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Iron Swim

From Openwaterpedia
Nejib Belhedi pulling a 70-ton ship for 350m in Tunisia as part of the World Iron Swim Challenge
Nejib Belhedi's progression in his Iron Swim challenges over the years
Nejib Belhedi pulling a trailing boat during his 200m 11-minute boat pulling event in the Port El Kantaoui in Tunisia on 17 November 2015 as part of the World Iron Swim Series
Iron Swimmer Nejib Belhedi starting an Iron Swim in the Mediterranean Sea
Iron Swimmer Nejib Belhedi of Tunisia swam from Kerkennah to Sfax in 2015 after his first crossing in 1991
Iron Swim plans

noun - Nage de Fer or an Iron Swim is an open water swim by a solo swimmer where the swimmer pulls a small catamaran or boat carrying at least two passengers or a camel or a larger marine vessel for the entire distance. The Iron Swim can also serve as a charity swim or a environmental swim. Under special circumstances if bad weather or rough sea conditions occur, the two passengers can be replaced with weights of equal weight for safety reasons. A rope or hoist of some sort is attached around the waist of the solo swimmer to the trailing boat.

Trailing Boat[edit]

The trailing boat can also be a small catamaran made of glass or carbon fiber.


Concept developed by Nejib Belhedi, a Tunisian marathon swimmer and channel swimmer.


The swimmer reminds observers and spectators of the ancient Phoenicians who sailed across the Mediterranean Sea. The Iron swimmer is thought to symbolize pulling rafts loaded by supplies to ships. The rope between the swimmer and the catamaran symbolize a link between generations in a harmonious society.

Iron Swims[edit]

Nejib Belhedi completed a series of Iron Swims including when he swam 18 km from Kerkennah Islands to Sfax in Tunisia, pulling an escort boat with two children in it. The world Iron Swim record is 21 km completed in 6 hours 30 minutes in the Gulf of Gabes on 31 July 2015. There are also Iron Swims in Djerba and 120 km across the American River in northern California from Sacramento to Benicia by Nejib Belhedi.

There is also an Iron Swim Olympiad where 12 open water swimmers will pull 12 different catamarans in a 50 km race from Southern Gabes littoral to Djerba Island in Tunisia in September 2016. Each swimmer will pull 120 kg in their catamaran under the official governance of Simon Griffiths, Stuart Hyde and Thomas Noblett.

He completed a boat pulling event on 17 and 19 November 2015 in Tunisia where he pulled a 22-ton trailing boat and a 40-tone trailing boat for 200 meters in 11 minutes.

Iron Swim 70[edit]

The Iron Swim 70 was a 350-meter open water swim where Nejib Belhedi pulled a 70-ton ship in the Port El Kantaoui, Tunisia on 23 December 2015 in 14 minutes 39 seconds from a dead stop. The Iron Swim 70 was part of the World Iron Swim Challenge and Ultimate World Iron Swim Challenge.

External links[edit]