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Saturday, November 2, 2013

2.6 Miles Of A Cold Water Challenge

Just as the Who's Who of continental European channel swimmers came out to Sandycove Island in Ireland last month, the Who's Who of East Coast America came out to the inaugural Cold Water Challenge in Fairfield, Connecticut today.

In a course pioneered and popularized by Andy Davis, Liz Fry, Jim Bayles and Kevin Lederer, the crème de la crème of East Coast marathoners - from Elaine Howley to Liz Fry - came out to enjoy a 2.6-mile loop swim from jetty to jetty at Penfield Beach.

"Jim and Liz introduced me to cold water swimming several years ago," explained race director Davis.

"We like to get the most out of swimming outside in the Long Island Sound during the year before heading back to the pool. Typically we go from mid- to late April to early November. We‘ve swum in water as cold as 50ºF (10ºC) which is our personal threshold."

Which is probably why the little state of Connecticut is considered the English Channel capital of America.

But the weather and water held steady today. Winner of the non-wetsuit category David Barra was ecstatic. "The event was great fun. It was an intimate field, but due to the fact that these late season events are so few, the Cold Water Challenge managed to attract swimmers from Maine to Delaware.
We enjoyed pretty flat water and an unseasonably warm autumn day made it a fun post-swim social gathering. It's exciting hearing about everyone's plans for 2014
."

And judging from the esteemed field, it is going to be quite some 2014.

Non-wetsuit Division Finishers:
1. David Barra 59.41
2. Andy Davis 1:00.37
3. Ed Riley 1:01.48
4. Liz Fry 1:01.55
5. Susan Knight 1:02.05
6. Charlotte Brynn 1:03.57
7. Marilee Kiernan 1:04.43
8. Kerby Lewis 1:04.43
9. Marty McMahon 1:06.07
10. Bethamy Aronow 1:06.24
11. Elaine Howley 1:07.16
12. Janet Harris 1:08.07
13. Chris Spearing 1:08.21
14. Greg O'Connor 1:08.29
15. Jim Bayles 1:08.57
16. Greg Kohut 1:09.34
17. Derek Yach 1:10.13
18. George Hunihan 1:10.48
19. Eileen Burke 1:15.00
20. Jonathan Gladstone 1:15.15
21. Kellie Joyce 1:17.27
22. Mo Siegel 1:17.37
23. Lelané Rossouw-Bancroft 1:17.48
24. Bethany Bosch 1:19.19
25. JC Malick 1:22.09
26. Jerome Leslie 1:22.14
27. Douglas Comstock 1:30.08
28. Maura Twomey 1:30.57
29. Kathleen Romano 1:37.05
30. Ann L. Onton 2:06.27
31. Rena Demeo DNF
32. Melissa O'Reilly DNS
33. Andrew Malinak DNS

Wetsuit Division:
1. Kevin Lederer 54.35
2. Philip Gormley 58.10
3. Jay Power 1:00.01
4. Herve Hamon 1:06.38
5. Paula Yankauskas 1:10.30
6. Tom Burchill 1:10.38
7. John Gale 1:10.47
8. Noah Hendler 1:16.25
9. Peter Given 1:20.02
10. Laura Natress 1:26.29

The event generated over US$1,000 for the Swim Across the Sound cancer charity.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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