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Saturday, June 17, 2017

2017 Great Chesapeake Bay Swim

Courtesy of Linda Toretsky, Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, Maryland.

Great Chesapeake Bay Swim is an annual 1-mile and 4.4-mile swim across the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

647 swimmers started in two separate heats on the 4.4-mile course that starts on Sandy Point State Park. 621 swimmers finished with 26 swimmers did not finish.

294 swimmers started the 1-mile Bay Challenge that started in three separate swim waves. 280 finished in the 72°F (22°C) ideal conditions. Linda Toretsky observed, "There was an optimum tide conditions with hardly no wind to affect our swimmers. There were many in-water support volunteers, from kayakers who directly lined the swim course and a large fleet of boats just outside the perimeter to which swimmers could be transported, if removed from water.

We had hundreds of volunteers in the water and on land who elevate this swim to the national level it deserves. ot only are our swimmers all champions as well as all the outstanding volunteers. They also provide support to provide all swimmers with their support both physically, and mentally encouraging them when it starts to get tough.

One of our swimmers, who was beginning to feel overwhelmed by the large wave wrote how she was close to panic, but a kayaker came up to her and stayed with her telling to just breathe, slow down. I am staying by you until you let me know you are OK. She recovered, and had a good and emotionally grateful swim finish. This is what the swim is about

Just to see all the large boats start to form a line and follow the final swimmers when they come from out under the bridge span and around that bend, heading for that final half mile to their finish. It was just awesome and inspiring."

Over the years, over US$2.4 million has been donated to various Maryland charities. The largest recipient of funds is the Maryland March of Dimes.

While 22-year-old Andrew Gyenis and 21-year-old Katie Fallon won the men's and women's race, 80-year-old Ed Briggs (2:57:38), 82-year-old Robert Benson (3:07:00) and 71-year-old Sally Iliff (2:52:30) represented the older age groups incredibly well.

4.4-mile Top 3 Male Finishers
1. Andrew Gyenis 1:29:07
2. Andrew McKissick 1:30:19
3. Brian Benda 1:31:09

4.4-mile Top 3 Female Finishers
1. Katie Fallon 1:40:11
2. Margarita Ryan 1:40:40
3. Polly Surhoff 1:41:34 [52-year-old shown above]

For more photos from Linda Toretsky, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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