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Monday, June 4, 2018

Benoît Lecomte Starts The Longest Swim Today

Courtesy of Paul Lecomte, Pacific Ocean.

Within hours on June 5th on the far eastern coast of Japan, The Longest Swim will begin.

Ben Lecomte will soon step off Ashikajima Beach in Choshi on the first day of his planned 6-8 month 8,721 km assisted stage swim to San Francisco, California.

"I have read about and covered Ben since he made his first transoceanic journey in 1998," recalls Steven Munatones. "More recently since 2008, I have been writing about his audacious plans so it is with great joy on Ben's behalf that he finally has pulled together the logistics, operations, escort crew, finances, communications, approvals, sea-worthy tested escort boat, science and research to get started."

Lecomte said on the night before his start from eastern Japan, "With a [start] location secured, a boat full of 8 months worth of food and 8 crew members ready to go, I’ll finally be leaving for The Swim after more than 6 years of preparations.

[This] Tuesday, I’ll touch land for the last time as I take my first strokes into the Pacific Ocean and make my way to San Francisco. I had a dream many years ago, and for the past 6 years, I have been working hard to make it a reality.

When I stood at the very spot I’ll leave from in Choshi, it all became very real to me, for the first time I realized this is it.

I’ll be taking the plunge around 8 am. I can’t wait
."

Lecomte's swim can be followed on the Seeker [see here] and on his website. His live tracker can be seen here and a Facebook link is here.

Articles over the last several years include the following:

2008
* Atlantic Ocean Crossing Attempt

2009
* A Cause Worth Swimming For - Japan to USA
* Cause Worth Swimming For: Japan to USA

2011
* Benoît Lecomte's Solo Swim In The Pacific
* Conditions Way Out In The Open Ocean
* Benoît Lecomte Stays In Touch During The Longest Swim
* Wave Gliders Measure Water Temperatures Of The Pacific
* From East To West, Benoit Lecomte Stages A Solo Swim
* Never Again, 14 Years Later
* Experiencing And Broadcasting Ben Lecomte Live From The Ocean
* Broadcasting Benoît Lecomte Across The Ocean

2012
* SmackDab In The Middle Of Swimming The Pacific Ocean
* Ocean Swimming To The Extreme
* We Are Swimming In An Era Of Greatness
* Ridgeline Entertainment, Swimming Against The Tide
* Escorting Benoît Lecomte Across The Pacific Ocean
* Real-time Land Interaction With Ben Lecomte On The Pacific
* How Ridgeline Entertainment Creates Drama About Open Water Swimming
* SmackDab In The Middle Of Swimming The Pacific Ocean
* 454 Days For A Dock. How Many Days For Ben Lecomte?
* 101 Movers And Shakers In The Open Water Swimming World
* The Longest Swim Show - Ben Lecomte Across The Pacific
* The Longest Swim Documentary By Doug Stanley
* Is Ben Lecomte Safe Swimming In The Pacific Ocean?
* Are You On The Interwet?
* Ocean Swimming To The Extreme
* Ben Lecomte's Speech From The Middle Of The Pacific
* The Water World Is Smaller Than We Think
* Never Ever Easy Training Alone
* Waves, Oh Swell

2013
* The Feeling Of Finishing, From Fatigue To Felicity

2015
* The Explorers Club In The Open Water World
* Conducting Science Across The Pacific Ocean
* Joining The Crew Onboard The Longest Swim
* Indiegogo Campaign Supports The Longest Swim
* Benoît Lecomte Is Now Live On Indiegogo
* Benoît Lecomte Talks About His Oceanic Traverse
* Who Is On Benoît Lecomte's Crew For 6 Months?
* Multi-tasking While Swimming Across The Pacific Ocean
* 48 Years Old And In His Prime
* What Is The Scale Of The Longest Swim?
* Time To Swim Across The Pacific Ocean
* The Explorers Club In The Open Water World
* World's Top 100 Open Water Swims In History
* Benoît Lecomte's Longest Swim - An Update
* What Is The Scale Of The Longest Swim?
* 48 Years Old And In His Prime
* Who Is On Ben Lecomte's Crew For 6 Months?
* Multi-tasking While Swimming Across The Pacific Ocean
* Time To Swim Across The Pacific Ocean
* Indiegogo Campaign Supports The Longest Swim
* Benoît Lecomte Is Now Live On Indiegogo
* Joining The Crew Onboard The Longest Swim
* Ben Lecomte To Swim Along The Kuroshio Current
* Pacific And Atlantic Transoceanic Swims To Begin
* Offshore Odysseys On The Increase
* 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man Of The Year Nominees
* Nominees For The 2015 WOWSA Awards
* WOWSA Man of the Year Voting
* The Longest Swim To Tackle Every Kilometer Of The Pacific
* It Is Not A Transponder, It Is A RadBand
* Is There A Doctor On Board?
* WOWSA...Swimmers To Be Celebrated At Big Chill Swim
* 2015 WOWSA Awards - Performance Of The Year Voting
* Kara Lavender Law & Ben Lecomte Studying The Pacific

2016
* Swimming With A Snorkel...Assisted Or What?
* Myriad Details Of The Longest Swim
* Gotta Like It...The Longest Swim
* How Technology Changes Things In The Open Water
* Swimming From Tokyo To San Francisco Makes Sense
* Ben Lecomte Ben Hooper Crossing The Ocean
* The Longest Swim, A Scientific Expedition
* The Tools Of A Transpacific Stage Swim
* Beam Me Across, Scotty
* Get Going With Gino Gönenç Kalganoğlu
* Ben Hooper, Jennifer Figge Waiting For Ocean Swims
* Poustinia...Jennifer Figge Swimming In The Ocean

2017
* Where Are They Now? Ben Lecomte
* The Longest Swim Is Getting Closer
* AltaSea, Where Ocean Innovators Work Together
* Ben Lecomte Going With The Flow Across The Pacific
* AltaSea, Where Ocean Innovators Work Together
* The Longest Preparation For The Longest Swim
* Heading To The Longest Swim
* The Science Behind The Longest Swim
* XPRIZE Ocean Initiative's Big Ocean Button Challenge
* Stage Swimming For Science And Sustainability

2018
* The Next Mountain? Across The Pacific Ocean
* Discover The Discoverer
* Scientific Research During The Longest Swim
* Lecomte, Cole Get To The Heart Of The Longest Swim
* The Rules Governing The Longest Swim By Ben Lecomte
* Chiba Central
* The Window, Waves And Winds Of Ben Lecomte
* Ben Lecomte On The Seeker In The Swim
* Is There A Doctor On Board?
* Inspired At The Age Of 8 To Realize A Dream
* Yoav Nevo Guiding The Longest Swim
* All For One, One For All Aboard The Discoverer
* Head East, Do Science, Be Adventurous
* Tyral Dalitz Heading To Canada



The rules governing the unprecedented transpacific stage swim are below for consideration for a Guinness World Record for the Longest Ocean Stage Swim:

Record definition
· This is for the longest solo journey made by swimming in the ocean with the following equipment that can be used any time and all the time while in the water:

(1) full-body wetsuit with connected neoprene hoodie or a separate neoprene swim cap
(2) snorkel
(3) fins of any length on both feet
(4) gloves on both hands
(5) kick board
(6) pull buoy
(7) GoPro or other camera
(8) audio transmitter
(9) ankle transponder or RadBand

· This record is to be attempted by a single individual in a continuous attempt.
· This record is measured in kilometers to the nearest 0.001 km, with the equivalent imperial measurement also given in miles.

Rules for Longest Ocean Stage Swim
1. This attempt must be undertaken under the auspices of a registered marathon swimming monitoring body such as either the Marathon Swimmer's Federation or the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA).
2. The challenger must register with the federating body in advance of the attempt.
3. The attempt must follow all rules as stipulated by the federating body.
4. It is essential that all start and finishing times in hours, minutes and seconds, as well as the straight-line tangent distance between the start and finish points, are recorded for each individual stage swim. A stage swim is defined as one consecutive, non-stop swim in the Pacific Ocean. This must be included in the evidence pack.

Rules for 'longest journey’ records:
a. This record is measured in kilometers to the nearest 0.001 km, with the equivalent imperial measurement also given in miles.
b. Note that no distinction will be made between supported (assisted) and unsupported (unassisted) journeys.
c. The journey must be tracked using accurate professional equipment e.g. a GPS tracking unit. A printout of the tracking data, including the start and finish location and the length of time in the water for each stage swim must be submitted.
d. Any route may be followed, but in keeping with the spirit of this record, the journey should follow a route between two pre-defined points (e.g., Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, Japan and San Francisco, California, USA) and should not, for instance, repeatedly cover the same ground or consist of an accumulation of shorter journeys made during the course of everyday life.
e. The journey must be continuous, with each leg of the journey beginning at the point at which the previous leg ended wherever practically possible in the Pacific Ocean. Boarding of the escort boat SV Discoverer or its accompanied RIBs may only be used between stage swims for rest, sleep, eating, moving into position for subsequent stage swims or in emergencies or media interviews. Details of these stops and breaks must be included with the record claim and the distances covered while on the escort boat do not count towards the record total. If the start of any stage swim is not the same as the finish of the previous stage swim, this information must be recorded and the reasons for the differences must be explained. Whenever practically possible, at least one stage swim should be attempted every 24 hours, although more than one stage swim can be done in any 24-hour period. If a stage swim cannot be safely attempted every 24-hour period, this information must be recorded and the reasons must be explained.
f. Breaks and stops may be made whenever desired. However, as a general rule, the participant must not remain stationary (i.e. if he/she does not make any progress towards his/her destination) for longer than 14 days. Any delays longer than this must have a very good reason (e.g. injury or storms or equipment or boat malfunction) and must be accounted for to Guinness World Records. Note that delays that cannot be reasonably justified may result in disqualification.

WITNESS REQUIREMENTS
• The role of an independent witness is to confirm that they observed the claimant undertaking the record attempt in the manner set out by the guidelines. Independent witnesses must be made aware of all specific guidelines in order to confirm that all have been adhered to. The support crew will provide the independent witnesses with the following information:

(1) GPS coordinates of the start and finish of each stage swim
(2) total duration of time of each stage swim
(3) total straight-line tangent distances between the start and finish points of each stage swim, and
(4) equipment worn or used during each stage swim on a daily basis via written communications (e.g., email). Video evidence of the swimmer in the water on a daily basis will also be provided as collaborative support evidence.

• A witness book must be made available for independent witnesses to sign. The book should be set up so that each witness includes their name, the location, the date and time, their signature and their email address or phone number. For an attempt which is supported by a backup team, we would expect it to be possible to gain sufficient numbers of independent witnesses to enable verification for the entire duration of the attempt. Where possible, local dignitaries and police should be sought to sign the book. This book will be signed by the escort crew members and three independent witnesses of the World Open Water Swimming Association.
• For solo and unsupported attempts, we appreciate that it might not be possible to gain an unbroken line of witnesses for the attempt, but one should try to obtain as many as possible.

LOG BOOK REQUIREMENTS
Applicants must complete a log book, giving a description of the event and details of the participant(s) daily/overall performances. It must be clear from the book the exact start and finish points of each leg of the attempt, the exact start and finish times and calculation of daily and total distances travelled. All rest breaks or stoppages for whatever reason must also be fully detailed in the log. Wherever possible, entries in the logbook should be signed and dated by independent witnesses along the route (e.g. hotel staff, police, shop owners etc.). Receipts for purchases and services and GPS coordinates of the start and finish of each stage swim as well as time and distance information and video evidence of the swimmer in the water and a description of the water temperatures and conditions (e.g., wind speed, wind direction, wave height, wave direction, existence of rain, lightning, fog, marine life, flotsam, jetsam) may also be collected as an additional form of proof.

PRE-APPROVAL
Please submit the following information prior to the record attempt to obtain approval of the proposed methods. Any attempts not pre-approved may be rejected if the process is not deemed acceptable.

1. Distance calculations: Details of how the distances have been calculated must be given before the attempt starts to ensure these measurements are correct.

Plans for pre-approval must be sent using the Correspondence function within your application. Attachments such as venue layouts can be uploaded via the Evidence function. You do not need to use the Submit Evidence button after uploading; as long as you write to us in Correspondence and make sure to save the changes to your application, the materials will appear for us to review.

Please make sure you supply the following evidence:

• One cover letter explaining the context of the record attempt. Please indicate date, time and exact location of the record verification. Also please provide full details of the person(s) attempting the record including name, age, nationality and background. You can use the template in the Guide to Your Evidence or prepare a different Cover Letter.
• A Witness book as described in “Witness Requirements”.
• A Log book as described above in “Log Book Requirements”.
• A GPS print out must be provided and .kml files (on a disc or USB flash drive) must be submitted.
• The entire attempt should be filmed in case further evidence is required. For times up to one hour, we expect the entire attempt to be submitted on video. For events longer than this, a 'highlights package' will be acceptable but must include the following points:

a) Footage of the start of the attempt;
b) Two minutes footage every hour. For events longer than 48 hours, 10 minutes footage per 24 hours will be acceptable;
c) The point at which the record is broken, and
d) The end of the attempt.

• Photographic evidence is compulsory evidence for all record attempts. Please provide dated photographs at recognizable landmarks if possible. High quality pictures will be considered for publication online and in the Guinness World Records book or related products.
• Media articles is not a compulsory evidence requirement but it will assist the claim if news coverage is obtained throughout the journey. If you have media coverage (newspaper, online, TV or radio) GWR please submit them as part of the evidence requirements.
• Schedule 2 should be signed by you when you are sending in evidence which you either own or have permission to allow Guinness World Records to use.
• If you include any photographs or video in your evidence which you do not own or have permission to allow Guinness World Records to use, then you must include Schedule 3.

Evidence checklist will include the following:

· Cover letter
· Witness log books
· Witness statements
· Log book
· GPS data (.kml files)
· Photographic evidence
· Video evidence
· Schedule 2 (signed)
· Schedule 3 (signed)
· Media articles

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