On 17 January, Hunter Wright from Redding, California, at 17-years old, became the youngest person to swim across the Straits of Magellan.
Wright was hoping to also beat the speed record for the crossing but the currents in the strait didn’t run as expected. While conditions were moderate as he began at 7:42am, with air temperature at 5 degrees Celsius (41F), water at 5.6 degrees (42.1F) and a current of 12 knots from west to east the current did not decrease as expected. As a result, Hunter was pushed towards the east, forcing him over the borderlines despite powering forward at about 70 strokes a minute. As he reached the centre, the currents started to change to form whirlpools in the area.
His coach and Water World Swim founder Pedro Ordenes – a Chilean native and the oldest person to cross the Strait – says: “Hunter impressed his support team as he kept a very steady pace during the whole crossing. The weather kept changing for the worse, as winds reaching 14 knots made their presence felt. Hunter then started to look fatigued but maintained his pace.”
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