Showing posts with label English Channel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English Channel. Show all posts

Sunday, August 20, 2017

‘Pinoy Aquaman’ English Channel bid aborted

DOVER, United Kingdom — Environmental lawyer Ingemar Macarine, also known as the “Pinoy Aquaman,” was about  3.8 km (2.3 miles) from this town when his swim was stopped because of bad weather.

He started his longest solo, unassisted swim at the English Channel, “Mt. Everest” for open swimming, at 2:45 a.m. on Sunday, August 13, (9:30 a.m. Philippine time) after facing high winds during his swim from Dover town, United Kingdom to France.

Environmental lawyer Ingemar Macarine who was 
almost an hour in the waters of the English Channel 
on Sunday, August 13, 2017, had to cancel his effort due
 to bad weather.  Photo by Leo Udtohan
The shortest distance between England and France over the English Channel is 34 km (21 miles).

Macarine, 41, was swimming freestyle. When he lifted his head to breathe, he could vaguely make out his destination on the horizon, Cap Gris Nez, a promontory on the French coast due to strong waves and gusty winds.

He was only wearing a latex swimming cap, an ordinary swimsuit and goggles. His shoulders and armpits, neck and crotch are coated with sunblock and petroleum jelly, to keep his muscles flexible and prevent chafing.

If he succeeded Macarine, an election officer of Tubigon town in Bohol province, would be the first Filipino swimmer to swim across the Channel.

Many swimming enthusiasts were tracking Macarine’s progress on the social media.

The journey was expected to take 15 hours in a 16 degrees Celsius temperature, but Eric Hartley, skipper of the support boat from the Pathfinder Charter, called off his bid when he noticed that the wind was getting stronger and colder.

Shortly after stopping his swim across the English Channel, 
Ingemar Macarine (right) chats with Pathfinder skipper
 Eric Hartley and Channel Swimming Association observer 
Keith Oiller on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. 
Photo by Leo Udtohan
Also with Hartley in the boat was CSA observer Keith Oiller who detailed to Macarine the rules of the English Channel.

“I stopped the swim really for safety grounds. “Because wind was blowing, it’s hard to control the boat with the current condition,” Hartley said. “The wind speed is too strong than what was forecast at 3 knots. It’s important to keep him beside the boat,” said Hartley.

Hartley said the wind that was gusting and it was unsafe for everyone involved.

“Safety is always first,” he said.

There have been less than half a dozen fatalities in the 137 years that it has been taking place, the CSA said.

Last week, two fatalities were recorded.

His goal had to swim the English Channel to promote clean seas, Philippine tourism and international friendship.

Macarine – who has swum seas in the Philippines and the United States – had waited patiently for days to swim the Channel.

Since arriving in Dover on July 28, he has been practicing for two hours daily at the port.

Although he didn’t finish the swim, he said he was satisfied with what he was able to accomplish.

Macarine said he would come back next year to fulfil the ultimate swim of his life.

“Tuloy ang laban toward reaching that goal,” he added.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

From Bohol to the World- ‘Pinoy Aquaman’ to swim English Channel

From Bohol to the World
‘Pinoy Aquaman’ to swim English Channel on Sun

 DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM- For mountain climbers, Mt. Everest is the ultimate challenge. For swimmers, it's crossing the English Channel.

And only a few people who try this succeed.

But for environmental lawyer and tri-athlete Ingemar Macarine, who earned the moniker “Pinoy Aquaman”, he will attempt to swim the English Channel at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 13 (August 13, 9:30 a.m. Philippine Time).

If he succeeds Macarine, 41, will be the first Filipino swimmer to swim across the Channel.

Environmental lawyer Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine 
will be the first Filipino swimmer who attempts
 to swim the English Channel which is considered as the "Mt. Everest"
 of swimming on Sunday. He is practising two hours a 
day swimming in almost freezing water at Dover Port.  Photo by Leo Udtohan
The swim will be the first crossing by a Filipino swimmer of the sea passage that separates the United Kingdom and France to test of physical and mental strength and courage.

Fewer people have swum the English Channel than have climbed Mount Everest.

Macarine, who is swimming to promote clean seas, Philippine tourism and international friendship, spent two hours every day since he arrived in the United Kingdom last July 30.

He said hopes to complete the 21-mile (34 km) swim in under 15 hours.

The wind and weather are also a problem - as the Dover Straits are prone to local weather conditions that can change very quickly and which do not match the forecasts.

The water is nearly freezing water (15-16 degrees Celsius) though Britons have anticipating summer this month.

“I have been training at the Dover Harbor for two hours every day. The water temperature is around 16 degrees so it is very cold compared to the Philippines where I trained in the 30 degree water temperature,” said Macarine, an election officer of Tubigon town.

Hypothermia is an issue for swimmers, but swimmers are unclothed and exposed to the elements unlike any other endurance athlete.

“Hypothermia would be my number one challenge as I am used to the tropical waters of the Philippines,” he added.

Captain Matthew Webb made the first unassisted 
and observed cross-channel swim in 1875; 
he made landfall in 21 hours and 45 minutes. 
Dover Museum 
There are a lot of factors that combine to make the swim hard but the cold is the biggest hurdle, said Eric Hartley of the Pathfinder Charter and Channel Swimming Association (CSA) observer Keith Oiller.

Swimmers said that it's not about the distance since lot of people can swim but the cold water.

Last Tuesday, a man died during an attempt to swim the English Channel as part of a gruelling triathlon. Newspapers reported that Douglas Waymark, 44 from Cheltenham, got into difficulty about half way across, 12 nautical miles from Dover.

Oiller said the tides are also hard to predict as they are strong and change direction approximately every six hours.

They also change in height and flow speed every day.

There is also the problem of the number of ships using these waters - because to go from England to France you have to swim across the shipping lanes.

CSA requires swimmers to attempt the challenge clad in nothing more than ordinary swimming trunks, swim cap, and goggles.

Wetsuits and other floating devices are absolutely not allowed. The rules also dictate that a swimmer should not touched the boat nor can be touched by another person during the entire course of the swim.

Your VRS with (l) Channel Swimming Association (CSA) 
observer Keith Oiller, coach Roel Catoto, 
Lawyer Ingemar Macarine and Eric Hartley
 of the Pathfinder Charter at Dover Marina. 
Ever since Captain Matthew Webb's first successful Channel swim in 1875, thousands of swimmers have attempted to emulate his feat. Most are content to complete the swim, others are determined to set new records.

It all started in 1872 when JB Johnson tried to swim the Channel, but failed, abandoning his attempt after 1 hour and 3 minutes. Reading of his exploits, Captain Webb (1848-1883) became inspired to try it in 1875 for 21 hours and 45 minutes.

Since then, interest has grown in Channel swimming, and there is always a waiting list of people booking places with pilots from the Channel Swimming Association and the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation in the hope of adding their names to the list of those who achieve it.

So far 1,753 swimmers have made a total of 2,280 solo crossings across the channel since 1875, according to the CSA.

15 Things you probably didn't know about
swimming across the English Channel

Swimming the English Channel is a lot more complex than it seems.  Read on...

1. First recorded crossing of Channel was by an Italian prisoner-of-war in 1817; Giovan Maria Salati made his escape from a prison barge in Dover and swam to Boulogne using straw as a buoyancy aid.

2. Captain Matthew Webb made the first unassisted and observed cross-channel swim in 1875; he made landfall in 21 hours and 45 minutes.

Pinoy Aquaman “meet and greet” the Filipino community in UK. 
Photo by Leo Udtohan
3. In 1926, the American Gertrude Ederle (pictured) became first woman to swim the Channel - her time was 14 hours and 34 minutes.

4. The record for fastest-ever cross-channel swim is held by the Australian Trent Grimsey, who managed six hours and 55 minutes in 2012.

5. King of the English Channel is Kevin Murphy, with 34 solo crossings.

6. The Queen of English Channel Alison Streeter who swum the English Channel 43 times - more than anyone else in the world.

7.   For a swim to be officially recognised, you must not be assisted by any kind of artificial aid – and you are only permitted to use goggles, one cap, a nose clip, ear plugs and one costume, that must be sleeveless and legless. For Macarine, he will be using swimming cap, trunks and goggles.

8. You are allowed to grease yourself up for insulation. Macarine will use sunblock.

9. You must enter the sea from the shore of departure and finish on dry land at the other side, “or touch steep cliffs of the opposite coast with no sea water”, according to the Channel Swimming Association, founded in 1927, which regulates attempts.

10.  Swimming the Channel is not cheap and will set you back a few thousand pounds, the largest chunk of which goes towards a registered pilot and escort boat. Macarine has already spent £ 10,000 or half-million pesos. He swim is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission thru Chairman William Ramirez, Commissioner Mon Fernandez Maxi Green & Ramsey Quijano; COMELEC courtesy of Chairman Andres Bautista; Speedo Philippines thru VP Manish Mahtani May Valentino Crissa Brozas; Maldita Man thru Irene Chan;  First Consolidated Bank (FCB) thru Pres. Argeo Melisimo Pie Puerto;  Martello Building Consultancy thru Andy Cruttenden; Kennington Masonic Lodge 1381 thru Worshipful Master Michael Duque Carmelo N. Rebolos; Bohol 2nd Rep. Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado; and Sparklab.

11. The distance swum is approximately 34 kilometers (21 miles), but changes according to the current. Tides need to be taken into account and most swimmers tackle a sort of S-shaped course.

12. Swimmers usually start at or near Shakespeare’s Cliff or Samphire Hoe at Dover and aim to finish at Cap Gris Nez (between Boulogne and Calais), France.

13.  Because you are not allowed to touch another human during the course of the swim, any fuel in the way of food will be passed to you by a long pole from your escort boat. That is feeding time.

14. The Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, with 600 tankers and 200 ferries passing through every day. Your escort and pilot’s job is to make sure you don’t get mowed down.

15. You must book one to two years ahead for a slot to attempt a crossing. In the case of Macarine, he booked last year.


Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohanINQ at Twitter /Facebook.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

‘Pinoy Aquaman’ completes historic swim in Pamilacan

Seen: Spotted in Bohol last Friday was former Ilocos Norte Governor Chavit Singson. According to VRS, Singson visited Anda town for a possible business venture.

Scene:  Feng shui experts encourage everyone to throw away all the old stuff in our house to make room for new blessings for the Chinese New Year (Feb. 8). They also recommend wearing red to attract luck and fortune.

* * *
'Pinoy Aquaman’ Ingemar Patiño Macarine has a goal: To swim the English Channel, Catalina Channel and Marathon Island to promote clean seas, environmental tourism and climate change awareness.

Macarine has been swimming his whole life. Born in a small coastal town of Placer in Surigao del Norte in Mindanao, he spent nearly every day of his childhood swimming.

“I love the seas. Never did I fear swimming in the open water. And I think my life is very connected with water,” Macarine, who is an election officer of Tubigon town in Bohol province, said.

He was eight years old when he first dreamed about the possibility of swimming across the Surigao Strait. 

 ‘I want our children to enjoy the same clean seas and beaches. 
That is my environmental advocacy.’ Contributed Photo
"I learned to swim when I was in Grade 2. My friends and I just enjoyed swimming near the seashores. I told my friends, 'I wonder if anybody could swim over there," Macarine recalled. 

In his college days, he was a varsity swimmer at the Silliman University in Dumaguete City. 

Macarine said he especially wants to connect with and educate young people, the importance of clean seas. He also wants to raise awareness about climate change.  

Open-ocean swimming is among the toughest sporting disciplines in the world, said Macarine.  

His first open water swim was on Dec. 30, 2013. He was the first person to swim successfully from Basul Island to Lipata, Surigao City. 

“My first open water swim was unforgettable because that was my first time to swim against a strong current.  Three of my companions gave up. I was the only one who successfully crossed it,” he said. 

But for Macarine his latest challenge in Pamilacan Island in Bohol province last Jan. 31, was "the hardest and toughest yet".  He completed the gruelling 14-kilometer journey for 5 hours and 59 minutes.

He said strong currents kept pulling him off course so he had to change direction at least 14 times.

“It’s very challenging. This is my toughest swim because of strong current and waves. I had no choice but to use backstroke. The current changed several times and I had really a very hard time swimming against the current,” said Macarine.

The Pamilacan swim was his second in Bohol since he swam the 13.4-km stretch from Balicasag Island to mainland Panglao Island in 2014 during the first anniversary of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake. He did it to immortalize the Boholanos who had perished during the earthquake.

LAWYER  Ingemar Macarine says that his Pamilacan swim was the “hardest and toughest yet.’ 
Contributed Photo
Swimming in the open water is very safe so long as you have an escort boat, he said. 

Macarine said he follows the Marathon Swimming Federation Rules and performs his solo swimming without floating aid or help from any human or sea vessel.

The swim isn't easy.

"You need to be brave," he said. "And focus on what you’re doing."

At one point, he had been stung by jellyfishes. Sometimes, strong currents and big waves would somehow hinder his target.  Through it all, he held his mantra close: "Psalm 23...The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me...” His family-wife Raquel, and children- Lance, 6; and Colyn, 4, are his inspiration.

He said prior to his swim, he took time to read the Bible and pray.

"I read the Bible when I am in doubt, and of course, for the Lord's guidance. And my favorite is Psalm 23,” he said. 

He has since conquered seas in United States and Philippines.

Macarine had done similar feats in the past. He was acknowledged as the first Filipino to swim the 2.7-kilometer from Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to San Francisco City in April 2014.

He was also the first man to conquer the Babuyan Channel by swimming from Palaui Island to Mainland Sta. Ana, Province of Cagayan with a distance of 7.2 km in 2 hours on June 15,  2014.

He was also the first man to swim from Santa Fe in Bantayan Island to San Remigio in mainland Cebu, covering the distance of 19.99 km. He spent seven hours and 45 minutes to reach mainland Cebu.

He was also the first man who attempted to swim from Visayas to  Mindanao by swimming from San Ricardo, Southern Leyte to Surigao City, Northern Mindanao. Although the swim was unsuccessful, he made a personal record of swimming 23 kilometers in five and half hours in May 2014. 

Macarine was selected as one of the three Heroes of the Environment for 2015 by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF). 

“I am so happy that I can inspire more people to care more for the marine environment,'" he said.

At 39, Macarine said he is in good health, and just wants to do his part in bringing about peace and friendship, as well as clean seas.

“I want our children to enjoy the same clean seas and beaches. That is my environmental advocacy,” he said, “Clean seas are very important today for the future generations.”

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