New York to London Swim – April 2017
I’m Michael Ventre and I am an experienced extreme open water swimmer and passionate about ending extreme poverty. I have partnered with Oxfam and in 2017 I aim to raise £5M to help them meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.
To do this I am going to swim from New York to London, 3800 tough miles across the world’s wildest ocean, battling all that the elements can throw at me and dodging killer marine life.
I know it sounds crazy and impossible, but I have a team of scientists behind me who say that with the right preparation and equipment it can be done.
It takes 6 hours on a commercial flight from New York to London but I will need to be at sea for between 5 and 7 months to swim the same distance. I will be swimming for 6-8 hours a day then taking a GPS reading upon exiting the water, before resting and refueling on a support boat. I will then be getting back in the water at the point I previously got out and starting swimming again. It's going to be physically and mentally punishing but I know it can be done and I won't stop until I step out of the River Thames on to landfall in London. I will need support throughout which will include two support boats, captains and crew, medical staff, safety divers, food, equipment and fuel. This is a massive undertaking and costs are estimated to be in excess of £2m.
I have taken this financially as far as I can on my own and now I need your help to make this a reality. I am not asking for the full amount for the project through crowdfunding. I need your help to raise the first £40,000 which will help me and my team obtain corporate sponsorship for the expedition.
A Word From Oxfam
”I was both astonished and hugely impressed when I heard about Michael’s plan to swim from New York to London in aid of Oxfam. Michael is a wonderful example of someone who, like us, won’t live with poverty, and it is humbling to think that his passionate dedication to fighting poverty has led him to attempt such an enormous feat. We are immensely grateful to him and his team for the hard work they are putting in to making Michael’s dream a reality. Like the swim, ending poverty may seem impossible, but we can end this injustice. By working together, we can create a fairer, safer world where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. I hope you will join me in supporting Michael as he takes on this mammoth challenge for the 1.2 billion people currently living in extreme poverty.”
Tim Hunter Director of Fundraising, Oxfam GB
I’m 38 years old, British and I live and work in London as an IT Engineer. I’m a regular guy who likes socialising with friends and family, travel and open water swimming, but I also have a desire to right some injustices in the world. I have swum the English Channel, two other ‘Oceans Seven’ channels around the world and competed at the Winter Swimming Championships in Latvia and Finland.
I have been planning this monumental project for a number of years and have a team of scientists and professionals that have given up their time to help me get to this point.
My journey started back in landlocked Botswana, Southern Africa in September 1988 when I was a small boy. I was watching television and on the news an 11 year old boy from England, Thomas Gregory, had just become the youngest person to swim the English Channel. He was two years older than me and I was amazed by what he had done. Back then I had never seen the ocean and wouldn’t for another 3 years. But from that point I set myself the goal of doing the same as Thomas and swimming the English Channel.
When I completed the English Channel in 2011 it was a monumental personal achievement for me, but that was only the beginning. Since then I have completed other swimming challenges around the world (the Molokai Channel in Hawaii, The Catalina Channel in California and Winter Swimming Championships) and now comes my biggest challenge – The Atlantic Ocean from New York to London.
This swim is going to be a world first. No one has ever attempted to swim between the world’s two most iconic cities and I want to show that an ordinary person can do something extraordinary if you put your mind to it. In taking this mammoth task on, as well as raising money for Oxfam for their fight against extreme poverty, I want to do something that inspires others to do things that they thought something they previously thought impossible, just as I was inspired as a 9 year old.
Why is ending extreme poverty important to me?
Growing up in Southern Africa it was impossible not to notice the vast contrasts in social inequality between different communities. It's not acceptable that millions of people suffer severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter and education. This is an opportunity for me to take a stand and to assist in the alleviation of poverty in non-conflict zones by the year 2030. Oxfam and I need your help as this is a colossal task but I believe that we can overcome any challenge if we come together and play our part.
Why should it be important to be a donor?
In becoming a donor you will not only be part of the team that is aiming to attempt a world first crossing of the Atlantic from New York to London, you will also be creating a platform to raise millions of pounds for Oxfam and assist in the achieving the United Nations goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. You will receive regular updates and exclusive content as the project progresses. When I step into the Hudson River in New York in April 2017 you will be able to track my progress and receive live updates from the middle of the Atlantic. Only with your donations will I be able to bring corporate partners on board which will then enable the project to go ahead as planned.
Where will the money go?
This is purely a not for profit venture and all monies that are donated will go towards funding the swim. I want to make it clear that the initial funds that I am looking to raise will not go directly to Oxfam. At the point the project has full backing from corporate sponsors to cover all operational costs we will start fundraising for Oxfam.
What will the project cost?
We have calculated that the costs for the expedition will be in excess of £2m. Being at sea for up to 7 months will incur a substantial financial outlay and the following will all need to be acquired, rented or purchased for the swim to go ahead:
- 2 Support boats - minimum 75ft +
- 2 x Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB)
- Fuel for 7 months
- Approx 12-16 crew - Captains/ Crewmates/ Medics/ Safety crew/Divers/Observers
- Safety equipment
- Communications equipment
- Flights and hotel accommodation for crew on rotation
- Transport for crew to and from the support boats
- Back Office support
What will you spend the funding on if you hit your minimum?
If we are able to hit the minimum target of £20,000 it will allow us to pay for staff, operating costs and to obtain professional fundraisers to target corporate backers for approximately 2-3 months.
Where will the money go if you hit your full target?
If we hit our full target of £40,000 we will be able to continue the corporate fundraising for a longer period of time which will increase our probability of success.
What will you do with extra funds if things really take off and you raise more than your target?
If we raise more than our initial target it will also help to pay for some equipment and the logistics in the build up to the event.
What will you do with any assets you have after the swim has been completed?
Any assets that have been accumulated (which may include large support vessels) will be sold after the swim has been completed and any funds raised will go to Oxfam.
How often will you give updates on progress when you're running your project or campaign?
Updates on the project’s progress will be sent out monthly to all donors via e-mail. You will also be able to follow the project via social media on Twitter and Facebook.
Frequently asked Questions
How will you swim from New York to London?
This unprecedented swim does sound crazy but I know that it’s possible. I will swim for 6-8 hours and between 14-18 miles each day. I will repeat this every day for as long as it takes to reach London which could be approximately 210 days. Once I hit the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream (23-26°C) I may be assisted by the current, which is unpredictable but it is possible that I could cover between 20 and 40 miles per day where the current is at its strongest.
How will you make sure that you cover the entire 3800 miles?
I will be using GPS equipment to track my position in the Atlantic – you will be able to follow where I am on line. When I get out of the water a GPS reading will be taken and after I’ve sufficiently rested the boat will manoeuver back to the point that I exited and I will start swimming again.
Will you be swimming every day?
Weather permitting I will be swimming everyday, on occasion conditions may make it too dangerous for me to be in the water, during these periods I will stay on the boat whilst we ride out the storm. If in the event of me falling ill I will need to spend time recuperating on the boat.
Won’t you get attacked by sharks?
I may see sharks and other potentially hazardous marine life on a daily basis, however the boat will be fitted with a Sharkshield system to deter sharks from approaching too closely. I will also have people on the boat looking out for sharks and watching the sonar for any large objects approaching from below. My biggest concern will actually be jellyfish which can have tentacles reaching up to 30m in length. When I swim in to the them, the tentacles will wrap themselves around me and cause burning pain and inflammation of the skin. I will need immediate attention from the medical team on board to neutralise the stings.
What will you be wearing whilst swimming?
I intend to swim in CSA (Channel Swimming Association) regulation equipment of trunks, swimming cap, goggles and lard or Vaseline. In bad weather or large jellyfish blooms it may be necessary to break away from CSA rules and use a wetsuit, small snorkel and possibly fins. You can read more about the swim at www.newyorktolondonswim.com/
We’ve got a range of fantastic New York to London Swim branded merchandise and also some experiences that money can’t buy, to thank everyone who donates, whatever amount you might give.
Find us here
Help the New York to London swim become a reality!
You don't need to donate money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat in your office, over the fence or on your blog. In fact, we would appreciate it if you share it with everyone you know, and the more people who know about it, the more likely the project is to succeed. Please support us and help make the New York to London Swim a reality!
Have you sponsored this project? If so, log in to comment on updates!
The New York to London Swim crowdfunding campaign has now ended and I would like to thank everyone for contributing to make this a success. We have raised over £20K and I am incredibly humbled by your generosity. We will now work on getting your rewards out to you as quickly as we can.
The project doesn't stop here though, this is just the beginning. Your donations will help the team to secure corporate funding to get me to the starting line in New York in April 2017 so we can raise millions of pounds for Oxfam to help end extreme poverty.
My team and I are talking to corporate partners to try to secure the additional funding we will need for the 7 month Atlantic crossing. I now have 16 months to prepare for my biggest challenge and I am training hard and am very excited about the prospect of swimming from New York to London.
Any additional donations can be made through our main website www.newyorktolondonswim.com/donate and potential corporate partners can get in touch with us through our website www.newyorktolondonswim.com/partners
Thank you for your support
Today we received a few extra pledges which has enabled us to reach our minimum target of£20,000 which is an extraordinary amount and thank you to all of you have pledged and spread the word! I am truly grateful. Thank you for believing in the campaign and helping me on my journey to become the first person in the world to swim the Atlantic from New York to London in aid of Oxfam!
The team can now focus their energy on gaining corporate sponsorship and help in creating a global marketing platform with which to share this extraordinary story! If your organisation wishes to enter into discussions with us on how we can make this a reality and meet your companies’ goals then please get in touch! We’d love to hear from you! http://www.newyorktolondonswim.com/partners/
The Hubbub crowdfunding platform has also said that they are happy to extend the project by another week. This is to enable anyone who wishes to still obtain one of our many rewards that we are offering if you pledge and become part of the journey. These range from merchandise items such as wrist bands, towels, T-shirts and baseball caps with the project logos to seeing me off at the start in New York in April 2017. The new deadline date is Monday the 11th of January.https://newyorktolondonswim.hubbub.net
Thank you all again!
The crowdfunding campaign for the New York to London swim has been extended to the 4th of January so hopefully that will help in getting to the much needed £20K target in order for pledges to be received. Thanks so much for your amazing support so far! You've pledged nearly £8,000 in 6 weeks!!
Please help further if you can and please also don't forget that there are a tremendous set of rewards we are offering for your involvement in the campaign!
I've chosen Oxfam as the organisation I will be supporting in order to help fight extreme poverty worldwide once the swim is confirmed as happening. Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.25 a day and the good news is that extreme poverty has been halved globally in the last 15 years! I need your help to get me to the start line in New York and to help Oxfam eradicate extreme poverty in the next 15 years! This is doable in our lifetime!
Merry Christmas to you all!
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (detailed info)
Just noticed that the project says it has been completed without reaching target. This is a temporary technical error as the project has been extended to January the 4th, 2016 and should be rectified by Monday.
Thanks so much for all the recent pledges, Facebook mentions, shares and Twitter interactions over the last few days!
The team and I will continue to work tirelessly to get to the minimum target of £20,000 by the new closing date, but yes we will need the support of the public to get us to the finish line. So please continue to mention to your friends, family and work colleagues and share this project in the hope that we can lift this project off the ground and take it to the next stage.
Hi there everyone!
With 5 days to go we are now at £7241!
Again a massive THANK YOU for your efforts so far!
This week is the final push as we are still £12759 short.
Once again please share as much as you can in these final few days!
I’ve included a few pics below of my winter training in Dover this last weekend. Chilly but exhilarating!
Update to follow soon!
Thank you again for your recent pledges! Yesterday there was a marked jump in the number of donors after the BBC World interview.
We are currently at 13% at £5471 which is a wonderful pledge amount, but with only 16 days left we are still quite short of reaching the minimum of £20K in order to allow any funds to be distributed to the campaign.
Please don’t forget that we have a selection of excellent rewards you can choose from to show my appreciation for your support and involvement.
Please can you still spread the word as much as possible? You can also click on the Helper utility where you will then be able to share and spread the word to your network and create further awareness of the project.
To go to the Helper option:
On the Hubbub site click on the “Become a helper” button to the right of the social media icons.
US Press coverage:
So far I’ve not managed to get the story published in the United States. If anyone has any particular media contacts in America then please can you connect them with me?
Other recent media interviews:
More press coverage coming soon!
Thanks again and please keep spreading the word!
Thanks so much for playing such a vital part in helping me on my journey to becoming the first person in history to swim from New York to London!
Currently we are at 9% of our target with more appearances in mainstream print media coming up in the next few weeks.
In the meantime take a listen to Michael speaking on BBC Radio 2 to DJ Simon Mayo about the big swim. Interview at 1hr 44mins.
Michael was also recently in the studios of BBC Radio Merseyside speaking to DJ Paul Salt. Interview at 2hrs 39mins 45secs.
Please keep spreading the word on social media, at your office as well as with your friends and family!
New York To London Swim Branded Merchandise
Check out our fantastic range of branded merchandise that we will send you to say thank you for making a pledge.
Pledge £15 or more and we'll send you a New York to London Swim Wristband.
Pledge £25 or more and we’ll send you a Wristband and either a white New York to London branded Baseball Cap or Swim Cap.
Pledge £30 or more and as well as a Wristband we will send you a white New York to London Branded T-Shirt
Pledge £40 or more and we will send you a branded New York to London Swim Towel - White 70cm x130cm with embroidered logo and Wristband.
Pledge £50 or more and we will send you a branded New York to London Towel, Swim Cap and Wristband.
Pledge £75 or more and we will send you a branded New York to London Swim T-Shirt signed by Michael plus a Wristband.
Pledge £100 or more and we will send you a branded New York to London Swim Towel, Swim Cap, T-Shirt and Wristband.
Pledge £200 or more and we will send you a Wristband, a branded New York to London Swim Towel, a signed New York to London Swim T-Shirt, signed Swim Cap and signed Baseball Cap.
Thank you for your support
Check out our new Trailer Video on YouTube
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