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Swimmer Makes it Across Gulf of Finland in Three-Day Odyssey

A Finnish man recently swam the 90km between Estonia and Finland, public broadcaster Yle reports, raising money for children’s swimming charities in the process.

The near three-day marathon took 54-year-old Patrik Kvikant from Tallinn, to the shores of the Eira district of Helsinki, where he arrived around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Kvikant said that he only started serious swimming as an adult, and was further motivated by his son’s swimming accomplishments – which include a marathon swim from the Finnish capital, to Stockholm, Sweden.

Kvikant senior’s main aims were fundraising, and the ceiling of €10,000 has already been reached – local regulations prevent collecting a greater sum than that in the immediate term, though Kvikant says he is working on cutting through the bureaucratic red tape.

The recipients’ of the funds raised will be organizations which teach children from poorer backgrounds to swim. Additionally, children’s swimming abilities have taken a hit since the Covid pandemic, Yle reports.

Kvikant was followed by a fishing boat containing a support team, though while he was able to rest along the way, he only totaled around six hours’ sleep over the entire three days.

Additionally, Kvikant says he burned as many calories during the three-day swim as a grown adult male would be expected to in a fortnight.

The main challenges included the cold water, despite the time of year – with values of 12-14C being the norm, exacerbated by high winds, which generally seemed to be against him rather than behind.

Monday in particular saw some pretty big waves, driven along by strong westerlies.

Kvikant said that his training for the epic journey started last November in an indoor heated pool, gradually working his way up from 100m to 30km though if he could have done anything differently regarding training, he would have incorporated more open water swimming sessions, he said – these only started in mid-summer, due in part to conditions in the Gulf of Finland most of the year.

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