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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > December 2016/January 2017 > IN THE WAKE OF MERCEDES GLEITZE


Heather Clatworthy raised over £5,000 by recreating an epic historical swim

In 1929, the town clerk of Portstewart in Northern Ireland commissioned Long Distance swimmer Mercedes Gleitze (first person to swim the Straits of Gibraltar and first British woman to swim the English Channel) to swim 13 miles across the North Atlantic from Moville, Donegal, (Republic of Ireland), to Portstewart, Co.Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

I read about Mercedes’s crossing when I was a little girl growing up in Portstewart. Sitting on the strand beach, twiddling the sand between my toes, looking across the sea to Donegal, I vowed that one day, like Mercedes, I would swim to the other side. At the age of 33, despite being a novice open water swimmer and living five miles from the farthest point in England from the sea, I decided that it was now or never; and on 27th july 2016, that’s exactly what I did.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Outdoor swimming is not just about sport. It is about being part of a community, about fun and challenge, travel and escape from the day-to-day grind. It is about the thrill of feeling alive. It is being sat at your desk and dreaming of next weekend’s swimming adventure. If you find it hard to keep the thrill going through the dark days of winter, we’ve got 12 ways to help keep you motivated, including six top tips for cold water swimming. If you need something to look forward to, check out our Travel and Events sections for races and holiday destinations for summer 2017. Elsewhere in the magazine we hear from the Wild Swimming Brothers about their trip to Norway to tackle the world’s biggest whirlpools, and the truly inspirational Sarah Thomas talks to us about her mammoth 80-mile swim in Lake Powell. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.