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Giovanni Fiannacca

From Openwaterpedia

Giovanni Fiannacca is an Italian open water swimmer who set the record for the fastest single crossing of the Strait of Messina, 3.2 km from Sicily to the mainland of Italy. His record was 30 minutes 50 seconds, set on 1 October 1975 and has remained unbeaten for almost 40 years.

Open Water Career[edit]

Born and raised in contrada Pace, Messina, Fiannacca is one of the historical swimmers of the Strait. In 1973 he has won the last edition of the Traversata dello Stretto race, setting the best overall time for the race, 44'10". Two years later he set his freestyle record on the single crossing, swimming in 30'50", a time which was broken only 40 years later, on 2 September 2015 by Andrea Fazio.. Fiannacca has also held the record of the double-crossing from 1976 to 1998 (1h.37'16").

Career as a Pilot in the Strait[edit]

Since he left active swimming, Fiannacca has been one of the most respected pilots of the swims across the Strait of Messina. His boat is called Colapesce Primo, after the mythical figure of Colapesce, the boy from Messina who holds up the land of Sicily from the bottom of the sea.