Beth French is an extraordinary person: an ocean swimmer who was once a Buddhist nun, a single mother who loves adventures and an athlete who suffered from a crippling illness (M.E.) in her youth.
'Against the Tides' follows Beth on her journey to swim the seven most dangerous sea-crossings in the world, an official challenge called ‘Oceans Seven'. For extreme swimmers it’s the ultimate test; the equivalent to the seven peaks in mountaineering. Only a handful of people have ever completed it, but it took them many years.
In October 2016, Beth set out on a historic race to swim all seven in a twelve-month period. It took five years to prepare, cost her tens of thousands of pounds and involved hundreds of supporters. By June 2017, Beth had conquered the first four channels, covering a distance of over 100 miles and facing some mammoth ordeals. Determined and persistent, she grew stronger with each crossing and was ready for the notorious Tsugaru Strait in Japan in July.
It was a historic event; nobody has ever swum five O7 crossings in one year. But here, after ten hours in the water, something totally unexpected happened: Beth decided to end the race.
Why? Not because of the life threatening dangers or because she could not cope physically. She was in great shape and had nearly completed the swim.
Beth said she stopped because she encountered a deep moral dilemma that changed the framework of the challenge. And, as she battled with her feelings of doubt, she "found grace in the water" that day and the clarity and courage to make one of the most difficult decisions of her life.
'Against the Tides' is due to be released in the spring of 2018 and you can find out more through the website: againstthetidesfilm.com
Director: Stefan Stuckert
Producer: Nick Read
System: Sony A7S MKII & 16mm
Glass: Canon EF