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Sat 21st Sep 2019
Swim Europe to Asia
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 2nd March 2010

Tags  Hellespont  |  Lord Byron  |  SwimTrek

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Put simply, the Hellespont (aka the Dardanelles) is probably the most illustrious open water swim in the world successfully completed by Lord Byron 3rd May 1810.


To commemorate the celebrated English poet Lord Byron’s inaugural swim crossing of the Hellespont, a once in a lifetime swim race is being organised by SwimTrek to follow in his wake exactly 200 years to the day. The Byron Swim Festival will be held over the Bank Holiday weekend in May and will feature seminars, films and discussions, with the actual swim race taking place on the exact bicentennial date, 3rd May 2010. The swim festival is attracting people from all over the world including The Rt. Hon. Lord Byron and his son, The Hon. Charles Byron. Charles Sprawson, author of the ‘Haunts of the Black Masseur’ book is also swimming.

Lord Byron set out to swim across the waters which separate Europe and Asia as he was inspired by the romantic Greek myth of Leander and his lover the priestess Hero. It was the mythology of Leander’s nightly swim across the 4.5 kilometre stretch of water to his lover that inspired Lord Byron to become the first known person to swim from Europe to Asia. On successfully completing the crossing he said: “I plume myself on this achievement more than I could possibly do on any kind of glory, poetical, political or rhetorical.”

This iconic race has only 200 places available and it is already creating a lot of excitement and spaces are going fast! The organisers believe that this once in lifetime opportunity will attract people who want to share in the adventure that inspired Lord Byron all those years ago and who can rightly claim they have swum from Europe to Asia.

For more information about the race and to book a space visit