From OpenwaterpediaNejib Ben Messaoud Belhedi (born in Sfax, Tunisia on 16 July 1952) is a renowned marathon swimmer and English Channel swimmer from Tunisia. The Lt. Colonel in the Tunisian Army won the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year and is also a Channel Swimming Association representative and promoter for the Dialog Across the Seas and the 1400K Swim Across Tunisia. He is the namesake of the Belhedi Trophy awarded by the Channel Swimming Association.
He also created the 1400K Ouma For Kids Across Tunisia which will be held throughout May - October 2013, as well as the Swim of Peace Ouma - Djerba in Tunisia in June 2013 and the Ouma of Dunes 2014 in Tozeur, Tunisia.
As the very spirit of Ouma, he will be recognized and honored at the 2012 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on the RMS Queen Mary on 22 September 2012 in Long Beach, California.
He is also an extreme ice swimmer. He swam an hour in 3ºC (37ºF) water for an hour at the Sidi Saad Dam in Jedliane (Kasserine), Tunisia.
On 17 August 2013, he swam 4 km south-to-north along the International Date Line near Little Diomede Island in the Bering Strait in 39 minutes with a north-running current that assisted in the swim in 2ºC or about 36ºF, assisted by coach Carol Breiter.
Career Marathon Swims
1. English Channel (England to France) on September 15-16, 1993 in 16 hours 35 minutes, a swim on the highest tide under Force 4 conditions.
2. Cap bon - La Marsa, 45K on May 30, 1992 in 11 hours 14 minutes.
3. 24 hours non-stop in a swimming pool in Tataouine on July 6-7, 1993. Total distance swam 51.577 kilometers.
4. Sicilian Channel from Pantelleria to Kelibia, 72K on June 17, 1995. Swim was stopped after 17 hours due to numerous jellyfish stings.
5. La Galite Channel in Tunisia on July 31, 1999 from La Galite Island to Cap Serrat, 40K in 7 hours 15 minutes.
Dialog Across The Seas
Lt. Colonel Nejib shared the story of the Belhedi Trophy and its relationship to the Maghreb countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania and the Western Sahara. "In my preparation for his Channel attempt, the Tunisian Ministry of Defence provided its support by allowing me to train and attempt different marathon swims in the Mediterranean Sea. I trained in such places as the Kerkennah Islands to Sfax, Hammam lif - Sidi to Bou Said, Cap Bon to La Marsa and the Sicilian Channel - La Galite Island to Cap Serrat. As a result, I completed my England – France crossing in 1993 in 16 and 35 minutes under difficult conditions."
"The encouragement by the Tunisian government led to my encouragement of marathon swimming among young people in Tunisia today. I dream of another Tunisian swimmer achieving the Channel swim. Success will bring more success and I hope the presence of other international swimmers will encourage the development of more Tunisian marathon swimmers. In 2007, I received the Montserrat Tresserras Trophy for the first successful swimmer from a new country and discussions ensued. In 2008, the Channel Swimming Association established a new trophy in my name, The Belhedi Trophy for the Channel swim successfully performed on the highest tide of the season."
The Belhedi Trophy
The Belhedi Trophy carries the names of two American swimmers, Kelvin Webster and Anthony Zamora, who were awarded the trophy in for their Channel swims on the highest tides in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
"I want to establish a nursery for the first generation of North African marathon swimmers and organized the Tethys Challenge in 2007 in Tunisia where seven Channel swimmers from England, Scotland, India and Norway swam seven different crossings in seven days between the islands of Zembretta, Curiates, Kerkennah, Djerba, Plane, Cani and Echkli. The conception led to Tethys Challenge Formula7777(7ISLANDS,7SWIMMERS,7DAYS/2007). At the suggestion of the Channel Swimming Association, this ultimately led to The Belhedi Trophy and the birth of the Dialog Across the Seas project with the support of International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee Michael Read."
Since the start of this project, new opportunities and other regions of Maghreb have expressed their interest and support of marathon swimming. Selection of swimmers, preparation, training, cold water acclimatization, specific medical support and the qualification of pilot boats to escort swimmers are all issues that are being formulated.
"This is the relationship between The Belhedi Trophy and the Dialog Across the Seas project, the marathon swimming link between Great Britain with the Maghreb countries."
1400K Swim Course
Belhedi also plans to swim 1,400 kilometers - from the Tunisian/Algerian border in the Tunisian North Sea to the Tunisian/Libyan border in the Southern Tunisian Sea, along the Tunisian coast in an unprecedented attempt. If successful, it will be the world record for the longest solo unassisted stage swim in the sea. Belhedi started at Djerba Island and headed east an average of 3.8 kilometers per day over the scheduled 365-day Stage swim from west to east in Tunisia. He started on 22 June 2011 and is scheduled to finish in June 2012.
Utilize a courageous self-energy to realize a dream to see Tunisia more brighten as the sunshine . The swim will be supported by the native people living the different communities along the Tunisian coast in coordination with the Tunisian Army. Belhedi's personal effects will be transferred along the coast throughout the swim by the local people. He will swim together with relay swimmers who may may him along the swim. He will be housed and fed along the course by members of the local communities.
The islands around the Tunisian coast are not concerned by 1400K Swim circuit which will fellow the coast. However, a distance bonus will be accorded to the swimmer each time he swims going and back continent coast/ island/ continent coast. All the distance that he would have to swim along the coast from his depart point to the arrival point at the coast continent for the island swim concerned , this distance is considered as a distance swam.
The aims of the 1400K Swim Across Tunisia is to bring a warm slogan of Welcome to Tunisia via:
1. To invite tourists and increase the popularity of Tunisia by showcasing it as a friendly and hospitable country,
2. To support the bonds of national unity in the era of revolution of dignity and reverence for the sanctity of the borders of Tunisia and its coasts,
3. To devote the concept of global sustainable development, giving weight to environmental, tourism, sports, social and cultural aspects.
These three goals will highlight Tunisia through its best image to the world. Looking like the Sun shining and its planets circling around as well as the Tunisian islands circling around Tunisia, as our planet Earth, in turn around the Sun in the cycle taking 364-365 days, the same duration that the 1400K Swim will take too.
During this sun-water long route, television broadcasts will constantly show the distance swum on a daily basis.
Nor the Current stops him!
Neither the immensity of sea downs him!
We see his arms thank the waves across each meter he swims.
It’s already a prelude to see a new shore for him.
1400K Swim Strategy
Utilize a courageous self-energy to realize a dream to see Tunisia brighten as the sunshine. The swim will be supported by the native people living the different communities along the Tunisian coast.
Belhedi's personal effects will be transferred along the coast throughout the swim by the local people. He will swim together with relay swimmers who may may him along the swim. He will be housed and fed along the course by members of the local communities.
The islands around the Tunisian coast are not concerned by 1400 K Swim circuit which will fellow the coast. However, a distance bonus will be accorded to the swimmer each time he swims going and back continent coast/ island/ continent coast. All the distance that he would have to swim along the coast from his depart point to the arrival point at the coast continent for the island swim concerned , this distance is considered as a distance swam.
World Open Water Swimming Association Performance of the Year Nominee
Swim of Peace Ouma - Djerba
The 26 km Swim of Peace Ouma - Djerba (Ouma of Djerba) will be held on 2 June 2013 under the leadership of Nejib Belhedi, Adam Walker, Haydn Welch, Jackie Cobell, Dave Cobell, Nicola Fraser, Silke Fraser, Rebecca Jarre, Thomas Noblett, Claire Noblett, Keith Bartolo, Gabriele Galli, and Mauro Giaconia.
- Circuit 1 (Nucleus of Peace): 2 km
- Circuit 2 (Right Peace Wing 1): 4 km
- Circuit 3 (Left Peace Wing): 4 km
- Circuit 4 (Right Peace Wing 2): 8 km
- Circuit 5 (Left Peace Wing 2): 8 km
The goal is for 1,000 swimmers to complete an average of 2 km during the 2-hour time period for a cumulative total of 2,000 km.
Mount Everest Swim
- Swims Of Peace From Sahara To Arctic Circle
- Nejib Belhedi Setting The Stage
- Swimming From Italy To Tunisia
- Dialog Across The Seas
- 2011 WOWSA Performance of the Year
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Nejib Belhedi Swimming Across The Big Bleu
- Eco-Battle Over Oued Ellouza, Fought With Ouma
- A Peaceful End To The 1400K Swim Across Tunisia
- Ouma Expands To Next Generation In Tunisia
- 30 Open Water Swimmers Known By One Name
- A Warm-Hearted Swimmer In Cold Water
- Dam, That Water Is Cold
- Nejib Belhedi Swims 6 km In 5ºC Water In Tunisia
- Oh Dam The Water
- Open Water Swimming
- Marathon Swimming
- Nejib Belhedi Prepares In Northern Africa For The Bering Strait
- Swim Of Peach Ouma - Djerba In Tunisia
- Swims Of Peace From Sahara To Arctic Circle
- Adam Walker Shares Ouma And His Passion
- Swim Of Peace Ouma - Djerba In Tunisia
- Nejib Belhedi Swims Along The International Date Line
- Nejib Belhedi To Fight Financial Pollution On High
- Tarn It, That Is High
- Open Water Swimming Predictions For 2014
- Nejib Belhedi At Top Of The World
- Nejib Belhedi Planning For A Swim Up Mount Everest
- Nejib Belhedi Swimming On High
- Swimming In The Sahara, Ouma And Oases Of Open Water