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PE adventure swimmer Kyle Main to swim across Thailand islands

by ZwemZa on November 12th, 2017
Kyle Main (Twitter)

Kyle Main (Twitter)

While most travel by ferry intrepid South African adventure swimmer Kyle Main is preparing to become the first person to swim between two of Thailand’s famous islands.

In December, Main, a Port Elizabeth based swimming and triathlon coach, will battle the currents from Ko Yao Yai Island – one of the largest off the Thailand coast –  to Phi Phi Island in a continuous 22km swim in Thailand’s Andaman Sea that should take between four and five hours.

“From what I hear one can take a one and half hour longtail boat ride between the islands – but it is not nearly as scenic.” Main jokes.  Thailand is an attractive tourist destination, but travel between its scenic islands can be onerous in heavy swell on the open seas.

Having pioneered swims across South Africa, Main recently turned his rudder towards international waters, notching up several ultra swims including the Rottnest Channel off Australia in an African record time in 2015 and the Straits of Gibraltar in the fastest recorded time in 2013.

Last year and slightly closer to his Indian Ocean shores, he pioneered a 20km swim from Serpent Island, 30 km north of Mauritius,  to Flat Island days after  he became the first person to swim from Flat Island, adjacent to the notorious Shark Pit diving site, to Grand Baie a distance of 21kms in 4 hours.

Home to a population of 8000, Ko Yao Yai (island) is the largest island in the Ko Yao Archipelago positioned north of the notorious Straits of Malacca, one of the busiest shipping lanes on the globe.

Carrying about 25% of the world’s traded  goods. the Strait a narrow, 890 km stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is one of the most important and congested shipping lanes in the world.

“Ko Yao Yai is on the northern most tip of the Strait, so I don’t expect too much big shipping”, says Main. “The big issue is going to be dealing with strong currents and chop that surround these islands.”

Main trains up to two times a day in a 25m gym pool and on weekends does longer sea swims off Port Elizabeth’s coastline.  He departs on December 10 and his actual swim window will be determined by conditions and tides.

Main can be reached by email:  kyle@mainsports.co.za

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