Benoit Lecomte - Alert swimmer - the Vortex Swim
"It's always been important for me to have a bigger goal than just the athletic challenge, to not just prove something on a physical level."
In 1998, Benoit Lecomte made the first Atlantic crossing by swimming from Massachusetts to Brittany. Twenty years later, in 2018, he set out to cross the Pacific: the Long Swim, 8900 km at a rate of 8 hours of swimming per day.
Alas, after 2700 km, a storm severely damaged the following boat and he had to give up.
But in 20 years, something terrible happened, during this attempt, Benoit Lecomte sees that from now on, he crosses more waste than fish.
The shock is brutal, he gets back in the water but his objective has changed. He must absolutely alert the general public to the drama that is unfolding: this will be the Vortex Swim.
The Vortex of the North Pacific is a concentration of waste that we usually call 'the 7th continent'. It started in June 2019 for a 550 kilometer crossing: 8 hours of swimming per day in the middle of the waste for 80 days.
When Benoit contacted us to equip him with our fins, we immediately agreed.
On our scale, by making products known for their durability, by producing only on demand and by promoting repair, we are fighting against overconsumption and the accumulation of waste that may one day end up in the Vortex.
The Vortex Swim, beyond the sporting feat, was a scientific expedition.
Benoit was able to guide his team of 10 volunteers to collect samples, the various surveys of location and concentration of micro plastics. These thousands of samples were to identify the sources of pollution, to quantify them and to observe their movements and their evolution. We speak of a 'continent' but it is in fact a concentration of microplastics among much larger waste, fishing nets, bottles and flasks, pieces of crates etc...
Understanding and studying is one thing, but all the members of the expedition really wanted to appeal to the whole world. Thanks to numerous 'shock' images that went around the world, the expedition reached its objective of media coverage. Benoit Lecomte gave many interviews to explain that stopping this catastrophe was everyone's business and that we could not continue to pretend that it did not exist.
The crossing of Benoit Lecomte is registered in the Guiness Book.
To go further, you can read his book :
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