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Sunday, April 20, 2014
The Turbulent Traversée, Jan Van Scheijndel In Lac St-Jean
The 1972 Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean is always considered a tough swim. From Péribonka to Roberval in Quebéc, Canada, the race is across a nearly circular lake.
But in 1972, Mother Nature threw nearly everything she had at the 21 professional marathon swimmers. Only 3 athletes finished when rains fell and the winds came up with gusts came up to 27 miles per hour (45 km per hour) - right in the face of the swimmers.
The year before with the water temperature at 15ºC (59ºF), Jan Van Scheijndel of the Netherlands finished second in 9 hours 7 minutes. But in 1972, Van Scheijndel won in 10 hours 48 minutes, a full 1 hour 41 minutes slower even with the water slightly warmer.
The conditions are always different in tempestuous lac St-Jean, but the 1972 race's difficulty was highlighted when 5-time winner, Horacio Iglesias of Argentina, pulled out after 9 hours 26 minutes as did one-time winner Judith de Nijs in 3 hours 8 minutes and three-way English Channel swimmer Jon Erikson after 11 hours 3 minutes, 3-time finisher Diana Nyad of the U.S.A., 4-time finisher Stephen Lake of England, 4-time finisher Marwan Saleh of Syria, and 14-time finisher and one-time winner Régent Lacoursière of Canada.
The results of that turbulent Traversée:
18th Traversée Results - August 6th 1972 Péribonka-Roberval 32 kilomètres-20 miles
1. Jan Van Scheijndel (Netherlands) 10 hours 48 minutes
2. Raul Villagomez (Mexico) 11 hours 37 minutes
3. Dennis Matuch (USA) 11 hours 37 minutes
* Carlos Aguirre (Argentina) 44 minutes
* Johan Schans (Netherlands) 1 hours 22 minutes
* Naste Jonceski (Yugoslavia) 3 hours 4 minutes
* Judith de Nijs (Netherlands) 3 hours 8 minutes
* Michel Poirier (Canada) 3 hours 55 minutes
* Mahmoud Khamis (Syria) 4 hours 19 minutes
* Marcello Guiscardo (Argentina) 5 hours 25 minutes
* Diana Nyad (U.S.A.) 5 hours 47 minutes
* Horacio Iglesias (Argentina) 9 hours 26 minutes
* Philip Gollop (England) 10 hours 11 minutes
* Stephen Lake (England) 10 hours 52 minutes
* Jon Erickson (USA) 11 hours 3 minutes
Left water after time limit
* Mohamed Gamie (Egypt)
* Régent Lacoursière (Canada)
* Samia Mandour (Egypt)
* Yvon Montpetit (Canada)
* Marwan Saleh (Syria)
* Hafez Shedid (Egypt)
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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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.
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