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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > March 2018 > A continuing tradition

A continuing tradition

HISTORY OF SWIMMING

With the standard set, it fell to the next swimmer to repeat Gleitze’s hard-fought feat, but it would take two decades for them to cross. Daniel Carpio Maciotti of Peru, then 38 years old, swam the Strait on 22 July 1948 in 9 hours 20 minutes. Two months later, Eduardo Villanueva became the first Spaniard to cross, which he did in 12 hours 13 minutes.

Several more men followed, but the next leap forward in the Strait came at the hands (arms?) of another woman – the legendary Florence Chadwick. By the time the statuesque American arrived to swim the Strait in September 1953, she was one of the most famous women in the world and had parlayed that fame into fortune. She turned her gutsy, record-setting English Channel swim three years prior into a high-paying career as a radio and television personality, brand ambassador and public speaker. (According to a biography published in the San Diego Reader, Florence was the highest paid female athlete of the 1950s and represented brands such as Coca-Cola and Catalina Swimwear. Between events, promotions and speaking engagements, it’s estimated she earned more than $75,000 per year – the equivalent of nearly $700,000 today.) She lowered the Strait of Gibraltar speed standard to 5 hours 6 minutes. But her record stood for only a month; Batista Pereira shaved two minutes off in late October 1953.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Forget about dreary March weather! The new issue of Outdoor Swimmer is a travel special, packed full of inspiring swimming stories from around the world as well as an in-depth look at swimming holidays. Wild swimming in the city; the history of swimming the Strait of Gibraltar; full event listings to plan your summer swims; plus, nutrition, technique, event reviews, news, interviews and more of your stunning photography and swim stories.