FXTM Brand Ambassador Lewis Pugh reaches finish line of the Long Swim

FXTM long swim lewis pugh

The following article was written by FXTM staff writer Kirsty MacSween.

The Long Swim has been swum. Dover’s Shakespeare Beach is more usually the starting point for taking on the challenge of swimming across the English Channel, but on Wednesday, the 29th of August, it instead played host to the triumphant finale of the first completed swim along the entire 530km length of the Channel. It has been endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh’s toughest challenge yet, writes FXTM’s Senior Staff Writer Kirsty MacSween.

Supported by his Lead Partner, global broker FXTM, Pugh tenaciously swam from Cornwall’s Sennen Cove (Land’s End) to the white cliffs of Dover in Kent, in some of the most gruelling conditions he’s ever faced. He might have already battled -0.7 waters in the Antarctic, but poor weather, almost impenetrable swarms of jellyfish and waters congested with shipping traffic all conspired to try to break both Lewis’ spirit and his body.

It’s an incredible, world record-breaking achievement: the first time someone has swum this route clad only in Speedos, a swimming cap and a pair of goggles for protection against the stinging cold and the (even more stinging) jellyfish. These restrictions are in place to conform to the Channel Swimming Association’s regulations. They make it challenging enough to swim across the Channel, let alone while swimming the length – a distance approximately 16 times as long.

The thought that kept Lewis going through all this discomfort is the fact that this wasn’t just about pushing his willpower and his body to the limits, it was about bringing attention to the environmental crisis facing our oceans. Lewis Pugh is not just an impressive athlete – he also works tirelessly as a UN Patron of the Oceans to advocate for the urgent change the world desperately needs in order to protect marine life, both now and for future generations.

The Long Swim was the first event in the Action for Oceans campaign – an ambitious project that aims to convince governments to grant 30% of the world’s waters Marine Protected Area (MPA) status by 2030. The first step is encouraging the UK government to bolster the MPAs in their waters; as it stands just 7 square kilometres out of 750,000 are protected in this way. The message has certainly penetrated the highest echelons of government now; Environment Secretary Michael Gove celebrated with Lewis on Shakespeare Beach.

Without immediate action on a huge scale, it is estimated that by 2050 there may be more pieces of plastic in the ocean than fish. Pollution devastates marine habitats and raises the temperature of the waters to unliveable conditions for many sea creatures. Lewis has seen the changes first-hand over the course of his 30-year career; spots teeming with diverse ocean life are now deserted wastelands with plastic bags floating past – akin to tumbleweed on a desolate landscape.

Sobering memories like these are what pushed Lewis to get back in the chilly water every day – and often twice a day. They pushed him through the pain of being stung by jellyfish over and over, and propelled him forwards when a shoulder injury flamed up and made each stroke agony. Unhelpful tide times and bad weather caused him to fall behind, and made getting up in the middle of the night to swim (decked out with glowsticks so his team could keep track of him) an unwelcome necessity. But, in the end, no setback could stop him from reaching the finishing line to bring his message of the importance of ocean conservation home. As soon as he recovers from the Long Swim, he will be back out, spreading this message even further on a busy media tour with the UK’s leading media.

The mood on Shakespeare beach was inspiring with an energetic crowd of well-wishers gathered to welcome Lewis back to dry land. FXTM participated in a beach clean-up in collaboration with Lewis’ other partners Speedo and Surfers Against Sewage to remove toxic plastic from this beauty spot.

As an award-winning broker that prides itself on educating its clients around the world, FXTM is proud to support Lewis in spreading this important message as far as possible. FXTM’s CCO Lex Webster comments, “As a company that prides itself on a sense of social responsibility and integrity, FXTM is delighted to work in such close collaboration with Lewis Pugh. His commitment to educating the world about the plight of the ocean matches our dedication to supporting our clients across the globe with first-class trading education. We look forward to supporting Lewis on each next step of his journey and extending our beach clean-up initiatives to our key regions.”

To find out more about this partnership, please visit FXTM and follow #FXTMGoesBlue on social channels.

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