Avram Iancu is preparing to swim 2,860 km along the Danube River, from the Black Forest in Germany to the Black Sea in Romania, crossing ten countries and passing four capital cities.

Avram will be the first person to swim the Danube without any fins or a wetsuit. Starting his journey at Donaueschingen, Germany, today, he plans to finish on 20 August, at the Black Sea in the Romanian town of Sulina. This will require him to swim an average of ten hours a day, covering about fifty kilometres.

Swimming in the cold Danube, Avram will likely face many obstacles, including dams, whirlpools, eddies and unpredictable weather; to prepare, he has been working out in the freezing waters of mountain rivers in Romania without a wetsuit for up to six hours a day. Due to the extreme nature of the swimming conditions, Avram’s preparation is not only physical, but also psychological. Once his body becomes exhausted, Avram will be relying on his positive disposition and sheer determination to complete his quest. Avram lovingly refers to his wife and three daughters as his ‘best’ coaches.

Avram IancuThis will not be the first time Avram will swim the Danube, having previously completed a 45-km marathon between Gropeni-Brăila and Galați, in Romania.  In August, 2016, he became the first Romanian to swim the English Channel, in a grueling 18-hour swim covering nearly 62km.

European hemp processor Canah, first sponsored Avram when he was preparing to swim the English Channel, and is proud to continue as his sole sponsor for the Danube challenge. Canah, makes nutritional foods from organic and conventional hemp seeds, in Romania.

‘Avram impressed us with his natural confidence and resourcefulness when we first met him in 2016. Our decision to support him came naturally. Our company is all about healthy living and combining traditional and modern processing techniques to promote the nutritional value of the humble hemp seed. We were his sole sponsor when he crossed the English Channel in August 2016, and are excited to continue this relationship as he embarks on his Danube adventure’, said General Manager, Daniela Sfrijia.

Dan Lazarescu, director and founder of Canah added ‘We recognize courage and determination when we see it, and as a keen swimmer myself I immediately understood the risks he was taking on.  I am looking forward to being at the starting line with him in Germany, on Tuesday.’

Besides extreme outdoor swimming, Avram also practices other sports, including triathlon, mountain biking and mountain running and is the Romanian National Champion in Kyokushin Karate.

Avram will be accompanied by a support crew, two of whom will be travelling in kayaks.

You can follow Avram’s journey online here.