On 12 August, Isaac Yuen did an experimental swim near his home observed by me, which became the inaugural MSF documented swim (currently pending ratification) in Hong Kong. The swim itself is only a small challenge, especially for an experienced ultra-endurance athlete which has done more than 50 marathons / ultra-marathons / trail running races. What’s valuable is that by doing this swim, we have got a lot of experience in swim planning, crewing, observing, etc. according to the internationally-recognised rules and practices of marathon swimming.
It is part of my project to develop a self-sustainable marathon swimming community in Hong Kong using only local resources, including swimmers, crews, observers, coaches, pilots, boats, etc. The swim has provided us a minimal working example. It has provided us a basis to further develop on it.
The next step is to get the involvement from more people. I hope to get more documented swims done by different swimmers, crews and observers to broaden the community. When we get enough swimmers, crews and observers, we can set up an association to further promote and regulate the sport, and establish a local presence. Another step is to plan and do an offshore swim which is at a substantial distance from shore, requiring motor support.
Meanwhile, in September, we have got the first Hongkonger and the first Hong Kong relay team across the English Channel as well. In the past year, we have already got a few firsts in Hong Kong marathon swimming, including the first Hongkonger to swim round the Hong Kong Island (Alex Fong), the first Hongkonger to do an independent self-planned marathon swim (Isaac Yuen), and the first Hongkonger (Chun Kong Mak) and Hong Kong relay team (Hong Kong Lawyers) to swim the English Channel. This is a good start and I hope that we can build on.