Estreito de Gibraltar (Strait of Gibraltar)

“According to los prácticos (pilots and observers), who are the same who escorted everyone who swum the strait of Gibraltar so far, no one was more powerful, more fighter or more intelligent swimmer than Da Costa.”

Spanish newspaper, Andalucia, 1965, the day after the swim of Couto, called in Spain as Da Costa ( Abilio Alvaro da Costa Couto).

Nota: Todos os textos aparecem primeiro em português e na sequência em inglês. FOTOS no final da página.

(Note: All texts appears first in portuguese and  following in english. PICTURES in the end of the page).

No ano de 1965 Abilio Couto, com 40 anos de idade, foi para a Espanha para atravessar a nado o Estreito de Gibraltar, entre a Europa e África.

Couto chegou a peninsula de Tarifa, o projeto inicial era fazer a travessia de Tarifa até Malabatana, na baia de Tanger, em um percurso de 14 km. O mau tempo fez com que a travessia fosse adiada por vários dias.

Em 8 de Outubro de 1965 iniciou a travessia saindo de Tarifa, Espanha. Após 8 km nadados o vento da região conhecido como "levante" provocou o engrossamento do mar e a correnteza o desviou de sua meta, fazendo que nadasse aproximadamente 25 km indo parar perto de Ceuta.

As 14:57h bateu a mão em Punta Bergantín,Marrocos. O jornal Marca registrou que o brasileiro não comeu durante a prova, fez somente 4 pausas para "beber um gole de chá e outras bebidas refrescantes". O objetivo era fazer atravessia em 2h 45 min, porém completou Gibraltar com 5 h 52min.

No meio da travessia uma onda arrancou seus óculos, tendo que fazer uma pausa ( dentro da agua) para colocar outro.

O Jornal Marca de Madrid destacou que Couto teve que se defender de um ataque de pássaros e  nadou junto com golfinhos durante uma parte da travessia. Uma foto que foi publicada no jornal mostrava a cena descrita.

Com esta travessia, Abilio Couto se igualou a americana Florence Chadwick, com 40.000km nadados em travessias, calculados pela Federação Espanhola de Natação, através do Prof. Enrique Ugarte.

Segundo registros da Associacion de Cruce a Nado Estrecho de Gilbraltar ( ACNEG), Couto foi na época o nadador mais velho a conseguir realizar a travessia, 41 anos,  além de ser o primeiro brasileiro. Seu tempo foi recorde sul-americano de 1965 a 1969 ( 4 anos) e recorde brasileiro de 1965 a 2002 ( 37 anos). No final, devido ao mau tempo, Couto nadou 25 km dos 14 previstos.

 

In 1965, Abilio Couto, 40 years old at the time, went to Spain to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, the open water between Europe and Africa by swim.

When Couto arrived at Tarifa peninsula, at first, the Project was to swim from Tarifa to Malabatana, in the Bay of Tangier , in a route of 14 km. However, due to bad weather, ​​the crossing was delayed for several days.

In October 8th, 1965, he began the swim leaving Tarifa, Spain. After 8 Km swam the strong wind in that area known as " levante " caused the thickening of the sea, removing him from his goal  and making him swam approximately 25 Km ending up near Ceuta.

At 14:57 he reached Punta Bergantín in Morroco. The newspaper Marca afirmed that the swimmer did not eat during the swim, making only four pauses to drink tea or other refreshing beveries. The goal was to finish the long distance swimming in 2h and 45 minutes, however, he completed it in 4h and 52 minutes.

During the swim he lost his swimming glasses due to a strong wave, so he had to stop to change for a new one, without leaving the sea.

The Marca newspaper from Madrid pointed that Couto had to defense himself from a bird attack and that he also swam with dolphins during the swim. There were a picture in the newspaper showing the scene.

With this swim  Abilio Couto reached the American Florence Chadwick considering swimmed kms, with a total of 40.000km, calculated by the Spanish Swimming Federation, through Prof. Enrique Ugarte.

According to the Associacion de Cruce a Nado Estrecho de Gilbraltar (ACNEG) records, Couto was, at the time, the oldest swimmer to complete this course with 41 years old and also the first Brazilian to do so. His time was south american fastest time from 1965 to 1969 ( 4 years) and the brazilian fastest time from 1965 to 2002 ( 37 years). At the end, by the 14 km planned and due to bad weather, Couto swum 25 km.

 

Carta náutica utilizada na travessia de 1965/Sea map used to Couto´s Gibraltar swim in 1965

Couto era famoso na época, espanhóis foram acompanhar o nadador./ At 60´s, Couto was a famous swimmer and the Spanish fans met him.

Jornal espanhol La Marca, noticiando a tentativa de Abilio em Gibraltar/ Spanish newspaper La Marca, putting in words Couto´s attempt in Gibraltar

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Abilio Couto em Gibraltar, antes da travessia/ Couto before his swim in Gibraltar

Abilio Couto em Gibraltar, antes da travessia/ Couto before his swim in Gibraltar

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Aos 40 anos de idade, Couto atravessou o Estreito de Gibraltar a nado, o mais velho nadador na época/ 40 year-old swimmer beated Gibraltar, at time, the oldest.

Inicio da travessia de Gibraltar, sob as pedras, com o mar agitado/ Beggining of the swim in Gibraltar, on the rocks, not calm sea.

Inicio da travessia de Gibraltar, sob as pedras, com o mar agitado/ Beggining of the swim in Gibraltar, on the rocks, not calm sea.

Travessia de Gibraltar/Gibraltar swim.

Barco acompanha a travessia./Boat runs with swimmer

Couto ao mar./Couto on sea

Travessia de Gibraltar./Gibraltar swim

Mar estava agitado e com tráfego de outros navios./Rough sea with boat traffic

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Cargueiro e Abilio, ambos cruzaram Gibraltar/Ship and Couto, both crossed Gibraltar.

Couto em Gibraltar/Couto in Gibraltar

Detalhe do fotografo, mar e nadador/Details of photographer, swimmer and sea.

Abilio se alimentando na travessia/ Couto gets feeded in swim

Um dos barcos abandonou a travessia, o mar estava muito agitado, mas Couto continuava até vencer Gibraltar./Rough seas, one of the boats abandoned the swim

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Vencendo Gibraltar/Beating Gibraltar

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Fim da travessia em Marrocos/End of the swim in Marocco.

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Fim da travessia em Marrocos/End of the swim in Marocco.

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Jornal espanhol, Couto nao estava satisfeito com o tempo pois dos 14 km previstos nadou 25km/Spanish newspapers, Couto was unhappy about his time, he swam 25 km not the 14km planned

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Jornal espanhol de Madrid/Spanish newspaper of Madri

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Coleção de jornais sobre a travessia de Couto em Gibraltar/ Newspaper collection about Couto´s swim.

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Jornal brasileiro Gazeta Esportiva/Brazilian newspaper Gazeta Esportiva, Abilio Couto swam from Europe to Africa

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Jornal espanhol sobre a travessia de Couto em Gibraltar ( 1965)/ Spanish newspaper about Couto´s swim in Gibraltar ( 1965).

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Pagina sobre Couto no livro Nadando el Estrecho da espanhola Montserrat Tresseras/ Details of the page of the book Nadando el Estrecho ( swimming the Strait), by spanish swimmer Montserrat Tresseras. Couto figures on it.

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Pagina sobre Couto no livro Nadando el Estrecho da espanhola Montserrat Tresseras/ Details of the page of the book Nadando el Estrecho ( swimming the Strait), by spanish swimmer Montserrat Tresseras. Couto figures on it.

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