Ross Youngman and Francisco Aguirre - Lago Villarrica

Playa Pucón to Playa Pucará

22 km (13.7 miles)

6 hours, 56 (31) minutes on

Observed and documented by Jonathan Jimenez and Patricio Saavedra

Contents

Swimmers

Name Gender Age Nationality Resides
Ross Youngman male 62 Australian Sydney, NSW
Francisco Javier Aguirre Barros male 44 Chilean Santiago

Support Personnel

  • Alex Romero-Hermoso - kayaker / feeder
  • Miguel Aido - boat skipper

Observer

Jonathan Jimenez and Patricio Saavedra

Escort Vessel

Name Type Port
El Patron 25-ft Banana boat Villarrica, Chile

Swim Parameters

  • Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
  • Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
  • Equipment used: Youngman: Textile swimsuit (Funky trunks), cap, goggles. Aguirre: Textile swimsuit (Speedo), cap, goggles.

Route Definition

From Playa Pucón, in front of the Hotel Enjoy, north-west along the peninsula, before turning west to swim down the lake towards Villarrica and finishing at Playa Pucará, Villarrica, Chile.

  • Body of Water: Lago Villarrica
  • Route Type: one-way
  • Start Location: Playa Pucón, Pucón (-39.2708, -71.9785)
  • Finish Location: Playa Pucará, Villarrica (-39.2869, -72.2203)
  • Minimum Route Distance: 22 km (13.7 miles) (map)

History

The swim was originally undertaken around November 15 1947 by Jimmy Rasmussen (James Rasmussen Bowden, born 17 December 1917) who represented Chile at the 1936 Olympics in boxing, carrying the Chilean Flag in the opening ceremony. He swam the other way from Villarrica to Pucon. See attached article from the La Nacion Monday 17th November 1947.

Other swimmers have done it since but all wearing wetsuits. Five in 2022 and three in 2024.

Jimmy Rasmussen was an athlete who marked an entire era in Chilean physical activity as an excellent practitioner of various disciplines such as athletics, swimming, weightlifting and even boxing, the latter specialty in which he was even the national flag bearer at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.

For 75 years this tough athlete had a mark that could not be achieved. It was in November 1947 when the man from Temuco crossed Lake Villarrica to Pucón, joining both towns in more than 20 kilometers of swimming that he completed in around eight hours.

https://www.diarioconcepcion.cl/deportes/2022/03/08/nadador-jurgen-contreras-alcanza-marca-de-hace-75-anos.html


Swim Data

Swimmer Start Finish Elapsed
Francisco Aguirre 08:14:13 14:45:29 06:31:16
Ross Youngman 08:14:13 15:10:40 06:56:27

Time zone: Chile Summer Time, America/Santiago

Summary of Conditions

Feature Min Max
Water Temp (C) 21 23
Air Temp (C) 13 22
Wind (kph) 3 8

GPS Track

Trackpoint frequency: 10 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).

Click to expand map.

Speed Plot

Nutrition: See observer log.


Observer Log

Download PDF


Swimmer Statements

by Ross Youngman

What inspired you to do this swim?

I arrived in Chile late January 2024 and was trying to work out the long distance swimming scene here. I was talking to members of the FullMar Viña Club and they told me there were a number of swims in the Araucanía region of Chile, 800km south of Santiago, during February organized by Jonathan Jimenez under the Toltenwolf Grand Prix brand. There were two interesting swims in the Araucanía region of Chile, one of 25 kilometers, with a strong trailing current, down the Tolten River around the town of Tolten, and the other 22 kilometers along the length of Lago Villarrica, a swim first undertaken by Chilean Olympian Boxer, Johnny Rasmussen in 1947. I spoke to Francisco Aguirre and we decided to go down and attempt the Lago Villarrica swim under the rules of marathon swimming.

Describe how you planned for the swim.

Given the event was already organized by Toltenwolf, we registered and turned up in Pucon 3 days before race-day. We told the organizer, Jonathan Jimenez we would be swimming without wetsuits, (wetsuits are the norm in Chile) and to the rules of marathon swimming, starting out of the water and finishing out of the water. We organized our own briefing with the kayakers and observers 2 days before the event to explain our feeding and requirements regarding photos and video.

How did the swim go, generally? Did you face any unanticipated challenges?

The swim went well. A straightforward long fresh-water lake swim. The first 3 kilometers were the toughest into a choppy headwind as we headed up the Pucon Peninsula, with short sharp waves coming at us, but as we turned west to head down the lake towards Villarrica, conditions improved with the lake flattening out and the sun coming up and we had calm flat lake conditions for most of the way. The swim was framed by the stunning snow-capped “active” Volcano Villarrica as a backdrop.


by Francisco Aguirre

What inspired you to do this swim?

I was talking to Ross Youngman about the Toltenwolf Grand Prix swims in the Araucanía Region of Chile, and we decided to go down and do the 22 kilometers swim along the length of Lago Villarrica, a swim first undertaken by Chilean Olympian Boxer, Johnny Rasmussen in 1947. We committed to attempt the swim under the rules of marathon swimming.

Describe how you planned for the swim.

Given the event was already organized by Toltenwolf, we registered and turned up in Pucon 3 days before race-day. We told the organizer, Jonathan Jimenez we would be swimming without wetsuits (wetsuits is the norm in Chile) and to the rules of marathon swimming, starting out of the water and finishing out of the water. We organized our own briefing with the kayakers and observers 2 days before the event to explain our feeding and requirements regarding photos and video.

How did the swim go, generally? Did you face any unanticipated challenges?

The swim went well. A straightforward long fresh-water lake swim. The first 3 kilometers were the toughest into a choppy headwind as we headed up the Pucon Peninsula, with short sharp waves coming at us, but as we turned west to head down the lake towards Villarrica, conditions improved with the lake flattening out and the sun coming up and we had calm flat lake conditions for most of the way. The swim was framed by the stunning snow-capped “active” Volcano Villarrica as a backdrop.


Photos

Click to enlarge.


Video


Media


Appendix A: Event Results


Appendix B: Jimmy Rasmussen story