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Moody masters the marathon
Yallingup surfer Mark Moody, a Junior / Open National swim medalist recently successfully completed two open ocean swim crossings in Indonesia.
Earlier this year in February Mark and American Marathon swimmer Monte Monfore completed a channel swim crossing from Bali to Java a distance of 4klms at the closest point. The channel is renouned for its currents & whirlpools however the swim was not plagued by the strong currents that can sweep between Bali & Java and Mark stepped ashore in Java 55 minutes later after leaving a deserted stretch of beach north of Bali's ferry terminal port to Java - Gilimanuk.Both swimmers stated that the swim attempt was to attract attention to the plight of Tsunami victims in Indonesia and the importance of being a competent swimmer.
In March earlier this year both swimmers decided to attempt a swim crossing from Nusa Lembongan Island to Bali across the notorious Bandung Strait. The stretch of ocean between Bali & Nusa Lembongan Island a popular surfing destination to many Australian surfers is notorious for whirlpools and strong currents.
This crossing has only ever been completed by two Americans ever before, one of them being Monte Monfore who held the World Record time of 2hrs 46 minutes. After completing 6klms of the swim the attempt was called off due to strong winds and choppy seas which hampered the swimmers progress.
Undaunted by this defeat at the hands of Mother ocean both swimmers again entered the water on May 3rd just north of well known surf break 'Ship Wrecks' at 5.58am and successfully completed the swim. Monte covered the 18klm swim in 3hrs 04 minutes and Mark in 3hrs 28mins to become the 'first Australian' ever to complete both channel crossings.
On studying ocean charts it was interesting to note that both these straits have the summits of volcanoes rising up from deep ocean floors thus creating incredibly strong rips and whirlpools on the surface. the swim was well planned to avoid the huge tidal surges which can occur in these waters and both swimmers were elated with their swim crossing.
Mark & Monte both struggled in the last 2 - 3 klms of the swim as a southerly current dragged them both well to the south of their planned landing destination. Mark stated that "the last 2 klms were a real killer and I must have swum 1klm forward as I also went 1 klm sideways!
"All I know is I didn't want to end up too far to the south as the big sweeping bay on this side of Bali means your swimming distance can increase to 20+ klms IF you don't make it to the beach!" Both swims were sponsored by a well known Perth / Indonesian owned Bali Ocean Cruising company 'Bali Hai Cruises' and Bali Hai Diving Adventure based out of Benoa, who supplied a tender / safety boat and staff to escort the swimmers across the Strait.
Monte a keen swimmer and body surfer is now planning to swim from Bali to Lombok across the Wallace Line, a feat never attempted by any swimmer let alone 'part fish' and planning has commenced for this swim attempt in the next 12 - 18months.
Mark is currently a Lifesaving / Lifeguard Instructor in Bali with a local company 'Bali Aquatic Safety Services' providing consultation & training programs to local community and corporate organizations. He is planning to complete another Bali - Java swim crossing in the next 3months to raise money for a local charity organization and continue to raise attention to management of our oceans precious resource and keeping them clean!!