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INTO THE MAELSTROM

Calum Hudson and his brothers Robbie and Jack braved killer whales and killer currents to take on the world’s biggest and most powerful whirlpools

We’d been researching and preparing for our swimming expedition to Norway for over seven months. We were planning an attempt to become the first people to swim across the two biggest and most powerful maelstroms in the world, the Saltstraumen and Moskenstraumen. The first swim across the Saltstraumen would be a rapid sprint across a narrow 225m tidal strait; the window for making the crossing would be around 12 minutes and with the fastest currents in the world every second would count. The Moskenstraumen swim was a different beast, an open ocean 8km swim between the island of Mosken and the tip of Lofotodden across the biggest maelstrom in the world and simultaneously the longest distance swim ever attempted in the Arctic Circle. Both of these swims had never been done before and they were taking us into uncharted waters.

Image: james Silson

We assembled an expedition team of pilot Knut Westvig and local adventure guides Lars and Therese.

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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.
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