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Embracing the Elements with Guinness World Record Holder Jessika Robson.

Updated: Mar 9

In the picturesque town of Ballycastle, where the sea meets the rugged beauty of the pebble beach, we recently had the incredible opportunity to capture the spirit and determination of Jessika Robson, a Guinness World Record holder.

With the Scottish Islands on the horizon it was against a similar back drop in the coastal town of Donnaghadee where Jessika set off in the darkness on the 9th of September 2023.

At just 17 years Jessika etched her name in the pages of history— conquering a gruelling 11 hours and 46 minutes swim across to Portpatrick in Scotland.

The Challenge Across the Horizon: Imagine the enormity of the challenge – 35 kilometers of open water, unpredictable currents, and the endurance required to swim for nearly twelve hours straight. Jessika faced it all, embodying the true spirit of a record-breaker with every stroke.

Standing on the pebble beach in Ballycastle, the panoramic view extends far beyond the horizon. It's here that the Scottish islands, distant yet visible, put Jessika's extraordinary journey into context.

Image by CausewayCamera Prints available from BASALTsix

"The jellyfish stings, were by far, the toughest part of my swim!
As soon as I hit it, I thought, this is going to hurt and just waited for the pain......
The first one was awful, it got me right from my chin down to my feet. It really shook me up, I won’t lie. I just stopped in the water and shouted. I really had to dig deep and tell myself I just had to get on with it. I kept telling myself, it will stop hurting soon (it didn’t) and I just needed to finish my swim, I’d got this far, this couldn’t stop me.
 I was quite nervous of my surroundings after that and got a couple more stings along the way.  Jerry, one of the infinity crew, kept watch at the front of the boat, to try and keep me away from them as much as possible. Just having him there, really helped keep me calm." Jessika Robson

Nomination for Women of the Year: Jessika's incredible achievement caught the attention of the World Open Water Swimming Women Association, earning her a nomination for Women of the Year. This recognition is a testament to the magnitude of her accomplishment and the impact it had on the open water swimming community. To be considered among the most exceptional women in the field speaks volumes about Jessika's dedication and the historical significance of her swim.

Award for Youth of the Year: Adding another feather to her swim cap, Jessika recently clinched the Youth of the Year award from, (Irelands Adventure Magazine). This award acknowldges not only her physical prowess but also the spirit of adventure and resilience that she embodies. Jessika's journey is now celebrated not just within the community but resonates with a broader audience passionate about outdoor exploration and pushing boundaries.

Ice Queen

As 2024 unfolds, Jessika Robson continues to make waves, not only in open water but also in the chilling embrace of cold water events. Her year started with the 12th Eastern Bay Invitational International Ice Mile Swim held in Clontarf Outdoor Pool, Dublin on Saturday, 03 February. Jessika completed the mile in an impressive 22 min 3s but unfortunately the water was a balmy 6.8°C therefore TOO WARM!!! and did not qualify as an "Ice Mile"

The latest chapter in her aquatic adventures saw Jessika compete at the "Really Cold Swimming Championships" held in Sheffield on February 11, 2024. Battling against the bone-chilling elements, Jessika not only faced the frigid waters but emerged victorious, clinching top honors in both the 400m and 100m Freestyle events with a water temperature of just 6°C.

What's Next: Jessika Robson's Quest for Challenges Beyond the Horizon

Introduction: As the echoes of Jessika Robson's historic swim from Donnaghadee to Portpatrick still reverberate, the young record-breaker is already setting her sights on the next frontier. The Open water swimming season kicks off in May with the 7.5km Battle of Carlingford hosted by Infinity Channel Swimming following which she has her eyes set on the Irish Triple Crown.

The Irish Triple Crown: In addition to the already accomplished North Channel Swim, the Triple Crown includes the 21km Fastnet swim in Baltimore Co Cork on the most southerly tip of Ireland. The Galway Bay Swim, 13km from Aughinish in Co. Clare to Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill. Completing this trio of iconic swims would mark a monumental achievement, solidifying Jessika's status as a force to be reckoned with in the world of open water swimming.

Ice Mile: Winter brings a different kind of challenge, and Jessika is eagerly awaiting the colder months to pursue her long-awaited ice mile. An ice mile is a one-mile swim under International Ice Swimming Association rules in water temperature of 5 degrees Celsius or less wearing just a standard costume, goggles and one swim hat.

"I've been chasing my ice mile all this winter and unfortunately the water temperature is now too warm, so that's a goal for next year. Alongside the ice mile I would like to get more involved in more ice competitions as I’ve really taken a liking to these different challenges"

As Jessika Robson embarks on her next set of challenges, the open waters await her with their unpredictable tides and uncharted territories. The Irish Triple Crown and the ice mile are not just swimming endeavors; they are chapters in a story of resilience, determination, and unwavering ambition. We eagerly follow Jessica's journey, inspired by her courage to Embrace The Elements.

"We are very proud to be working with Jessika, her achievements encapsulate the essence of our Moto, Embrace The Elements. Nigel Armstrong BASALTsix

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