Thousands of people came to watch this epic feat. Mercedes loved music and during the 47 hours musicians, singers and actors performed on the pool deck, creating a festival atmosphere and helping raise her spirits as she swam.
Ninety years on, artist and endurance swimmer, Vanessa Daws is re-imagining Mercedes’ 47-hour swim as a community swim and performance at the new national centre for open water swimming.
Rather than a solo effort, this event reimagines Mercedes’ epic feat as a collective undertaking by the wider swimming community. Organised as a relay, the two-day event will ensure that at least one swimmer is present in the pool at all times to keep the relay going.
This special event is part of Swimming A Long Way Together, an ongoing project by artist Vanessa Daws that celebrates swimming and swimming communities – inspired by Brighton’s own Mercedes Gleitze. Mercedes’ swim at Heene Baths was her final Endurance Swim, so it is fitting that Swimming a Long Way Together at Sea Lanes will conclude this phase of the project in Mercedes’ home town.
The Swimming a Long Way Together Endurance Swim is open to all swimmers to take part. Find out more and apply here