June 2011 - Gary Parker agrees to swim from Europe to Asia for St.Davids Foundation - the Hellespont Swim August 2011
Gary will be swimming the 4.5 kilometres from the Gallipoli peninsula on the european continent to Canakkale near Troy in Turkey on the continent of Asia. It is known as the Hellespont is arguably the most iconic swim in the world. It is geographically, historically & culturally significant, whether it is swimming between continents or following in the tradition of Leander and Byron.
Historically the crossroads from Asia to Europe, it has been a natural barrier for invading armies. Both King Xeres I of Persia in 480BC and Alexander the Great a century and a half later crossed the strait on a bridge of boats and throughout history the Hellespont was the first line of defence for Constantinople.
Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite, lived on the European side of the Hellespont in a high tower by the sea. Leander, a young man from the Asian side, swam every night guided by the lamp which his mistress lit at the top of the tower, in order to spend the night with his beloved Hero; and before dawn, he returned to his city by the same means.
The poet, Lord Byron amazed at Leander's nightly conjugal powers swam the Hellespont on his second attempt in 1810. He became the first since Leander to achieve this feat.
Gary certainly won't be the the 3rd person to achieve the swim, it is now an annual event on "Victory Day" where one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world is closed for the Hellespont race.
Gary hopes to raise atleast £2,500 for the St.Davids foundation charity.
Training for Hellespont :-