Tag Archives: Global Swimathon

End Polio

The Penny Palfrey Project

 Astonishing ultramarathon swimmer Penny Palfrey launched a new website last week to promote and support her Cuba to Florida swim next June, AND next year’s Rotary Club charity Global Swimarathon to eliminate polio. The two are inextricably linked. Penny is the first Global Ambassador to end Polio, and she needs to fund-raise for the Cuba-Florida attempt.

Cuba to Florida has been attempted by a few, and even swum (by Susie Maroney) but in a shark cage. Penny will be swimming without a shark cage. Penny Palfrey is the world record holder for the longest solo unassisted open water ocean swim and Penny is regarded as “the best” open water marathon swimmer in the world, highly respected and admired by her peers and the one of the few people capable of defeating the water that divides Cuba from Florida.

The Rotary Global Swimarathon’s website. The swim will be on February 25th organised by local Rotary Clubs and you can register interest on the website for updates, download a poster for the project, donate to the charity or sponsor Penny directly. Sponsors can even get to join Penny’s team.

You can contact the Rotary Clubs in your area (e.g Irish Rotary club directory or International). I’ve contacted Waterford Rotary Club to offer assistance in organising a swim for that day. The original Rotary Swimarathon was a team relay to do the maximum number of lengths in 55 minutes, something many of us could do by ourselves. Why don’t you do the same?

And the Cuba to Florida isn’t all. Penny is signed up for the Mouth of Hell, the North Channel in August of next year, the last swim for her in her attempt to be the first to complete the Ocean’s Seven, having recently completed Tsugaru.

As the quote above says, marathon swimmers (and others) around the world consider Penny the world’s best. But it’s a costly sport. For Penny to complete these swims in her own words; “we need to raise the money to pay for it”; she doesn’t have a huge PR organisation.

The Rotary Club has a donation page for one-off, or recurring donations. The Rotary Foundation enables Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

Edit: By the way: here’s Penny’s Twitter account.



Global Swimathon, June 2012, Penny Palfrey Cuba to Florida, Stephen Redmond

From The Daily News of Open Water Swimming:

Rotary International emblem
Image via Wikipedia

The Rotary Club made an announcement about its Global Swimarathon with a bit of additional news on the open water swimming front. According to the press release issued on World Polio Day, Penny Palfrey is going to attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida sometime in June 2012.

The past 22 years, the Rotary Club of Grantham, England has held a highly successful RotarySwimarathon every February that has raised over £500,000 for local charities and deserving causes.

In 2012, the Rotary Club will also hold an extra event – the Rotary Global Swimarathon – that will attempt to break the world record (presently 2,533) for the most number of people swimming at the same time anywhere in the world. So far, swimmers from New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Hong Kong, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Argentina, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Phillipines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, Wales and the USA have registered in a charity event to eradicate polio.

Penny was named the official Ambassador of the Rotary Global Swimarathon in their ‘End Polio Now’ campaign. Concurrently, Penny will be in training to attempt the 168K channel between Cuba and Florida. 

The Rotary Global Swimarathon will take place on February 25th 2012 at 1:00 pm GMT. To qualify for the World Record attempt, swimmers will have to swim just 100 yards without stopping within the hour. There will be a nominal entrance fee which will all go to the Rotary Foundation and help in the campaign to rid the world of polio.

Contribution received will help Rotary raise US$200 million to match US$355 million in challenge grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The resulting US$555 million will directly support immunization campaigns in developing countries, where polio continues to infect and paralyze children, robbing them of their futures and compounding the hardships faced by their families. 

Two big items there:

1. The global swim itself, something everyone can do, which will probably do more for open water swimming than that Ronan Keating nonsense.

2. Penny Palfrey to swim Cuba to Florida. If there was  rating system in non-professional open water swimming, Penny would certainly be recognised as the current world’s best marathon swimmer and someone I’d LOVE to meet, maybe some day I’ll be lucky.

Also from The Daily News is a Youtube link to Stephen Redmond talking about Catalina!