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David Tripiana, ambassador of the Respiralia Foundation, achieves his challenge to swim across the Canal de Menorca without neoprene in favor of children with Cystic Fibrosis.
Nearly 14 hours battling sea conditions
For 13 hours and 41 minutes, David fought against the sea conditions to carry out his dream of solidarity.
The Cap dels Freus, in Capdepera (Mallorca), was the point chosen to start this challenge, under the supervision of the Menorca Channel Swimming Association. At 06:18 on Tuesday, July 20, David started swimming at a pace of about 50 strokes per minute and an average of 3.27 km/hour. The sea offered the best conditions, with calm water and no currents to disturb his rhythm. David tells us how he felt in those moments: “I felt like I could swim long, fluid and full of energy, enjoying the bottom of the sea and its intense blue”.
Teresa Planas, a veteran in the waters of the Menorca Canal
In those first hours of the challenge, Teresa Planas, a veteran who has already achieved this same challenge, accompanied him braced by his side for a few kilometers in a sea that looked like a plate.
The currents appear after 4 hours of swimming.
As they were no longer sheltered from the island of Mallorca, their stroke rate was maintained, but their forward speed dropped to 2.5 km/hour due to the currents that were beginning to build up.
“From that moment on, I began to feel the physical exhaustion as I braced hard to overcome a stretch of strong swell that buffeted my body and slapped my face from right to left and vice versa. The Menorca channel is a difficult place to predict exactly, very changeable, and, therefore, when the hours of swell and current came that diverted us from the route and prevented me from swimming at my normal pace, I had moments of real helplessness in which I came to tears while swimming,” says David.
Provisioning without physical support
The team, on board the Association’s boat, and the people who were relieved in the support kayak watched over David’s safety and prepared the supplies he had to take every half hour, always floating in the water and without leaning on any element. Due to the swaying of the waves, the friction of the hair caused small wounds on his neck, so, following the rules of the crossing, the judge of the challenge, Toni Huguet, approved the application of an ointment so that he could continue swimming without pain.
David accepts the challenge proposed by “la mar”.
The forecast of crossing the Channel in 11 hours vanished, but, as David told us, “The swimming crossing of the Channel of Menorca is like that, and when you face a crossing of this entity you must arrive prepared and mentalized that there is a possibility that you have to swim 15 hours at the limit. Luckily, I arrived at the crossing with my homework well done in that sense”.
Destination: Cap d’Artrutx, Ciudadela
At 19:59, David touched the rocks of Es Cap d’Artrutx, in Ciudadela (Menorca), thus fulfilling a dream and a solidarity action in which he has invested 10 months of preparation. “Once the crossing is over, the general feeling is that of feeling fortunate to have been able to live this experience”. Peri Gardés, member of the Board of Directors of the Cystic Fibrosis Balearic Association, received him on behalf of the families with Cystic Fibrosis on board of a boat at the moment of the arrival.
The satisfaction of a job well done
Upon boarding the boat, once his feat was completed, the team formed by Teresa Planas, Moisés Marín, Nacho Torres and Carol Torres, along with Toni Huguet, Josep Marqués and Guiem Bosch, members of the Association, received David with the emotion of having participated in one of the most difficult swimming challenges.
David Tripiana has managed to raise almost € 2,500.00 through this sporting feat. This money will go entirely to the program “Educate equals Health in Cystic Fibrosis” of the Respiralia Foundation.