HOP ambassador Louis Alexander will soon be completing one of his most memorable adventures this year, a swim that is steeped in history which will see Louis swim from Europe to Asia across the Hellespont and Dardanelles strait in Turkey.
On August 30th, 22 year old Louis Alexander will be completing a once in a lifetime swim which will see him follow in the footsteps of great thinkers like that of Lord Byron who completed this swim at the same age in 1810.
The open water swim from the Black Sea to the Aegean will see Louis Alexander swim 4.5km across waters which are renowned for their strong currents. Despite this open water swim being Louis’s first, he is ready to face the challenge all in the name of charity.
HOP spoke to Louis Alexander to find out more about his training for such an exceptional adventure.
Louis told HOP "I originally signed up to the race in 2020, however it has been cancelled for the last two years due to the pandemic. I’m very excited, and grateful, that the event is back on this year. The race was inspired by Lord Byron, the romantic poet, who first completed the cross-continental swim in 1810. What makes the event even more special for myself is I will be the same age as Byron, 22 years old, at the time of the event over 200 years later."
With this open water swim being the first for Louis, he said “this will be my first swimming event, and considering it is called the epitome of ocean swimming, I don’t think there could be a better swim to start with."
Louis said that this historic challenge is one filled with intense training as “the Hellespont is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, however, every year on Turkish Victory Day they close the channel for just two hours. To add to the escapade, when you set off from the start, you are leaving Europe, and on arrival at the other side of the strait you land in Asia. I’m incredibly excited to embark on such a historical and prestigious adventure….My training has included ocean swims, time in the pool and strength & conditioning sessions, with a focus on shoulder mobility. Alongside all the training is my focus on recovery, with consistent sessions in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, cryotherapy and red light therapy at The Body Lab in London.”
This swim will be one of importance for Louis as he is raising awareness for Alzheimers UK,
in honour of his Grandfather Captain Rick Taylor, who was diagnosed with Dementia at only 58 years old. When speaking about his Grandad, Louis said “I had the privilege of speaking at his funeral, and made the promise to family and friends to never give up on the fight for a cure, and to support Alzheimer’s Research UK until the day we beat Dementia together. I will not break that promise.”
To support such Louis’s inspiring endeavour, you can donate to Alzheimer's UK on: