Romanian Avram Iancu has started on Tuesday his third attempt to cross the English Channel. Iancu, a thirty-nine-old Petrosani-born librarian, is wearing swimming costume and cap, as required by the Swim Regulations of the Channel Swimming Association.
Despite severe weather conditions, Iancu was optimistic about his odds to succeed in the attempt and said he was ready to face it all.
“Swimming conditions are not optimal. I am mentally ready to face anything! It’s as if we Romanians are meant to face and to bear more than is the norm”, Iancu wrote on his social media account.
Iancu began crossing the English Channel at 7:39 am local time on Shakespeare Hill Beach, which is located between Dover and Folkestone, and is expected to arrive on the French shore somewhere in the Gris Nez area, as the distance between the two is considered the shortest. However, Iancu will swim around 42 kilometers, as he won’t actually swim in a straight line. The swimmer’s team consists of seven Romanians who provide assistance from Sea Leopard Pilot Boat.
“It rained on our departure, but the forecast shows that the weather will improve. The temperature of the seawater is around 17.5 degrees Celsius. Avram is well, optimistic,” Corneliu Bran, a journalist from Valea-Jiului-based newspaper who travels aboard the Sea Leopard told Agerpres.
During the crossing of the English Channel, Avram Iancu will receive food and water every half an hour, and every hour he will eat half a banana.
His team took charge of logistics, and Adrian Popescu, representative of the swimmer’s main sponsor, Ice World, is tasked with drawing a map of the route. Every time Iancu is supplied with food, his team will show him a placard dispalying the distance and the route covered, so as to avoid detours caused by currents. In addition, Iancu is wearing a customized watch which indicates his location and the distance left to the finish line.
Avram Iancu is accompanied by British-Romanian businessman George Betianu, who supported him in his previous two attempts, as well as a Timisoara-based fund raiser.
The progress of Avram Iancu can be traced in real time online at www.channelswimmingassociation.com.
Prior to the race, Avram Iancu had been training for three weeks in Dover. His previous attempts at swimming the English Channel came last year, in August and October, respectively. On one of his previous attempts, he failed to complete the crossing and had to abandon 15 kilometers away from the French shore, after the organizers warned that high waves and strong currents would have put his life in danger.
Avram Iancu is a librarian with the Municipal Library of Petrosani. Should his third attempt be successful, Iancu will become the first Romanian to swim across the English Channel.