CORNER OF HOLLAND - With flowers, a woman in Volendam costume and a wildly enthusiastic West German reporter along side, West German Klaus arrived Pechstein in Hoek van Holland. He would 30 days of swim 1224 kilometers have passed; from the beginning of the Rhine to Hook of Holland. But there are quite a few people who doubt his story.

There was much public at the North Pier in Hoek van Holland to win Pechstein. "He has done it", the wildly enthusiastic German reporter shouted in the cold beach of Hoek van Holland. That Pechstein arrived a half hour later than scheduled, was instantly forgotten.

The German silversmith was overtired, but met with a slight smile on the side. Hundreds of people there saw that neighborhood council chairman Leen van der carving handed him a towel.

Pechstein is the first who knows how to swim down the entire Rhine. There are more people who have swum to Hook of Holland, but swimmers started in Mannheim, Germany. Pechstein now goes down in history as the man who has swum the entire distance from Switzerland.

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It's no fun to swim in the Rhine Pechstein told a few days ago during a stopover in Dordrecht. The trip was the worst in Germany.

"Between Mannheim and Mainz was the dirtiest water: oil, dirt, chemicals. I always got a sloshing in my nose and a couple of days I've been sick: my stomach was upset and some nights I hardly slept. Here the water is much better and the last day I see at tomorrow fish jump out of the water. "

(Klaus Pechstein, 22-10-1969, De Tijd)

During the conversation in Dordrecht Pechstein looked battered out. Part of his face, around his nose, eyes and mouth is red. This is according to Pechstein by the water in the river Rhine. His face was the only thing that was not covered by his rubber suit.

Pechstein was accompanied in the water by a boat and a support vehicle. The attempt was paid by a German company, that specializes in foam rubber and gummipakken.

Eb- and flood

In making our region Pechtein got with the tides. At high tide and rising tide Pechstein, in fact, swimming against the current. In Gorinchem which was so opposed, that he should give the towel after just three kilometers to. “I knew there ebb- and flood operation was, but I did not expect that the flow would be so strong”, Pechstein says, by the time.

During the last part Pechstein did emphatically consider the tides. So he went earlier this week until the water after the water had reached the highest point.

But is the story of the German on his swim well?

Nee. So say experts.

The Dutch river Pechstein got to it first with tide. Last Tuesday he stepped in Gorinchem the water, because he had against the tide. He spent the night in Dordrecht in Bellevue and went in the early morning to Rotterdam.

Die 47 kilometers he covered in five hours. A spokesman for the Studiebureau Siltation, Salinisation and polls he would have converted eight kilometers per hour swim.

The expert notes that the Australian Michael Wenden at the Olympic Games in Mexico last year put down a world record 100 meter by average 6,9 swimming mph. Even with the speed of the water included (1,44 kilometer per uur) it seems physically impossible that he has long maintained this speed for five hours.

vague statements

According to journalists who follow the swim attempt emphatically, there are more high profile cases. Nijmegen Klaus told his wife the whole trip was with him, but in Dordrecht, he stated that his wife until this week had come to the Netherlands.

In fact, the woman was indeed with him all the time. In Nijmegen Klaus told his wife that he one day that week, but had swum one o'clock because he had looked deeply into the glass'.

Pechstein says that a calculation error was made. The experts would assume 160 swimming hours, while there would be of 260 swimming hours.

Hoe ging het verder?

Whether there was talk of scam or not, the successful attempt of Pechstein still in the books as the first man afzwom the entire Rhine.

A few months later, he is again in the news, he also wants to make an attempt to swim down the Mississippi.

he returned a year later sentenced to one year suspended prison sentence. He would have threatened a manufacturer with death, if he does it 100.000 mark would give for his record attempt. With the money left over he wanted to fund an expedition to the North Pole.

Pechstein died in 2013.

A year later, the long-distance swimmer Ernst Bromeis from Switzerland attempted to swim down the entire Rhine. He did 41 day over. In 2012 He had tried it even once, but then had to drop out.


“Rhine-swimmer”. “The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper“. Rotterdam, 11-09-1969

“The 28-year-old silversmith Klaus”. “Algemeen Handelsblad“. Amsterdam, 11-09-1969

“West German Rhine Swimmer expected in Rotterdam”. “The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper“. Rotterdam, 25-09-1969

“Pechstein shoots already”. “The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper“. Rotterdam, 15-10-1969

“Rhine Swimmer in Dutch water”. “The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper“. Rotterdam, 20-10-1969

“WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER Pechstein in Rotterdam”. “The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper“. Rotterdam, 22-10-1969

“Red tamer of the Rhine”. “the TIME : newspaper for Netherlands“. Amsterdam, 22-10-1969

“Question marks around performance of silversmith Klaus Pechstein Rijn Swimmer fantast?”. “Limburgsch newspaper

Text: Dave Datema

published: 01 oktober 2017

story number: 31

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