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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Following In The Wake Of Stéphane Lecat

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

At the same time, the Americans are battling it out for a precious few spots on the USA Swimming national open water swimming teams, the French are doing the same in Sète in the south of France.

Stéphane Lecat, the Directeur de L'Eau libre of Fédération Française de Natation [shown in the middle on left], announced the French Open Water Championships will be held between the June 12th and 16th.

June 12th is the 5 km trials; June 13th is the 10 km race; June 14th is the 5 km race; and June 15th is the 25 km marathon swim and a 1.5 km swim open to the public.

"The 5 km trials [swimming solo], 10 km and 5 km races will serve as the 2014 French Trials for the French teams at the Open Water European Championships, the Open Water Junior European Championships, the FINA World Junior Open Water Championships," explains Lecat, an Honour Swimmer and member of the board of directors of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame who competed in the highest levels of the sport.

Perhaps a French swimmer may emerge to follow in the wake of Lecat?

Lecat was the premier professional marathon swimmer in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. He was the FINA World Cup Series champion in 1997, 1999 and 2000 and won the 2000 European 25 km (15.5-mile) championship and 15 km (9.3-mile) Mediterranean Championship in 1997. He won the 34 km (21-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in Canada in 1996, 1999, and 2000; the Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe - Coronda, a 57 km (35-mile) FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix race held in the Coronda River in Argentina in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000, the 42 km (26-mile) Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada in 1995, 1996 and 2000 and the 36 km (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 2001.

In total, he won 13 FINA World Cup professional races, placed third at the 2001 FINA World 25 km Championships in Japan, and won the 2000 European 25 km Championships in Finland, second in the 1997 European 25 km Championships in Spain and third in the 1995 European 25 km Championships in Italy.

After his competitive career was over, he also swam the English Channel in 8 hours 19 minutes in 2003.

For more information on the French Open Water Championships (Championnats de France Eau Libre), visit here.

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