The Open Water Swim Traverse
THE OPEN WATER SWIM TRAVERSE is a 10-minute film about a team of 6 swimmers who swim from Cyprus to Batroun, Lebanon to raise awareness on plastic use and its impact on the Mediterranean Sea and the world, directed by Edwin El Bainou. The 180 km swim started on 17 October and finished 51 hours 50 minutes later on 19 October 2019.
The Open Water Swim Traverse was the winner of BEST SHORT FILM at the February 2021 WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival.
Traverse Swimmers, Crew & Sponsors
33-year-old Soumaya Merhi (TAQA Snacks founder), 40-year-old Jad El Ghosn, 36-year-old Diane Boulos, 59-year-old Mary Anne Reese Ballouz, 44-year-old May El Timani, and 45-year-old Martin Mougharbil completed the first open water non-stop relay swim from Cyprus to Batroun, Lebanon finishing in 51 hours 50 minutes on 19 October 2019.
The crew that assisted and supported the team included filmmaker Edwin El Bainou, medical assistance Doctor Elianne Khoury, and escort pilots Adel Assal, Joseph Boulos, and Ziad Salhab with sponsorship and collaboration by Exocet Sailing, Batroun Municipality, Maroun N. Chammas Recognition Award, MTV Lebanon, Batroun Festival, LWIS School, IM Capital, Clemenceau Medical Center, and Bolero Batroun.
As part of TAQA’s ongoing environmental activism, The Open Water Swim Traverse was organized and produced by TAQA Snacks. TAQA is a Lebanese bakery offering a selection of healthy and plant-based oat cookies and energy bars. TAQA boosted the swim by providing the adequate snacks and nutrients needed, and also produced a short-movie covering the swim and the environmental cause.
2021 World Open Water Swimming Product or Service of the Year Nominees and Winners
Open Water Swim Traverse was nominated for the 2021 World Open Water Swimming Product or Service of the Year Award. The winners and nominees included:
Winner: Aloo of Mexico
First Runner-up: La Morada Club of Argentina
Second Runner-up: Oceans Seven: How I Cheated Death And Broke The Hardest Record In Swimming
4. Radikal Swim Swimming Club of Spain
5. We Swim Wild of Great Britain
6. Hammer Head Swim Caps of USA
7. Safe Sea of Israel
8. Against The Current of USA
9. Ask Me Why I’m Stood Here: A Bristol Channel Swim Tale of Great Britain
10. Ocean Walker Academy & Wellbeing Centre of Great Britain
11. Bruckner Chase Ocean Positive of USA
12. Maarten van der Weijden Foundation of the Netherlands
13. Freedom Swimmer of China-Hong Kong
14. Amphibia Dry Mat of Ireland
15. The Swim Reaper of New Zealand
16. Open Water Swim Traverse of Lebanon
17. Goa Open Water Swimming Club of India