives in Ballydehob, will be honoured next year for becoming the first person to complete the epic Ocean’s Seven challenge.

It is swimming’s equivalent of mountaineering’s Seven Summits challenge.

Steve completed the North Channel swim between Ireland and Scotland; the Cook Strait in New Zealand; the English Channel; the Strait of Gibraltar; the Catalina Channel in the US; and the Molokai Channel in Hawaii; before he crossed the treacherous Tsugaru Channel in Japan on his fourth attempt in July 2012 to complete the challenge. Showing incredible bravery and determination, he completed the Tsugaru Channel swim in 12 hours 45 minutes.

A few months later, he also became the first person to swim around the Fastnet Rock, south-west of Cape Clear, off the coast of West Cork.

His Ocean’s Seven success led him to be crowned the World Open Water Swimming Association’s (WOWSA) man of the year. He beat 14 other nominees, including some of the biggest and best-funded names in the elite sport, as well as Olympic athletes.

And it has now been confirmed that Steve will be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame at a ceremony in London next April.

Billy Wallace, an honour administrator with the IMSHOF and president of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association, said if ever a man deserved to be inducted into the hall of fame, it is Stephen Redmond.

“The amount of time over several years, of planning, training, and travelling he put into preparing for the Ocean’s Seven Challenge was incredible,” he said.

“Stephen’s determination and Herculean strength and energy carried him through to become the first person in the world to complete all seven of the world’s toughest open water challenges. He has done himself, his family and friends proud, Cork proud, and Ireland proud, and it is so well deserved.”


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