Swimming a Long Way Together 47 Hour Endurance Swim - Brighton

Vanessa Daws

Archive Events & Talks (13 October to 15 October 2023, 5.30pm - 4.30pm)
Between Friday 13 and Sunday 15 October at Sea Lanes in Brighton, Fabrica and artist Vanessa Daws will present an Endurance Swim event as part of Swimming a Long Way Together, an ongoing project by Vanessa that celebrates swimming and swimming communities and is inspired by Brighton’s own Mercedes Gleitze.

In 1933, Mercedes Gleitze undertook an ‘Endurance Swim’ at the Heene Road Baths in Worthing, where she swam continuously for 47 hours without stopping or touching the sides, breaking the current endurance swim record at the time. Large crowds came to watch Mercedes swim and there was continuous music and entertainment on the poolside. People sang and read to Mercedes as she swam to keep her awake through the long hours, and Mercedes would sign autographs from the water. For sustenance, Mercedes would drink coffee, eat soup, honey, grapes, and, at her request, mackerel on toast!

This October, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Mercedes’ historic feat, Vanessa Daws is reimagining Mercedes’ Endurance Swim as a community endurance swim and performance at Sea Lanes in Brighton. No one person will be swimming for all 47 hours, instead participants will be timetabled to swim in the pool for short periods. These short sessions will take place consecutively (as a relay) until the 47-hour period is reached. At the same time, a rolling programme of entertainment from musicians, storytellers, DJ’s, spoken word artists, dancers and bands will be performed on the pool side.

How to get involved?

For this event, we invite swimmers to join us in the water and help complete this Endurance Swim together as a community effort and as a celebration of Mercedes Gleitze’s own record breaking swim. Find out more.

We are also looking for pool side performers to entertain help swimmers during the 47-hour swim. Find out more.

Cork 30 Hour Endurance Swim and Performance Storyteller Alice Briggs Photo Brian Cregan
Arts council england
Arts council ie
Heritage lottery fund
00 mercedes hi res options 2 SR 2

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