Benoit Lecomte - 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."

Why this swim?

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 boat following him 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.

How ?

The North Pacific Vortex is a concentration of waste that is commonly referred to as 'the 7th continent'. He will set off 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 accepted.

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 was more than a sporting feat, it was a scientific expedition.

With who?

Benoit was able to guide his team of 10 volunteers to take samples, and to take different readings of the 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 made many interviews to explain that stopping this catastrophe was everyone's business and that we could not continue to act as if it did not exist.

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