Ridler's 33 hour swim aimed to inspire urgent action to protect and restore the health of the Hauraki Gulf. Photo via facebook.com/jono.ridler

Jono Ridler Breaks New Zealand’s Ultra-Distance Marathon Swim Record

Ridler’s 33 hour swim aimed to inspire urgent action to protect and restore the health of the Hauraki Gulf. Photo via facebook.com/jono.ridler

Aotea, Great Barrier Island — Jono Ridler has set a remarkable new record for ultra-distance marathon swims in New Zealand, surpassing the previous benchmark after spending over 33 hours in the water. Ridler’s momentous achievement took him from Aotea (Great Barrier Island) to Campbell’s Bay on Auckland’s North Shore, starting at 10 am on Tuesday.

While the exact distance covered by Ridler is yet to be officially verified, it is indisputable that he swam well beyond the required 80.8km mark for breaking the record. Fueling himself with a unique combination of donuts and meatballs during his challenging journey, Ridler aimed to inspire urgent action to protect and restore the health of the Hauraki Gulf.

Hamish Willcox, a dedicated supporter, shared updates from the support boat on Wednesday, approximately 32 hours into the swim. Willcox described the rough sea conditions and the immense physical and mental fatigue Ridler was enduring. He said, “There’s obviously incredible fatigue going on and I have no idea what must be going on in his head – one can only imagine – but he’s feeding well… he’s coping with these massive waves which are up to 2 meters and this wind which has been almost 20 to 30 knots all day.”

Expressing astonishment and admiration for Ridler’s determination, Willcox added, “No one here in the support crew can believe what he’s done and what he’s going through and what he’s proceeded with, he’s just an extraordinary young man.”

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Willcox humorously revealed Ridler’s last snack before his extraordinary accomplishment, stating, “His last snack had been a donut… I’m not 100 percent on that but there’s a lot of powdered stuff going down – and it’s not white powder.”

While closely monitoring Ridler’s progress, the support crew took great care not to interfere with his swim and jeopardize his efforts. Willcox acknowledged Ridler’s passion for the Gulf and his tremendous support, saying, “He’s done an incredible job, obviously a huge passion for the Gulf is what’s driving him to this incredible attempt and I know that he’s gonna be stoked with all the support he’s received.”

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

-with RNZ

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