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Monday, August 22, 2016

Swimmers Light Up Boston With 100% Pass Rate

Courtesy of Elaine Howley, Boston Light Swim.

Are swimmers getting better or are conditions getting easier?

It may be a combination of the two phenomena in Boston Harbor on August 20th. "[We saw] a record 100% completion rate in the notoriously challenging 8-mile Boston Light Swim. The annual event has been staged since 1907 and is dubbed The Granddaddy of American Open Water Swims.

Warmer-than-usual water, a strong flood tide, and a light tailwind combined to produce one of the fastest swims in recent history and an unprecedented 100% completion rate by the field of 24 solo swimmers and 6 relay teams

29-year-old Eric Nilsson of Boston cruised to an easy third victory in the event (also winning in 2012 and 2013) in a near-record time of 2:25:17. He just missed the record of 2 hours 20 minutes set by David Alleva in 1995.

47-year-old Erin Bakey Brown of Ventura, California was the first female finisher in a time of 2:49:32, good for fourth place overall.

A 3-person female relay team called Crankin’ for Frank was the fastest relay on Saturday, finishing in a time of 2:53:31. Named in honor of Frank Wuest, a Cambridge Masters Swim Club member who passed away during an open water race in Rhode Island earlier this month, the relay’s team members Kate Radville, Sheryl Bierden, and Amy Whitesides swam in memory of their fallen lanemate.

Race Director Elaine Howley said, "Having every swimmer finish within the strict 5-hour time limit was a real thrill. This is the first time we can remember that every single starter finished the event. That’s a testament both to the strength of the field of swimmers and the impossibly perfect conditions we had on Saturday."

Water temperatures near the lighthouse hovered around 63°F, 5°F warmer than is typical. As the swimmers approached the inner harbor and the finish line at the L Street Bathhouse in South Boston, the water warmed to a balmy 68°F. A light easterly wind and a ripping flood tide pushed swimmers along, creating one of the fastest events in history.

"The Boston Light Swim staff was aided by a dozen dedicated volunteers who donated many hours over the weekend to make the swim happen. A fleet of fantastic boaters from around the area converged to escort swimmers to the finish line, and the Coast Guard and Boston EMS were also on hand to ensure the safety of all participants."

For more information, visit www.bostonlightswim.org.

Results of Solo Finishers:
1. Eric Nilsson 2:25:17
2. Lochie Hinds 2:38:15
3. Bobby Morse 2:46:56
4. Erin Bakey Brown 2:49:32
5. John Shumadine 2:59:43
6. Becky Jackman 3:00:32 [photo above]
7. Cindy Walsh 3:03:30
8. John Cloherty 3:05:08
9. Michael Klonsky 3:08:49
10. Rob Wilson 3:11:20
11. Roger Finch 3:16:39
12. David Connors 3:19:21
13. Todd Estabrook 3:21:44
14. Kim Garbarino 3:23:55
15. Lori Carena 3:31:35
16. Helen Lin 3:41:24
17. Judy Beckman 3:42:08
18. Suzie Dods 3:46:46
19. David Kilroy 4:04:27
20. Jef Mallett 4:18:00
21. Ricky Sweeney 4:20:56
22. Fran O’Loughlin 4:28:55
23. Natalie K. 4:32:46
24. Brian Concannon 4:42:27

Results of Relays:
1. Crankin’ for Frank 2:53:31 (Kate Radville, Sheryl Bierden, Amy Whitesides)
2. SOS 3 Mermaids and a Merman 3:11:48 (Jane Cheney, Rita Hansen, Christine Woolbright, Frank Johnson)
3. Your Pace or Mine? 3:22:21 (Wendy McDanolds, Courtney Paulk)
4. Sachuset Ocean Swimmers 3:22:22 (Paul Talewsky, Kathy Lewis, Zachary Scheetz)
5. The Aquanauts 3:35:10 (Jeffrey Pinnix, James Campbell, Chris Ryan)
6. AARPe Diem 3:47:42 (Cyndi Kimball, Christine Linnane)

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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