New mega swim for Bay’s Kyle Main
In what he describes as his biggest challenge to date, Port Elizabeth endurance adventurer, Kyle Main, will swim a distance of 50km uninterrupted from the west to south coast of Mauritius in December.
Beginning at Flic n Flac beach on the west coast and finishing at Bel Ombre beach in the south, Main will not touch land or support craft for around 10 hours, over which time he is expected to have made about 36,000 arm strokes.
Main has pioneered at least two swims of up to 25km around Mauritius before, so he is not new to the conditions or logistics but the distance of the December swim, will provide unique challenges.
“Currents, swell and the sun are big issues, especially when the duration of the swim makes a full day of sun unavoidable,'' he says.
Main, who also coaches swimming, will not wear a wetsuit but will be supported by a seconding team, that will fit their small boat with a shark shield.
“Issues like the salt which swells the tongue and sunburn are more concerning than sharks or stingers,'' he says.
Having pioneered swims across SA, Main recently turned his rudder towards international waters, notching up several ultra swims, including a 6.5 hour, 38km swim in the Andaman Sea off Thailand in 2017, the Rottnest Channel off Australia, in an African record time in 2015, and the Strait of Gibraltar in the fastest recorded time in 2013.
More recently, and slightly closer to his Indian Ocean shores, he pioneered a 20km swim from Serpent Island, 30km north of Mauritius, to Flat Island, days after he became the first person to swim from Flat Island, adjacent to the notorious Shark Pit diving site, to Grand Baie, a distance of 21km, in four hours.
“I have seen a lot of Mauritius, but most of it on my stomach,” Main jokes.
Main trains up to two times a day in a 25m gym pool, and on weekends he does longer sea swims off Port Elizabeth’s coastline.