Since 1928, 625 swimmers have swam across the Strait of Gibraltar. 85% male swimmers and 15% female.
Where swimmers come from
66% of swimmers are from four countries: Spain (38%), USA (11%), UK (10%) and India (8%). 62% of male swimmers come from 3 countries: Spain (38%), UK (10%), and the USA (9%). On the women side, 64% of them come from the USA (24%), Spain (20%) and India (20%). Big news for me to see the large representation of Indian female swimmers in this group.
How long it takes them to swim across the Strait
The average time it has taken swimmers to cross Gibraltar is 4 hours 41 minutes. Male swimmers’ average is 4 hours 39 minutes, while women’s average time is 4 hours 51 minutes.
Relative speed by swimmer segments (of at least 10 swimmers)
Setting the overall average crossing time as index = 100, we see that the fastest segment of swimmers are South African men. Also faster than the average crossing time are Australian men, Spanish men, Spanish women and US women. The slowest segments are Indian men and women. Also slowern than the average are Argentinian men, UK men, German men and Italian men.
|Swimmer segments||Average = index 100|
|Men South Africa||91.3|
Swimmers getting faster
From 1929 to 1949, the average swim across the Strait of Gibraltar took more than 11 hours. between 1950 and 1999, the average swim came down to between 5.5 hours and 6 hours. In the last decade, swimmers’ average has further come down to 4:31.
|Year of crossing||Time|
|1929 – 1949||11:17|
|1950 – 1969||05:37|
|1970 – 1989||06:00|
|1990 – 1999||05:27|
|2000 – 2012||04:31|
When they swim
August and September are the most popular months to cross the Strait of Gibraltar.
May and July are the months with the fastest average crossings.
August has the warmest waters with July and September temperatures slightly colder.
|Crossings||Average time||Water temperature in Tarifa|
|May||4%||04:23||18 C (64.4 F)|
|Jun||11%||04:35||21 C (69.8 F)|
|Jul||17%||04:32||23 C (73.4F)|
|Aug||28%||04:44||24C (75.2 F)|
|Sept||29%||04:43||23 C (73.4F)|
How they cross (solo or in a group)?
A large majority of successful swims are done solo. The second most popular format is in pairs, which accounts for 26% of crossings. Crossing in groups of 3 or more account for less than 10% of successful swims. The time it takes to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar varies, but it is tough to say if there is any correlation.
|Number of swimmers in crossing||% of crossings||Time of crossing|
|More than 5||2%||04:07|
If any of you wants me to take a look at these stats with a different angle, just leave a comment and I’ll look into it.