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Pitcairn Islands

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The Pitcairn Islands group is a British Overseas Territory, officially named the Pitcairn Group of Islands and are one of the remotest of the world's inhabited islands, lying halfway between New Zealand and the Americas.

It comprises the 4 islands of Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno. Pitcairn, the only inhabited island, is a small volcanic outcrop situated in the South Pacific at latitude 25.04 south and longitude 130.06 west. It is roughly 2,170km (1,350 miles) east south-east of Tahiti and just over 6,600km (4,100 miles) from Panama. The Islands' administrative headquarters are situated in Auckland New Zealand, 5,310 km (3,300 miles) away.

The 4 Pitcairn Islands are spread over several hundred miles of ocean and have a total land area of about 47 square kilometres (18 sq mi). Only Pitcairn, the second largest island measuring about 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) from east to west, is inhabited. With only about 56 inhabitants, originating from four main families who are descended from the mutineers of HMAV Bounty and their Tahitian companions, Pitcairn is the least populous national jurisdiction in the world.

Pitcairn Island

Pitcairn Island is approximately 3.2 km (2 miles) long and 1.6 km (1 mile) wide with the capital Adamstown located above Bounty Bay and accessed by the aptly named road, "The Hill of Difficulty".

Marine Protected Area

In March 2015 the British government established the largest continuous marine protected area in the world around the Pitcairn Islands. The reserve covers the islands' entire exclusive economic zone - 834,334 square kilometres (322,138 sq mi) - more than three times the land area of the British Isles. The intention is to protect some of the world's most pristine ocean habitat from illegal fishing activities. A satellite "watchroom" dubbed Project Eyes on the Seas has been established by the Satellite Applications Catapult and the Pew Charitable Trusts at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Harwell, Oxfordshire to monitor vessel activity and to gather the information needed to prosecute unauthorised trawling.

Open Water Swimming

Alex Kostich pioneered the first 9.8 km solo unassisted circumnavigation swim around Pitcairn Island on 4 May 2019 in 2 hours 37 minutes to establish a new Guinness World Record.

2019 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nomination

Alex Kostich's Pitcairn Island circumnavigation swim was nominated for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year award as follows:

Alex Kostich has succeeded – and lasted – in Hollywood for over two decades, responsible for the promotion of hit movies as his dryland profession. But it is in the ocean where Kostich has set his mark for the ages. After years of planning and closing in on the Circumnavigation Seven with a 19 km circumnavigation swim around Bora Bora, several 4.3 km swims around Naples Island in California, a 20.1 km Swim Around Key West in Florida, Kostich completed his most adventurous and treacherous circumnavigation yet: a 9.8 km very roughwater swim around Pitcairn Island way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Just getting out to one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands took careful logistical planning and had to be delayed for months. Then his window of opportunity closed on him due to inclement weather and he set off not knowing if the swim was even remotely doable. But 2 hours 37 minutes after he started, the small community of Pitcairn will forever remember the island’s swimming pioneer. For mapping out a detailed plan to get to and pioneer a swim around Pitcairn Island located 2,170 km from Tahiti and 6,600 km from Panama, for swimming through heavy surf and wavy conditions with a large degree of uncertainty about finishing, for being bold and adventurous enough to swim outside of his comfort zone, the circumnavigation swim of Pitcairn Island by Alex Kostich is a worthy nominee for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

Guinness World Record Acceptance Speech


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