Spanish swimmer Jaime Caballero made the swim from Villeneuve, at one end of the lake, to Geneva at the other end, to raise awareness for diabetes.
Swimming through the night, he left Villeneuve near Montreux, at 3:00pm and arrived in Geneva early the following morning. The 83 km swim took 22 hours and 39 minutes, according to Le Matin, beating the record set over 30 years ago by 3 minutes.
“I am tired but very happy to have made it. It’s an achievement for everyone and for the diabetes research” said Caballero, Europe’s best long distance swimmer, who struggled to walk after leaving the water. He was welcomed by Mauro Poggia, Geneva state councilor in charge of health, and Guillaume Barazzone, Geneva’s mayor.
Rain and wind added to the challenging swim. “It’s physically and psychologically hard” he said.
The swimmer was followed by a boat travelling at around 3.5 km/h, which had refreshments and supplies. He was also equipped with a GPS and blood pressure and blood sugar monitors.
Caballero, who comes from San Sebastian in Spain, successfully swam across the English Channel in 10 hours 29 minutes in 2007, and completed a two-way crossing of the Channel in 24 hours 35 minutes on 7 August 2013.