Poole swimmer sets new Isle of Wight world record

Get the Morning Briefing newsletter

A PLASTERER from Poole has smashed the world record for quickest time swam around the Isle of Wight by an astonishing 11 hours.

Oly Rush set off on the 65-mile (105km) swim from Seaview shortly after 11am on Monday. Just 15 hours later at 2am on Tuesday, Oly crossed the finishing line and set a new world record.

In doing so, he has become only the fifth documented swimmer to have circumnavigated the Isle of Wight.

The environmental campaigner certainly lived up to his nickname of the “Vegan Powerhouse” by obliterating the previous world record of 26 hours.

After his swim, Oly said: “It was mostly plain sailing. However, the most difficult bit was right at the end – the last 10k – because the tides were against me.

“We knew they would be and that it would be the most difficult part. But the tidal planning was brilliant.

“My support team including Brian Thompson and Scott Dawson planned everything in detail and all I had to do was swim.

“In my wildest dreams I thought I might be able to do it in 17 hours if everything went well, but I never imagined I could do it in just over 15 hours."

Oly Rush has smashed the world record for time swam around the Isle of Wight

Craig Frampton from sponsors Reverse Nature, said: "Oly stands for what we believe in and we couldn't just make a donation and leave it at that.

"We wanted to be more involved and help take the stress off him with the money so all donations will go to the charities.

"Plastic in the oceans is a big problem and there are alternatives that can be used – such as hemp.

"We had every faith in Oly and he absolutely smashed it."

Prior to the swim on Monday, Oly’s dad Andy told the Daily Echo that he thought his son would be able to beat the record.

He said: “[Oly] wants to try and beat both the wetsuit and non-wetsuit records. I think he can do it.”

The record-breaking swim has raised more than £7,500 for anti-pollution charities, strongly surpassing the £5,000 target originally set.

Oly was accompanied on his swim by record breaking yachtsman, Brian Thompson, who skippered the main support boat. Brian is known as the first Briton to twice break the speed record for sailing around the world, and the first to sail non-stop around the world four times.

Oly Rush and record-breaking yachtsman Brian Thompson

36-year-old Oly previously made local and national headlines when the Daily Echo first reported on his encounter with around 50 harmless sharks during a night-time practise swim, in an experience he described as “fantastic”.

The fundraiser is still open, for more information visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/plasticfight?utm_term=pVa2QggAp