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New record in monster swim at Loch Ness set by swimmers from Hong Kong and Czech Republic

By Val Sweeney

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A DISTANCE swimmer from Hong Kong has led a team to set a new unofficial record for a four-person relay swim of Loch Ness.

Experienced ice water swimmer Chun Kong Mak and his three Czech team-mates completed the 23 miles from Fort Augustus to Lochend in 11 hours and 38 minutes.

The previous unratified record was 14 hours 39 minutes, while the fastest relay time of 10 hours 28 minutes was set by three people.

“We were against the waves and the wind,” said Mr Kong Mak, a 32-year-old IT worker who lives in Prague.

“The whole team was tired but suddenly the wind direction changed and there was a rainbow shining over Lochend to welcome us there.”

The feat was accomplished on Tuesday when each team member took it in turns to swim for an hour before recovering for three hours on the support boat.

Their pilot was veteran long-distance swimmer Kevin Murphy (70) who has swum the English Channel 34 times, earning him the title “King of the Channel”.

Mr Kon Mak, who holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Munster in Germany, said open water swimming was his life.

“The current, the wind, the rain of course can be problems, and we have to train up to reach a certain condition but physical condition doesn’t govern all the factors,” he said.

“You need to learn how to be humble, to respect the weather.”

He was inspired by the mantra, Be water, my Friend, of the late martial arts star Bruce Lee.

“It has been my motto since I was 18 years old,” he said.

“In open water swimming it really helps. It’s how to be flexible no matter what conditions you get in the water.”

It was Mr Kon Mak’s first visit to Scotland and following the epic challenge, the team spent time sightseeing around the Loch Ness area.

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