Ross Edgley, the first human to swim around Great Britain, stepped foot back on Margate beach last Sunday morning. His gruelling 1,792 mile ‘Great British Swim’ took 157 days to complete, and led to him breaking three world records in the process.
Yesterday, he has posted the final vlog in his Red Bull YouTube series which documents the last stretch of his epic journey including the final miles as more than 300 open water swimmers and members of the Royal Marines Commandos honoured Ross with a mass swim-in.
You can watch all the episodes of Ross’s Great British Swim and re-live his epic voyage by watching all 24 episodes on the Red Bull YouTube channel.
Reflecting on the finish of the swim, Ross said: “I’d spent the best part of the last 157 days staring at the bottom of the sea bed, so I had honestly had no idea what to expect. I thought it was going to be my family, Hester [Ross’s girlfriend] and a pizza – which would have been fine!
“At the start of the swim, it was just me and the Mayor of Margate, so to come back and to see how it has gathered so much momentum was amazing. It’s hard to picture what 300 swimmers look like and I didn’t actually see them at first, I heard them! It was at that point that I realised why the Great British Swim was so special.”
Such was the reach of the Great British Swim that a man and his son from Denver, Colorado, flew in the day before to watch Ross’s final swim in. Saying: “You go to work every day and you have your ups and downs, but you watch a guy like this and you just think ‘if he can hang in there the entire time, then what could you achieve with your life’. It’s been pretty amazing to watch.”
The big question now remains; what next? But despite having just swum continuously for five months, the athlete adventurer hasn’t ruled out another giant swim – confessing “It sounds weird, but I’m still not bored of swimming.”
Looking back at the Great British Swim in the final vlog of the Red Bull YouTube series, Ross said: “The whole thing turned into a community whereby people were able to tell and share stories, so if someone was to turn around and say ‘I ran my first 10k because of the Great British Swim’ – that’s all I could ask for. It wasn’t a swimming lesson, it was an experiment in mental and physical fortitude that we were able to document and help people learn from.
“It never ever felt like I was swimming alone out there, it was never an individual sport – it was a massive team effort. All I can say is thank you for every like and every comment, without you, it would never have been possible.”
Adventurer Bear Grylls said: “I just want to wish Ross so many congratulations. What you’ve done is remarkable, words don’t really do it justice. What grit, courage, commitment, determination and positivity you have shown. So many of us admire you so much. You are a hero and I want to wish you a good recovery time.”
Ross Edgley’s Great British Swim has been nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Award and Ross will be at the WOWSA Open Water Summit in San Francisco on 9-11 November.
Ross’s past five months at sea have been documented via the Red Bull YouTube channel, covering every record-breaking high to every jelly-fish stinging low.
To watch the final episode of The Great British Swim visit the Red Bull YouTube Channel