Swim coach makes a splash for charity

Top News | Cindy Wan 5 Nov 2018

Edie Hu swam around Hong Kong Island in 12 hours 37 minutes and 43 seconds to raise HK$540,000 for a charity teaching domestic workers how to swim.

The veteran swimmer's time is over four hours faster than that of former record holder Linda McGill, an Australian Olympian who completed the challenge in over 17 hours in 1976.

But the 43-year-old Hu's time is around three minutes slower than that posted by British expat Simon Holliday last year.

Hu plunged into the water near the Sai Wan Swimming Shed near Kennedy Town at 5am on Saturday to begin the challenge of swimming a full clockwise circle, measuring 45 kilometers, around Hong Kong Island.

Despite a light drizzle early in the morning, the challenge, dubbed "HK360Swim," went smoothly.

Following a favorable current, Hu swam from West to East, passed by Victoria Harbour, Shek O and Ap Lei Chau and returned to the starting point in the evening.

She could have finished the challenge quicker, but was slowed down by an unexpected current in the last few kilometers.

The only breaks Hu took during the challenge were the few occasions when she tread water in order to eat liquid food and drink water.

According to the rules of "HK360Swim," Hu was not allowed to touch any part of the kayak that accompanied her.

Hu was accompanied by four friends who swam with her for 45 minutes. Her domestic helper students also cheered for her along the way on a boat sponsored by yacht retailer Simpson Marine.

"I was very calm while doing the challenge. Most people don't realize how beautiful open water swimming is in Hong Kong. I hope my swim inspires others to enjoy and protect the environment," Hu said at the finishing point.

She also hopes to inspire people not to give up on their dreams.

Hu achieved her target of raising HK$500,000 for the Splash Foundation, for which she is one of the founding coaches.

It is the only charity in Hong Kong that offers free swimming lessons to domestic helpers and underprivileged children.

The amount raised is enough for the foundation to teach 250 people. The charity has so far taught 1,300 people since it was established in 2015, and aims to teach 5,000 by 2020.


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