Film on 60 Year-Old Swimming the Strait of Gibraltar


Why take a risk at 60?

At this ripe age, Barney Heller decided he wanted to honor his late friend Doug by doing something extraordinary. Attempt an 11-mile open water swim from Spain to Morocco.

Barney Heller has been swimming all of his life. It’s the only sport he was ever good at. On the swim team at Bucknell University, he met his friend and fellow swimmer, Doug Drayton. When Barney learned two years ago that Doug died from a rare disease called Frontotemporal Degeneration, it shook him to his core. Barney thought he would honor him the only way he knew how – swimming.

Greg Heller, his son and a documentary filmmaker, learned of this and decided to start capturing his father’s training. “It’s a rare thing for a 60 year old to take a risk,” Greg says.  “And to do it for someone else, was honestly a bit out of character for my dad. I wanted to capture the changes he was going through as he faced aging, grieving, and attempting the hardest swim of his life.”

The documentary, Swimming the Strait, is currently in post production, and set to be finished in 2015. Visit the Swimming the Strait website, Facebook, and Twitter page to learn more and stay updated.

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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