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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Breaking News: Stephen Redmond In Mid-Channel

After waking up resigned to head home defeated, the Tsugaru Channel finally smiled down on Stephen Redmond this morning in Japan.

In a last-minute decision with the channel unexpectedly calm, Stephen Redmond, his trainer Noel Browne and Captain Mizushima decided to go for it despite having a long start. So at 10 am local time, he has set off from the Tappi Misaki port and jumped in for one last go at the final leg of the Oceans Seven.

For local weather information, check here. Redmond's near real-time course on his fourth attempt across the Tsugaru Channel is updated regularly here.

In his last attempt 3 days ago, he drifted too far to the east rather early in the swim that forced by fierce winds under Force 7 conditions before he was involuntarily pulled from the water due to safety reasons for himself and his support crew.

In today's attempt, Redmond has pushed past his previous three attempts and has now reached mid-channel in a relatively good position

According to Captain Mizushima, Redmond is wrestling favorably with a relatively mild Tsugaru Current after 8 hours in the water. If he can continue his progress through the evening and cut across the Tsugaru Current at a favorable angle, he will line himself up well for the last critical third of the crossing.

His swim will finish in the night, or perhaps even take to Sunday morning, but so far Captain Mizushima is reporting good conditions and excellent progress.

If Redmond can continue to slice through the infamous Tsugaru Current and the weather holds through the evening and late night, the achievement of the Oceans Seven will be close at hand. He continues to swim like a man possessed and has maintained a pace of nearly 60 strokes per minute and breathing every second arm stroke which is highly unusual for him. Redmond has predicted that "this will hurt. Hurt real bad." But he is making it happen as the gentle northwest breeze continues to favor Redmond.

He is currently lined up to hit somewhere between Cape Shirakami and Mount Shirakami. As the currents whip around Cape Shirakami, strong eddies form. Last week, these eddies caused Darren Miller to zig-zag on his last several miles and even take a 90° angle at the very end. But with the silhouette of Hokkaido so close, it is going to take a lot for Redmond, Browne and Captain Mizushima to quit now.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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