Neil Agius enters world record books with 125.6km non-stop swim from Linosa to Gozo

Anti-pollution activist and ultra-swimmer makes Malta proud with world record-breaking swim from Linosa to Xlendi

Neil Agius. Photo: Kurt Arrigo
Neil Agius. Photo: Kurt Arrigo

Ultra-swimmer Neil Agius has swam into the world’s record books with the longest non-stop swim from Linosa to Gozo, a record of 125.6km completed in just over 52 hours.

The anti-pollution activist made landfall at 10pm in Xlendi, Gozo, amid a cacophony of boat horns, whistles, wild cheering and applause.

He gently staggered ashore into the arms of partner Lara, who had proposed to him right before departure from the Italian island on Monday evening and followed every minute of his swim from a boat. 

The 35-year-old former Olympian beat the previous world record for the longest continuous, unassisted, current-neutral swim along a single-segment natural route in an ocean, sea or bay, which was set at 124.4km.

The original plan was for Agius to end his swim in Malta, but the course of the route had to be moved further north due to opposing currents. The original starting-point, Tunisia, was changed because of bad weather conditions which prevented the crew from leaving the original location.

Agius was assisted by 32 crew members on five sailing boats and two rhibs.

The crew sailed off to Sicily on Sunday 27 June and arrived early Monday morning with the swim kicking off at 5pm yesterday.

Neil Agius’s Wave of Change initiative is encouraging the public to help by taking part in the Double the Wave Challenge, to collectively pick up 1 million pieces of plastic that would eventually end up in the sea.

For people to participate they have to pick up six pieces of plastic anytime, any place, and snap a photo of the plastic collected, tag #DoubletheWave and @waveofchangemalt, and nominate six people to join in.

“Please make sure you throw the plastic away in a recycling bin,” Agius said. “We would also like to see people keeping healthy and fit so we recommend that physical activity remains part of your daily routine. Picking up plastic when walking the dog or just returning from your car to your home is also an easy way to keep fit whilst caring for our environment.”