Steve Redmond and support crew during his swim across the Cook Strait. Pic: Irish People Living in New Zealand Facebook page

CONFIRMATION has come through from Down Under that Ballydehob endurance swimmer Steve Redmond has completed the gruelling Cook Strait swim between New Zealand’s South and North Islands.

Steve was greeted by well wishers from Ireland and New Zealand as he arrived at Mana Marina Boating Club, Mana Harbour near Wellington after completing the 26 km swim in an energy-sapping 12hrs 19mins.

An exhausted Steve was said to be delighted to have completed the swim despite battling strong currents the whole way.

Steve's route in New Zealand.

Steve said that the last kilometre “nearly killed me” and the swim was the toughest in the challenge to date.

Speaking through his Facebook page Steve said, “Without doubt the hardest swim so far, weather just went crazy after four hours and spent two hours getting in 400 metres at the end the water was trying to kill me.

“I would like to thank you all as it’s your swim to be honest and without your help and support I would never finish any of my swims.

“My family for putting up with me. The brilliant, brilliant crew today who never gave up, even when all looked lost.

“I have met truly incredible people on this trip. D for all your support this week my God all you Irish over here should be proud of your selves!

“I know I’ve forgotten many of you but my head is spinning and body is in ribbons also crying so hard I cannot see the screen.

“Thank you all Steve Redmond”.

Steve is on course to become the first person to complete the Oceans 7 challenge, a series of famous extreme endurance swims across the globe.

He has already completed five of the seven swims that make up the challenge including the English Channel, the Catalina Channel in California, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Irish Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

He now travels to Hawaii to tackle what may be the toughest of the lot, the 40km Molokai Channel which he has attempted once already.

Steve Redmond training in Lough Hyne. Pic: Rory Jackson

If he is successful there, only one obstacle would stand in his way of becoming the first person to complete the Oceans 7, the Tsugaru Strait between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan.

Steve has been training regularly in Loch Hyne which he said has helped him to acclimatise to cold water swimming conditions.

Visit www.cookstraitswim.org.nz, www.oceans7.org the Facebook page HERE.