Monday, Aug 05, 2013

Riccardo Palumbo Sets World Record

How long could/would you stay in the water?

Xcel athlete Riccardo Palumbo has set a new world record of 50 hours in the water non-stop. The Italian swimming instructor, 31, broke his own previous record of 48 consecutive hours in the water.

Starting on a Friday afternoon and finally ending Sunday evening in an event organized by ProWater2013, Riccardo achieved the new milestone by subsisting on liquids only as he braved the waters of Switzerland's Lake Lugano.

Riccardo was officially timed by the Italian swimming federation and monitored by both a physiotherapist and medical doctor during and after his world record. As a testament to his physical fitness, after 50 hours he emerged without hypothermia and with normal blood oxygen and flow - despite not being able to sleep once during the event.

Water temperatures ranged from 70° - 77° Fahrenheit - which sounds deceptively warm except when you realize Riccardo's minimal exertion level. For gear, Riccardo chose a ThermoFlex custom 7/6/5mm fullsuit and 6/5mm hooded vest; and added 6.5mm booties and 5/4mm gloves at night.

So - Why stay parked in a glacial lake for over 2 days straight? According to Ricardo, "It's the passion that I have for this element, water - and my friends that have accompanied me throughout this whole journey." The test of mental and physical endurance was also aided by the many people "that came to keep me company at all hours of the day and night."

Follow Riccardo on Facebook.

Watch a video interview with Xcel Europe Brand Manager Stephane Waeber here (Italian).

All photos below courtesy of ProWater2013 and Chelodesign.