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Dubai Resident to Swim around The World

Dubai resident and French national Christophe Berthomier and a team ofparticipants are planning an Endurance Event in Dubai’s World Islands


Berthomier enjoys endurance and adventure events and hasparticipated in a few, such as the Iceman race in Alaska, swim around key West,Florida (21km swim), the Marathon des Sables (250 km run across the Saharadesert in south Morocco) and a few Ironman triathlons.  He will also participate in the Triathlon tobe held on the 28th of June in Nice, France.


Berthomier says “I have always had to spend a small fortuneto go to different countries around the world to participate to these eventsand recently asked myself: “Why not create an endurance event where I live?  We are fortunate enough to live in a placewhere we do not have to worry about the weather… We have the desert, the sea,the sun, so, why go somewhere else to do something we can do locally?’


Aside from the Dubai Marathon taking place in January everyyear, there isn’t much happening in terms of human endurance events.  So Berthomier has come up with: -Swim Aroundthe World-.


In December 2009, a few hardy individuals will be swimmingaround the world. This is not our Planet Earth though, it is the set ofmand-made islands built just off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  According to Berthomier, it is approximately a23Km swim. He reckons that at an easy pace of 25mn per kilometre, they are lookingat about approximately 10 hours of swimming, if the currents favour them oreven maybe 9 hours.  If not, he estimatesanywhere from 10 to 12 hours of swimming. So far, they are only 4 swimmers (twoFrench nationals and two New Zealand nationals). 


The exact dates in December are yet to be determined.  They will need assistance with a boat and agood boat handler to support this event. The swim will start at the “Southpole of the world” as early as possible in the morning to prevent themfrom having to swim at night and will be heading toward the “Northpole”. Tidal movements is another issue they need to consider, as they wantto avoid swimming against the currents.The boat will be leading the way byusing a GPS to prevent them from swimming in the wrong direction and addmileage to an already pretty long swim.


The assistance crew will blow a whistle every 30 minutes forthe swimmer to hydrate themselves and to eat a piece of fruit or energy barbefore resuming the swim. Preventing dehydration is key to making it to the endand it prevents cramps as well. We will also have a support crew who are medicfirst aid trained and qualified and a medic first aid kit will be part of the required equipment. We will use, review andagree on the “hand signals” to be able to communicate with the boathandler and crew if we are “OK” if we need “assistance”.

Berthomier says ‘there are very competent boat handlers andmedic first aid divers at the Desert Sport Divers Club and I’m sure that we willhave their support.’


The plucky team of swimmers is looking for volunteers forboat and support crew, more participants, and of course, anyone who would liketo sponsor the event would be welcome.


Contact Christophe Berthomier:

Google view of The World islands:






Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise is the former News Editor for She is based in Dubai.