February 28, 2022 #ChileDiverse

Bárbara Hernández achieves Cape Horn swim record after postponing Antarctic feat: "This swim is a way of demonstrating that nothing is impossible".

Accessibility settings

After her swim to Antarctica was postponed until next year due to the pandemic, the ice-water swimmer did not stop until she broke a Guinness World Record this weekend at Cape Horn: the first person in the world to swim 3 nautical miles between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, in addition to breaking a speed record.

The original challenge of the ice-water swimmer, Bárbara Hernández, was to give Chile the record for the longest distance swim in Antarctica in history. But the athlete proved to be resilient to the test. Although the pandemic forced her to postpone her Antarctic swim until next year, this weekend it was Cape Horn, in the Magallanes region, that allowed her to break two more records, which will be inscribed in the famous Guinness Book of Records.

Barbara was the first woman and person in the world to swim 3 nautical miles, a total of 5,550 meters between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, and also broke the speed record for the mile swum in just 15min 03 seconds to claim an unprecedented Guinness World Record.

"I am happy and grateful for the opportunity to swim in such complex and significant waters, I thank the entire crew of the PSG Isaza ship of the Chilean Navy, also my team that allowed me to be safe and all the people who have been present. I love the Magallanes region, it means a lot in my career and this swim is one more way to show that nothing is impossible, that dreams are always worth working for", said Bárbara Hernández, also known as the "Ice Mermaid".

In an unprecedented way, the Chilean Navy facilitated the navigation of a ship to sail to Cape Horn. The most favorable weather window for this challenge, considering that the weather conditions in the area are among the most adverse in the world, was Sunday, February 27.

The voyage began in Punta Arenas in a Beechcraft King Air 100 aircraft to Puerto Williams. Then the delegation set sail during the early hours of Sunday, February 27th to swim between 13:00 and 15:00 hours, after 7 hours of navigation through Nassau Bay until reaching the Drake Sea, specifically south of Isla Hornos.

The 36-year-old swimmer and psychologist is passionate about challenges. In 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, she accomplished two great feats: in May she became the first South American to cross the Molokai Channel, and then in August she was the first Latin American to complete the test of swimming two laps around the island of Manhattan, in New York. Last year she was also elected woman of the year by the World Open Water Swimming Association, and was chosen among the 100 young leaders by Sábado magazine of El Mercurio. The national athlete has received more than 100 medals in her career, and in 2017, 2018 and 2019 she obtained the first place in the ranking of the International Winter Swimming Association.

Barbara seeks to become the first South American to swim all seven oceans, of which she has already swum four: the Strait of Gibraltar (between Spain and Morocco), the Catalina Channel (USA), the English Channel (between France and England) and the Molokai Channel (Hawaii).


Image of Chile