Donaldson Nears Historic Completion of Oceans Seven Swim Challenge

27 July 2023

Perth City swimmer Andy Donaldson is on the verge of completing the Oceans Seven swim challenge, a daunting feat that involves conquering some of the world's most treacherous waters.

Today, Donaldson is taking on the Tsugaru Strait, a gruelling 19.5km swim from Honshu to Hokkaido, Japan. Before setting off on this final leg of the challenge, he expressed his gratitude to the supportive team behind him, stating, "It's surreal to be here. It's something I would never have dreamed of. It's only been possible because of all the people around helping and supporting.”

Among Donaldson's incredible team hailing from his current hometown in Perth is Perth City's Head Coach, Eoin Carroll, and the exceptional team at Formidable Strength & Conditioning. Their guidance and training have been instrumental in preparing him for this monumental endeavor.

“We face the tough uphill challenge today, but nothing in life is guaranteed, and that's what makes it interesting at times. We just go out there and give our best and can't ask for anything other than that."

Andy Donaldson set his sights on conquering all seven swims, pushing himself to the limits of human endurance and fortitude. Battling bone-chilling waters, unpredictable currents, and tough distances, Donaldson has shown extraordinary courage throughout his journey.

Andy Donaldson's remarkable journey began with the English Channel, followed by the North Channel and Cook Strait. He has since conquered the Molokai Channel, enduring 43km of swimming from Molokai to Oahu, Hawaii. Despite facing challenges like nausea during the swim, Donaldson's determination and the support of his crew helped him secure a successful crossing, marking the completion of swim number four.

The Strait of Gibraltar presented its own set of obstacles, with currents and varying swim distances. Nevertheless, Donaldson incredibly set a new British record for the crossing and achieved Oceans Seven swim number five.

The Catalina Channel, separating Santa Catalina Island from the Southern California mainland, proved to be yet another difficult challenge. Swimming through the night, Donaldson battled tough cross-currents but ultimately completed the swim with a new British record, marking his sixth successful Oceans Seven swim.

Throughout his journey, Donaldson encountered heart-stopping moments, from swimming alongside pods of dolphins in the Strait of Gibraltar to overcoming daunting challenges such as unpredictable currents and adverse weather conditions. Despite being hospitalised after swimming the gruelling "Channel of Bones" in Hawaii, he remains focused in his pursuit of completing the Oceans Seven challenge.

Andy Donaldson's incredible journey has captivated the swimming community, and he is now on the verge of making history as the first person ever to complete the Oceans Seven within a single year. To add to that, the first Western Australian to complete all seven swims. Donaldson is well on track to set a new world record for the fastest time of completion.

As Donaldson braves the final leg of the Tsugaru Strait, the WA community watches and awaits the moment he etches his name into the annals of marathon swimming history. Swimming WA stands with him in spirit, cheering him on as he strives to achieve the impossible and make us all proud.

Andy Donaldson Swim

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