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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Man Of Character - Finy Fichera Finishes...Twice

Nino Fazio reported from the Straits Of Messina in Sicily, Italy, "Yesterday, Finy Fichera from Taormina, a Sicilian master swimmer, completed a double-crossing of the Straits. The 82 year old swimmer is the oldest athlete to swim across the Straits. Two years ago, Finy completed a single crossing from Sicily to mainland Italy, but his swim was much harder due to the strong and wild currents."

One of the greatest experts of the Messina waters, Giovanni Arena, escorted Finy across in 2 hours and 46 minutes after swimming the first half in 58:38.

"Finy, who won the 800 freestyle at the Italian Masters Championships and will be at Goteborg's World Masters Swimming Championships, has one eye - which makes open-water swiming a real challenge. To help him to keep visual contact with his escort boat, a friend Camillo Carlucci swim backstroke by his side for a few miles. Finy is a real character."

The history of the Straits of Messina solo swims are compiled here.

Photos courtesy of Nino Fazio.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones


  1. did he wear a wetsuit during his double crossing, as pictured?

  2. Yes. However, we strongly support Finy in his efforts whether or not he wears a wetsuit. In fact, at the age of 82, we believe he has earned the right to swim any way he feels.

    On this point that you raise, we personally welcome everyone who enters the open water - wetsuit or not, experienced or not, fast or not. We respect those who can easily swim in sub-15°C (61°C) waters, and we greatly respect those who enjoy swimming in sub-10°C (50°F) waters, swimming naked as is frequently promoted by traditionalists, but we also believe the sport is richer for the growing number of people - including triathletes and older folks - who take to the open water wetsuit or not.

    This site is dedicated to the promotion of the estimated 16 million people who swim in the open water in at least 158 countries around the world where sanctioned open water swims or multi-sport endurance events are held.

    We love the fact that hardy athletes can swim in Ice Swims or the Irish Channel. We love the fact that tropical swims in the South Pacific and the Caribbean give a significantly different experience. We love the fact that people can swim any way they please in solo and staged swims in any ocean, lake, river, bay, reservoir, fjord, canal, strait, rowing basin or dam around the world. We love the fact that certain channels and certain organizations have not changed their rules since founding. We love the fact that people can work hard and acclimate themselves to cold water - while others can simply use a wetsuit and enjoy the open water under less stressful conditions.

  3. Finy wore a FINA-approved Diana Submarine swimsuit (legsuit) on his 2008 swim, and a FINA-approved first-generation Speedo Fastskin (bodyskin) for his 2010 swim.
    Nino Fazio

  4. Finy wore a FINA-approved Diana Submarine swimsuit (legsuit) on his 2008 swim, and a FINA-approved first-generation Speedo Fastskin (bodyskin) for his 2010 swim.

  5. for a given venue, differences in weather conditions from one attempt to the next (Nino Fazio apt comment "strong and wild currents") almost render mute the naked/suited controversy discussed in some detail in Chapter 26 or "Nothing Great is Easy" by Des Renford/Ian Heads, 2000 www.worldcat.org/oclc/48754849


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