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Tallinn – Helsinki -Charity Swim – Patrik Kvikant

Hello everyone,

Humble thanks for the encouragement during the swim. Your great support helped me move forward.

Many have thanked me; hundreds of supportive messages have come. Personally, I want to thank the background troops and highlight them. They made it possible for me to focus on swimming. Teamwork at its best. No one swims a distance like this without a backup crew. Thank you, Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Association: Kristiina Heinonen, Tero Savolainen, Niko Nieminen.

The valuable business partners: Odgers Berndtson, Vaasan, Instrumentarium, Vaaka Partners, Tallink Silja, Nor-Maali, Elcogen and Planex. Last but not least, Ark Project with crew: Roland Ulfstedt, Oliver Fewster, Sami Multisilta and Veli. Photographer Julius Jansson. Communication & PR Samuel Sorainen and SoMe wizard Karin Kvikant. Technical advisor and long-distance swimmer Gustav Kvikant and of course my wife Danita, who supported me throughout the project. Family is an important resource.

The media was part of this endeavour very nicely and highlighted the project and the charity. The fundraiser exceeded the goal even before I reached the finish line. A big thank you to everyone for donating to a good cause. Finnish children will be grateful during the fall when the swimming lessons are organized. In time, we will inform how, where and when the funds were used and what results have been achieved.

I admit that the swim was not easy. Every nautical mile was honest and sometimes I was swimming at extreme limits to make the journey. Over 100,000 swim strokes over three days. 80 times I got out of the water into the boat for quick breaks and then back into the cold water again. The feeling in my fingertips as I write this is still gone, but slowly coming back. The bitingly cold sea water, 10-12 degrees Celsius, was felt to the bones, and the constant side wind, which took me back towards Estonia, made swimming significantly more difficult. I even had to put one wetsuit on top of the other to keep my body temperature from dropping too much. The layering worked, but I felt quite stiff, and the pace slowed down. The left hand took its toll when I swam against the wind, so that I could go forward, not back. After that, the pain sometimes forced me to swim with just one hand, you learn this too when you must. The escort boat on the other hand had to be driven to the safe harbour due to the rough weather. The only correct solution even though valuable swimming time (6 hours) was lost. I tried to catch up the next day, and almost succeeded. A delay of two hours is permitted with this maritime explanation.

On the other hand, as a challenge, both mentally and physically, it was a wonderful experience. The human body endures and stretches when it must. 800-900 training kilometers (I stopped counting after 500) during half a year beforehand ensured durability. It was worth it; we reached the finish line.

The same task without the encouragement of so many and without the charitable aspect would have seemed hollow and selfish. Done this way, the project has a more valuable meaning that I can and should be proud of.

I was asked before and after the swim how I managed to swim to the finish line. My answer was: by being unyielding, stubborn and persistent. As a bit of a “late riser”, I realized that an important, if not the most important, asset was the sincere vast support that came from many directions. From family, friends, half-acquaintances, strangers and of course the media. Perseverance and training hours may have helped me to the finish line, but the wide support of people gave me a tremendous amount of positive energy that made the difficult journey joyful and mentally rewarding. I am now trying to share this positivity and good energy within the swimming lesson scope. For a work-oriented and perhaps somewhat selfish businessman, it feels good to be involved in a project where helping others, especially children, is at the center.

The last, most important and most rewarding part of my swim is just ahead. Helping children concretely in the form of swimming lessons. I’ve seen the plans for Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation and they look good. Together with the federation, we will work for the next few months to ensure that we only have positive things to report later in the fall.

Together, we made and will make Finland a better society, where benevolence and the sharing of resources overcome selfishness and complacency.

Finally, a couple of pictures that tell the different stages of a great project. I wish everyone equally a good continuation of the summer. Cheers Patrik ”Pate” Kvikant

Before departure, still smiling.
Trial ahead, feeling the best.
Everyone is capable of great performances if they want to. Attitude counts.
2 boats looking after me 24/7. They did an excellent job.
Need I say more. This is a hugely rewarding form of exercise. Available to all of us Finns all year round.
The crew handled the route selection professionally. It never felt like we were on a collision course.
+100,000 of these moves during the trip.
The swimming buoy was sometimes put into use when safety required it.
Even the bigger waves came to say hello.
A short well-deserved break.
End of day. 16 hours in cold water per day should be enough. The risks also increase when darkness comes.
Business partner Tallink Silja in the background.
The style is free, sometimes like this, sometimes breaststroke.
The snorkel ensured that the cyanobacteria did not disturb the swimmer.
Always fun.
Life should not be too serious.
Greetings from Estonia. Getting out of the water into this position was surprisingly challenging.
Son of a pilot in the water.
About 2/3 of this went into the swimmer’s mouth during the trip.
Business partner Vaasa strongly involved. The bread came in handy and brought rye to the wrist.
The whole team: swimmer, RIB boat and escort boat.
A swimming buoy is an excellent and important safety tool. Strongest possible recommendation. You are visible, you are findable, you can rest, and it helps you stay afloat if your strength runs out. You can fit things inside, for example food, drink or a mobile phone and keys and everything stays dry.
No make-up. It would hardly have helped.
At the finish line. Happy and tired. (Picture: Iltalehti)
800-900 training hours during the half year before the actual performance, thanks to Märsky (Mäkelärinne), Järvenpää swimming pool and Allas Sea Pool. Thanks to this training, I knew in advance that I was fit enough for this job.
Business partners. These valuable and important partners covered the direct costs of the project, so that the donations themselves go 100% to the right destination, i.e. to swimming schools and thus to the children.