On Friday 11th June, after months of training, Dave Tonge, a swim coach from Cardiff, set out to attempt a new world record. Incredibly, this was for the longest swim, by duration, in a wetsuit in an endless pool - a swim that would last 24 hours! And he did it!
HUUB supported Dave with his World Record attempt in the form of a personalised Varman Wetsuit. We caught up with an upbeat Dave (already on his way to the pool for another swim) to find out how the challenge went, what motivated him, and just how he did it.
After months of training, with regular 12-hour swims, Dave felt confident that he could achieve the world record - but it turned out to be the hardest thing the ultra-endurance swimmer from Heathwood Swim has ever done.
"I've undertaken lots of challenges over the years, including endurance swims and even a charity boxing match, but this was by far the most difficult thing I have ever done, mainly due to the mental element and the mind playing tricks on you."
When push comes to shove it was the mental resilience and the incredible dedication of his support team that was key in battling on in those dark moments when the mind is telling you to stop. As if that wasn't enough Dave also endured hallucinations as his blood sugar levels became too high. The team responded to this quickly - no food for three hours and an increase in the turbo speed - making the challenge more difficult would increase Dave's heart rate and burn through some of the excess glucose in his system.
It all sounds a little extreme, so what made Dave take on this incredible challenge?
We all know of people affected by cancer and Dave took on the challenge to raise money for Velindre Cancer Centre, a local hospital in Cardiff. So far, his efforts have raised over £8000, but there is still time to show your support on his Just Giving page.
The entire challenge was streamed live and judged by the world record judges on YouTube. The 24-hour challenge consisted of 25-minute swims with 5-minute comfort breaks and permitted a total of 4 hours out of the pool, but at one point the team was concerned about Dave's wellbeing and took him out of the pool for an ECG. "Getting back into the suit and the zone was incredibly difficult after that."
So how did you feel during and after the swim?
I'm feeling great, just a little achy in the shoulders. My hands, which were a mess and looked like they had been rolled by a steam roller, are recovering too. I wore my HUUB Varman suit, which I swear by! It's the most comfortable suit I have ever worn, flexible with excellent buoyancy. I didn't change the suit during the entire 24-hour swim and only had a very minor rash on my Adam's apple!"
We guarantee Dave can't wait to swim in the great Welsh open waters!