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Saturday, August 25, 2012
Plymouth to Provincetown (P2P) Swim Takes Off
Kemp promoted a 20-mile swim called the American Channel Swim from Provincetown to Plymouth to remind people of the course the Pilgrams took. But it failed to catch on because Kemp was never able to find swimmers who could manage the distance.
Henry Sullivan, the first American to cross the English Channel, Charlie Toth, the third man to cross the English Channel, and Samuel Richards gave it a shot in 1915, but each failed.
Decades later beginning in the 1950s, several people made attempts but none succeeded until 41-year-old Russell Chaffee of Sayre, Pennsylvnia swam 19.5 miles from Plymouth to Provincetown in 1968 in 14 hours 40 minutes.
On August 21st David Barra, Eileen Burke, Janet Harris, Greg O’Connor and Mo Siegel aimed to replicate Chaffee's success. They started around 3 am from White Horse Beach in Plymouth, Massachusetts and headed 20 miles towards Herring Cove in Provincetown on Cape Cod.
"The first hour was the hardest. I always find it hard to step off of a boat into cold water at night," recalled O'Connor (shown on left) of the 63°F (17°C) water.
"It is just the idea that once I leave the boat there is not stopping until it is over many miles and hours away. I had a long, lonely swim into White Horse beach in Plymouth. It took a while to get in to the start because the tide was going out. I stepped on to the beach at just before 3:50 am. It was dark and the boat looked like it was a mile away."
There were reports days before of Great White Shark sightings inside Cape Cod Bay. It weighed on the swimmers' minds. "I always find the first hour in marathon swims to be the hardest. That is the time when I have doubts and thoughts of quitting. I know this always happens so I push through the first hour and it always gets better. With this swim it seemed to get better by the hour and I found myself really enjoy the time in the water for most of the swim."
But swimming at night had its advantages. "The best part of the swim was the swarms of small jelly fish that would glow green when you hit them at night." So did the day as a pod of Minke whales were spotted near the end.
Siegel abandoned his swim due to an injury as O’Connor landed at Race Point Light in 10 hours 22 minutes. Burke finished at the southern end of Herring Cover in 11 hours 10 minutes as Barra and Harris finished in 11 hours 45 minutes.
Kemp's vision will be formalized in 2013 or 2014 by the Massachusetts Open Water Swimming Association (MOWSA) that plans to offer the P2P swim as a sanctioned solo swim.
Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
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