In 2007 Michael Ventre attempted to swim the English Channel. After 13 hours of swimming he was making no headway against the tide and was pulled out of the water in sight of the French coast. He wasn’t disheartened: after all, 13 hours of swimming is still a huge achievement. And that experience taught him something: he had endurance. In the words of Dory in Finding Nemo, he could “just keep swimming.” In 2011, on his third attempt, he successfully crossed the Channel.
With the Channel under his belt Michael went on to swim two more Oceans Seven crossings: Molokai and Catalina. But that wasn’t quite enough. He wanted an extreme challenge, a swim that had never been attempted before.
“I began Googling the world’s longest swims,” says Michael. “That’s when I came up with the idea of swimming from New York to London as it hadn’t been done before.”