Swimmer to dodge sharks in Oceans Seven attempt

NEVER mind the 12ft waves, the dangerous tides and the dehydration — just watch out for the sharks.

That’s what faces Cork swimmer Steve Redmond, who flies to California next week and then on to Hawaii to complete the latest legs of a gruelling world marathon attempt.

“It’s going to be the trip from hell,” quips Ballydehob-based Redmond who wants to be the first person to complete the Oceans Seven Challenge.

The ‘Seven’ are the North Channel, the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Catalina Channel in California, the Molokai Channel in Hawaii, the Cook Strait in New Zealand and the Tsuguru Strait in Japan.

“If I do it, I’ll be the first person ever to complete the ‘Seven’ — and an Irish first,” says Steve, who has been training hard for the past six months.

In May the father-of-two successfully swam the Strait of Gibraltar. He also emerged triumphant from the extremely tough North Channel, from Scotland to Northern Ireland in 2010 — a 17-hour swim of about 40 kilometres — and in 2009 swam the English Channel in 20 hours.

However, the Catalina challenge, which will take a minimum of 14 hours and which he plans to do on October 19, could be the most difficult swim he’s done to date.

“I am expecting it to be very tough. The weather is becoming unstable as the climate is moving into autumn. There are big waves and huge tides, which means you’ll be pulled and pushed around for hours on end. Also I will have to be on the lookout for sharks — they are a potential hazard.”

If that goes well, Steve — who is now urgently seeking sponsorship for this world attempt — will carry on to swim the dangerous 42km Molokai Channel in Hawaii on October 26.

Molokai will take at least 15 hours and he’ll only attempt it if he completes the Catalina swim in good condition. If everything goes to plan, Steve then hopes to break water in the Cook Strait in February 2012, and dive into the seas of Japan the following summer.

“It’s really a race against time — the winner is essentially the person who gets it all done first.”

*For further information or to donate, contact Steve on 086 4025000, or visit Oceans7.org or steveredmondsoceansevenchallenge on Facebook.

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