Swimming: In our ongoing search for masochists...

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, March 1995

Swimming: In our ongoing search for masochists...
By Todd Balf (with Jim Kelly, Martin Dugard, and Alison Osius)

Call Guy Delage a dreamer, but on December 16 the 42-year-old Frenchman left the Cape Verde Islands in a heroic bid to become the first person to swim alone across the Atlantic Ocean. Five ten-hour days later, things weren't so swell. He was seasick, 2,000 miles shy of the French West Indies, and weak from crawling up 15-foot-deep troughs. Not that Delage was close to calling it quits. He had come prepared for the misery of a 60- to 90-day Atlantic swim. Well, he'd swim some of the time. He planned to eat, rest, and sleep on a 15-foot, lightweight, solar- and wind-powered raft, which would also electronically track him and drift along behind him, carrying communications gear, his food supply, and, among other tools, an electric prod to drive away sharks and an underwater pistol capable of killing more "aggressive" types. "Let's face it," said a Paris-based journalist. "He's bloody crazy." At press time, Delage was still hard at it and on schedule to reach the West Indies this month.

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