Young rower aiming to take on world’s toughest open water swims

She's only 15 and already Caitlin O'Reilly's racked up some of the world's most gruelling endurance records. 

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Aged just 15, Caitlin O’Reilly is used to pushing her body to its limit. Source: 1 NEWS

The Carmel College student made headlines in 2017 as a 12-year-old for being the youngest female to swim Cook Strait.

But now she is vying to knock off some of the world’s most toughest open water swims in a competition called the Oceans Seven.

But she’s had to juggle her demanding swimming schedule with rowing.

Taking up the sport two years ago her coach Roger Kerr had no idea of her endurance capability

“Went down to the boat shed and I said now can you girls all swim... all hands went up except for Caitlin's... I said look if you can't swim it doesn't matter I just need to know from a safety point of view.

"The girls all started giggling and said she swam across the Cook Strait six weeks ago and I was like 'what.'”

Caitlin is competing in her first big regatta which is the rowing nationals, held at Lake Karapiro this week.

Her North Shore rowing novice eight crew came away with a bronze medal yesterday