Swimming has inspired many world record attempts, other than those achieved in competitive swimming. Some are unusual, some are inspiring and some are just strange! Here is a selection of some records that were set recently.
The world record for the largest number of people skinny dipping in one location was set on 31st December 2013 at Midway beach in Gisbane, New Zealand. 744 people took part in the event that was organised by a local radio station. It happened on the last day of a local summer festival and thankfully the water was reported to be quite warm...
Marathon Pool Rescue
Lifeguards are taught how to rescue people from a pool as part of their training but they would not have to endure what the Frinton and Walton Swimming Pool Lifeguard Team (UK) did in order to break this record. On 8th July 2011, 23 team members took it in turns to swim 50 metres in a pool while towing a mannequin which weighted over 40 pounds. Their feat of endurance lasted for an amazing 15 hr 30 min 33 sec in order to set the new world record.
You are never too old to enjoy swimming and Jaring Timmerman proved this when he broke the world record to become the oldest masters swimmer. In January 2014, he competed in two races at the incredible age of 104. This phenomenal achievement is even more remarkable when you consider that he didn't actually start swimming until he was aged 79. It proves that age isn't necessarily always a barrier.
Long Distance Relay
Relays are often popular choices for world record attempts but not many people would want to attempt to swim 100 x 100m. On 1st February a team of British swimmers, including Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington and other members of Team GB, set a new world record of 1 hour 29 minutes 3 seconds. The event was organised by British swimmer Lewis Coleman whose mother is fighting leukaemia and it raised an incredible £20,000 for the charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
This is a skill that all swimmers learn but it must have been a bit crowded when the world record was broken on 2nd June 2013 for the most people treading water in one location at the same time. 469 swimmers from the Buffalo Triathlon set the new record in Buffalo, Minnesota, USA. It's amazing that they all had enough room.
Pulling the Heaviest Boat
Making attempts to set new world records that mix swimming with a feat of endurance seems to be a popular choice. This record was set when a team of 73 swimmers pulled a 100 year old paddle steamer across Lake Lucerne in Switzerland on 14 September 2013. The boat weighed a huge 323.2 metric tonnes which is 712,534 lb and the swimmers took 4 minutes 34.72 seconds to pull it a distance of 100m. The world record attempt was arranged to commemorate the 75th anniversary of SLRG Luzern which is a Swiss lifeguard association.