PinoyAquaman’s last hurrah to cross perilous English Channel

It is his last hurrah. Make or break as there’s no more tomorrow.

Lawyer IngemarMacarine bared on Tuesday the attempt to cross the English Channel and make history this August 2018 will be his last.

Known as the PinoyAquaman, Macarine said age has started to catch up with him, one of the considerations why it is unlikely for him to make another attempt to cross the English Channel in case he fails next August.

Macarine who gained popularity after TV networks and other media outlets documented his exploits as he remains the only one in the country practicing the sport of open water swimming.

He added in a private message interview his health and the cost of crossing the channel are other reasons why the attempt this August 2018 will be his last.

The cost of the boat charter is about ₱ 200,000.

He said he has occasional asthma and hypertension, which made him to re-think about making more attempts to cross the English Channel.

Crossing the English Channel is the summit all open water swimmers dare to achieve. It is the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest among mountain climbers.

Seven Filipinos already summited Mt. Everest, but no Filipino has been able to swim across the 21-mile distance across the English Channel.

Nonetheless, Macarine is busy preparing his body for the biggest challenge this fall in the United Kingdom and finally make history for open water sport in the Philippines.

The Placer, Surigao del Norte native was successful in crossing another pioneering swim last Sunday. He swam non-stop and unassisted from Baclayon town’s Pamilacan Island to barangay Bolod in Panglao town.

He managed to finish the course in six hours and 43 minutes, covering 17.83 kilometers.

The latest long-distance swim is among the series of sorties Macarine will be making in preparation for August 2018.

He said after last Sunday’s swim, he is scheduled to swim for 12 kms. from Ticao Island to Masbate City on December 10.

About two or three marathon swims or swims covering 10 kms. or more, next year as part of the training for the English Channel swim.

Macarine, if he is not doing open water swim, is a lawyer and the election officer of Tubigon town in Bohol.

He used to do triathlons, but an injury gave him the opportunity to look at open water swimming and give it a try. Once he tried, he never looked back and swam to become the PinoyAquaman.

WHY IS IT HARD TO CROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL?

Only a few open water swimmers have been able to cross the English Channel. In fact, last year, a couple of weeks before Macarine’s attempt, a swimmer lost his life attempting to cross the channel.

Macarine said August is the best time of the year since the weather is favorable for a channel crossing, compared to other months in the year.

The number one challenge in swimming across the channel is the freezing water temperature. The nearest point between the United Kingdom and France is about 21 miles. It will take 12 to 15 hours to complete the swim with water temperature of 15 degrees Celsius.

To give some perspective, the temperature inside a refrigerator, on the average, is about 13 degrees Celsius. Macarine said water temperature during his swim last Sunday from Baclayon to Panglao was about 28 degrees Celsius.

Sudden change of the weather can also be a huge challenge for a swimmer trying to cross the English Channel.

Macarine said, in essence, he only made one attempt, which was last year. The “attempt” year before was not really an attempt since he was setback by bad weather.

His real attempt was in 2016 where he already swam for an hour, covering four kilometers, only to be halted, due to bad weather.

The wind at the time of the swim was not the same as forecasted. The winds were at 23 knots, which were way off the 10 knots that was forecasted.

The sudden change in wind speed caused the pilot to abandon the swim and gave Macarine a new schedule.

Bad luck struck since on the day he was supposed to swim, all swimmers were not given the green light because of the weather.

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