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Holy crap, @Michelle_Muscat swimming time is up there with the world greats. We know she swam 14 km because from @TelevisionMalta to @marigoldmalta boasted about it:
We also know, thanks to @lukedalli88 & co going live on Facebook, the almost exact start and end times: 11.40am CET to 4pm CET.

4 hours 20 mins for 14 km in open water with a tough force 4-5 NW wind.
4 hrs 20 mins in seconds is 15,600 seconds for 14,000 metres. So @Michelle_Muscat swam at a constant rate of 14,000/15,600 or 0.897 m/s for 14 kilometers.

That’s 3.2184 km/h by the way.
By way of comparison, these swimmers at the Kazan 2015 aquatic championships’ 10 km race are doing around 1.2m/s or 4.2 km/h:
This is @michelle_muscat in the final sprint to the finishing line. An efficient stroke if ever I saw one.
An analysis of the stroke used by elite swimmers to achieve comparable times to @Michelle_Muscat would normally be a fast front crawl (freestyle). Instead, the strokes used by Michelle appear to be more elegant and clearly very efficient.
Here’s another look at that stroke. Remember she is achieving a constant speed of 3.2 km/h. Effortless.
Here are those 10km athletes again barely beating her speed - 3.2 km/hr vs 4.2 km/hr. Plus Michelle swam an extra 5km after these wimps were exhausted & done:
Michelle again:
Now it is evident that she’s not trying her hardest but is clearly achieving optimum efficiency. Being naturally gifted with the lean body of an Olympic swimmer helps:
Timewise @Michelle_Muscat’s 14 km swim from one end of the tail of Malta to the other (see below) in 4hr 20 mins absolutely trashes record holder Jaimie Monaha’s average times (for 10-13km):…
The distance swum by @Michelle_Muscat, 14 km, is comparable to the Thames Marathon and matches the career best by Marianne Johnson:…
Unfortunately Marianne in that swim came upper mid-table so Michelle clearly could have gone faster:
Then again given that such a Herculean swim by @Michelle_Muscat burns well over 3000 calories it is no wonder (especially given the efficiency of her stroke) that she conserved energy from her slender yet sporty frame.
We should probably analyse the route that #Malta’s holder of the illustrious office of Spouse of the Prime Minister took on her epic swim.
The distance, 14 kilometers, is not contested. Although her husband, @JosephMuscat_JM tweeted that it was 15 km. Anyone in the know, put that down to a habit developed over the years to factor in a “cut”.
Malta’s State broadcaster, @TelevisionMalta, makes it clear that this was a 14 kilometer swim and that she finished it:…
As did countless other media in #Malta reporting this historic event:
Along with friends and family:
We also know the planned route and time since, as with all of Michelle’s previous @marigoldmalta swims, a notice to mariners is issued:…
The notice to mariners tells us 3 things: (a) the planned duration of the event, (b) the start location and (c) the end location.

As regards duration, the silly organisers thought that 8 hours would be needed (11am to 7pm) but Michelle did the swim in just over half that.
She may have started 40 minutes late but managed to end by 4pm instead of 7pm. It is always hard to calculate when an elite swimmer might outdo her own expectations.
As regards start location, the notice mentions the Ras il-Qammieh area in the north of Malta. The event was called “Tail’s End” for a reason, since this is the left end of the “tail” to Malta’s fish.

This is the Ras il-Qammieh area:
In Google Earth we’re talking about here (plus 300m out):
The end location is also identified, Ahrax Point in Mellieħa. This would be here:
The problem is that Google Earth indicates that to cover 14 kilometers between those two points, the route would look something like this. But let’s check.
The mariners notice mentions that our mermaid could swim in the opposite direction if weather conditions so dictate. We know she swam in the direction noted above from this photo (that’s cirkewwa’s breakwater in the foreground & comino in the background):
This would place here at that time:
So, let’s set off on down Michelle’s epic route (she was accompanied by two army swimmers, a yacht, a dinghy and a SAR vessel but we can do it on the cheap with Google Earth). We’re off:
The swim picks up pace when we get to the place where the photo shared by @JosephMuscat_Jm was taken which Google Earth places at 3.5km in. Just 1/4 of the way in.
We reach the intended end as per the notice for mariners at 7.46 km into the swim. Michelle would now be getting well into her stride given that this is the half-way distance.
We now pick up pace as we just surpass the 10 km mark just past Slug’s bay. The entire tail has been covered yet still another 4 km to go. This is the last stretch.
In order to make a full 14 km, @Michelle_Muscat has now overshot the intended end point by 7 km and would be swiftly approaching the finish line somewhere in Bugibba / Qawra, with the National Aquarium as a backdrop to her final sprint.
Here’s that sleek and graceful sprint to the finish line again:
An alternate route would take her to the beach in Mellieha where she could have just walked up onto the sandy beach like a sultry Ursula Andress:
The end location does not quite look like sandy Mellieha bay though:
Given that Michelle’s times absolutely demolish your average iron man’s time we could contemplate alternate routes. Such as one with a cycling challenge:
Or one with a better view by swimming around comino:
Or even a swim through blue lagoon (if one could get past the throngs of tourists and yachts):
Whichever route was taken we know Michelle finished a 14 km swim in record time because she’s a winner (and very one celebrated her achievement):
And boy did they celebrate in the name of fishy foundations and their charitable causes.
Minor update. One news footage (in between the breathless praising) accidentally exposes that @Michelle_Muscat might have used flippers.
Something that clearly was not used at start or finish:
Given the recent discovery that Michael Phelps also needed a boost when racing a great white shark please don’t let this dilute the appreciation for Michelle’s epic feat.
Updated: In case you prefer a more precise analysis (with less humour), this thread is for you:
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