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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

FLASH! Swimming Around Manhattan Island Is On

Courtesy of David Barra, New York Open Water.

The 20 Bridges Circumnavigation Swim of Manhattan is on.

"On behalf of New York Open Water, I would like to introduce 20 Bridges, a Circumnavigation Swim of Manhattan," announced David Barra.

For years, NYC Swim has been unfailingly organizing swims around the waters surrounding Manhattan Island including its crown jewel, the 28.5-mile (45.8 km) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

But the much-appreciated and increasingly popular race offerings of NYC Swim are currently on hiatus, leaving open water swimmers frustrated and longing to visit New York City for its open water events. "The Manhattan Island Marathon Swim was an event that I looked forward to every year," said Barra.

NYC Swim not only organized the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, but sanctioned nearly every other major race in Manhattan. But a huge vacuum was created when its organization went inexplicably quiet, especially for its world-famous circumnavigation race - one of the three legs of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

Swimmers wanted to challenge themselves around one of the world's iconic cities, but event information dried up. Nothing was known about the race. "The decision to add 20 Bridges Circumnavigation Swim of Manhattan* to the New York Open Water calendar is not one we came to lightly," explained Barra who answers some basic questions below.

"The logistics are complicated, and marathon swimming is a sport that frowns upon the usurpation of an established entity. We would not, nor could not have moved forward in this direction without the encouragement and support of so many marathon swimmers and safety personnel."

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Why is the event called 20 Bridges and not MIMS (Manhattan Island Marathon Swim)?
David Barra: There are a few reasons. We don't wish to infringe upon any trademarks, either actual or implied, and we like bridges.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Will 20 Bridges count as part of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming?
David Barra: Yes, you bet [it will].

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How many swimmers can New York Open Water accommodate in 20 Bridges?
David Barra: Not sure. Our first run will be on August 15th 2016. We have 8 swimmers entered: Tracy Clark, Marty Munson, Marty Filipowski, Kristy McIntyre, Jim Chiudioni, Colum Lavelle, Serbo Simeoni, and Shane Moraghan.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Will there be any other dates announced for 2016?
David Barra: If there is enough interest, [another event will be held on] August 20th.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Can I pre-register for the 2017 season?
David Barra: We expect to announce dates for 2017 at the end of this season and open registration on November 1st 2016.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Where can I get more information?
David Barra: Like our Facebook page (here), visit nyopenwater.org, send an email to david@nyopenwater.org.

The 20 bridges going in and out of Manhattan on the 20 Bridges Circumnavigation Swim of Manhattan course include:

Hudson River (date built/length):
1. George Washington Bridge (1931/1,450.85 meters)

Harlem River (date built/length):
2. Spuyten Duyvil Bridge (1899/186 meters)
3. Henry Hudson Bridge (1936/673 meters)
4. Broadway Bridge (1962/170.08 meters)
5. University Heights Bridge (1908/82 meters)
6. Washington Bridge (1888/723.9 meters)
7. Alexander Hamilton Bridge (1963/724 meters)
8. High Bridge (1848/600 meters)
9. 18. Macombs Dam Bridge (1895/774 meters)
10. 145th Street Bridge (1905/489 meters)
11. Madison Avenue Bridge (1910/577 meters)
12. Park Avenue Bridge (1954/100 meters)
13. Third Avenue Bridge (1898/853.44 meters)
14. Willis Avenue Bridge (1901/979 meters)
15. Triborough Bridge (1936/230 meters)
16. Wards Island Bridge (1951/285.6 meters)

East River (date built/length):
17. Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge (1909/1,135 meters)
18. Williamsburg Bridge (1903/2,227.48 meters)
19. Manhattan Bridge (1909/2,089 meters)
20. Brooklyn Bridge (1883/1,825 meters)

The three principals of New York Open Water are shown above: David Barra, Rondi Davies, and Alex Arévalo.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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