15yo to solo swim across the Cook Strait

A Tauranga school girl has set her sights on swimming across the Cook Strait solo.

At just 15 years old Georgia Bavington is one of just a handful of teenagers to attempt the marathon task, and she's certainly been putting in the hours at her local pool.

"I train six mornings a week, five of them in the pool, one of them in the ocean for around about two hours."

It's a gruelling training schedule that the teen also repeats four afternoons a week.

She swims up to 10 kilometres each session which may sound like a lot, but it's a drop in the ocean compared to the 21 to 30 kilometres she'll cover in the Cook Strait.

"It depends on the weather and the tides. Because you could get a really good day where you swim it, and another day you could miss the tide and end up swimming for a really long time."

Georgia was swimming competitively when she says she got bored and decided to take the plunge.

"About two years ago my coach asked me to train with someone that was going to do the Cook Strait, but never actually did it. So I just thought why can't I do it? It looks like a good adventure."

It's not her first open water adventure - she also swam Lake Rotoiti and Motiti Island to Papamoa.

The conditions can be tough, and Georgia doesn't even wear a wetsuit.

"I'm a bit nervous, but I'm also excited. I just don't want there to be sharks!"

She'll swim under the watchful eye of a support crew and her father Mark Bavington.

"The closer it gets the more excited we're getting we're so proud of what she's achieved so far," he told Newshub.

Georgia now has a six- to eight-week window to complete the swim, but the exact time is weather-dependent.

"We possibly could get a phone call on a Thursday afternoon at lunch time, and have to be down in Wellington for early morning Friday to catch the next tide," Mr Bavington said.

In the meantime Georgia's launched a Givealittle page to help fund her swim, and already has her sights set on the next one.

"Lake Taupo, I've been asked to do that as well, so I might do that after. The English Channel sounds pretty cool, and Foveaux Strait."

Goals that'll have her diving straight into the deep end.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: