Tag Archives: Open-Water Swim

A Picture-Perfect Ederle Swim

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

Ederle Swim 2014 39

Maybe the magic was in the pasta.

This year, Vlad and I signed up to provide kayak support for the Ederle Swim, a 17.5-mile open-water swim from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Vlad has done it several times, but this was my first time accompanying swimmers to Sandy Hook (though we’ve paddled there many times).

We’d each been assigned a swimmer, and the day before the swim, the organizers, NYC Swim, sent us the swimmers’ email addresses. So I reached out to “my” swimmer, Andrea Varalli, mentioned that I’d done the paddle many times, and offered what advice I could, including the detailed blogs Vlad has posted on Wind Against Current about his previous Ederle Swims (here, here, here, and here).

Next thing I knew, Vlad and I agreed to meet Andrea and his support team for dinner at a “real Italian restaurant” (as Andrea called it), Piacere. (Pleasure, in Italian.) We had guessed (correctly as it turned out) that Andrea was “real Italian”—not merely of Italian descent. So the “real Italian” restaurant was sure to be a treat!

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Ederle Swim 2013

By Vladimir Brezina

Under the Verrazano Narrows BridgeOn Sunday a week ago, August 18th, I found myself once more in my kayak accompanying a long-distance swimmer through New York Harbor.

It was the day of this year’s Ederle Swim, a 17.5 -mile open-water swim from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, organized by NYC Swim. This year’s swim was in fact the centennial swim, since the first successful swim over that course, after a number of failed attempts, occurred a hundred years ago almost to the day, on August 28th, 1913.

My swimmer this year was Barbara Held, from San Diego, California. Having completed her Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming—the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, the Catalina Channel, and the English Channel—Barbara was looking for new challenges!

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Travel Theme: Liquid

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Liquid.

Our favorite liquid, liquid:

Not liquid:

Ederle Swim 2011, Round Three

By Vladimir Brezina

NYC Swim‘s Ederle Swim, the ~17-mile open-water swim through New York Harbor between Manhattan and Sandy Hook, NJ, has become very popular. This year, there have been no fewer than three of them. And each one set a new record.

First, in June 2011, Liz Fry swam from Manhattan to Sandy Hook and back, becoming the first swimmer ever to complete a double Ederle Swim—and, in the process, setting records for both individual directions as well.

Then in August, Lance Ogren, swimming with a fast ebb current in the wake of Hurricane Irene, shattered Liz’s Manhattan-to-Sandy Hook record by almost an hour.

I was one of the kayakers accompanying both Liz and Lance on these swims (see my writeups and photos here and here).

And now, Round Three! Last Sunday we had the main, yearly Ederle Swim for multiple swimmers—19 swimmers started—but in the other direction, from Sandy Hook to Manhattan. The winner of this race was looking to beat Liz’s other individual record!

This time I was the kayaker for Janet Harris, in her very first Ederle Swim. Here are some annotated photos from my kayaker’s perspective. Janet has posted her own account of her swim here.

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A Post-Hurricane Swim Into the Record Books

By Vladimir Brezina

NYC Swim‘s premier long-distance swim, the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, has become an institution in the world of long-distance swimming.  But its younger sibling, the Ederle Swim between Manhattan and Sandy Hook, New Jersey, is still growing, full of surprising twists and turns.

In October 2010, the top two finishers in the Ederle Swim were Lance Ogren and Liz Fry. This year, each of them went on to swim their own exclusive version of the Ederle Swim. In June 2011, Liz completed an unprecedented 35-mile double Ederle Swim from Manhattan to Sandy Hook and back. In an amazing swim, she set records not only for the overall course but for each of the two individual directions as well.

A few days ago, in August 2011, Lance set out to break the record—now Liz’s record—for the Manhattan to Sandy Hook direction.

I was one of the two kayakers accompanying Lance on his swim. Here are some photos and a brief account.

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Manhattan Island Marathon Swim 2011: The Lone Starlettes Take Manhattan

By Vladimir Brezina

When people say incredulously “OMG, you kayak in THAT water? And you just went all the way around Manhattan??”, I often reply, “People SWIM in that water… all the way around Manhattan!!”

(Clearly, I might have to rethink this reply, although not the sentiment, after this summer’s sewage disaster…)

Each year, NYC Swim puts thousands of swimmers into that water for a series of short and longer swims in New York City’s waterways. Their premier event each summer is the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (MIMS), a 28.5-mile race around Manhattan. Along with the English Channel and Catalina Channel swims, it is one of the three swims in the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

The Lone Starlettes scoping out the Battery from the land side beforehand: (left to right) Pam LeBlanc, Katy Dooley, Leslie Blanke, Gretchen Sanders

In this year’s MIMS, on June 18, 2011, I was the kayaker for a relay team, the Lone Starlettes (no prizes for guessing which state they are from    ): Katy Dooley, Gretchen Sanders, Pam LeBlanc, and Leslie Blanke. Here’s how it went…

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Liz Fry’s “Triple Crown”: Three Records in Round-Trip Manhattan-Sandy Hook Swim

By Vladimir Brezina

In October 2010, Liz Fry swam in NYC Swim‘s Ederle Swim, a 17.5-mile tide-assisted swim through New York Harbor from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, New Jersey.  Yet when she reached Sandy Hook, she wasn’t all that tired. As all the swimmers were getting onto their accompanying motor boats to return to Manhattan, Liz thought to herself, “Isn’t the tide soon going to turn back toward Manhattan again? Why don’t I just swim back?” And so in 2011 she did.

On June 14, 2011, Liz became the first person ever to complete a Two-Way Ederle Swim, the 35-mile swim from Manhattan to Sandy Hook and back again, in 11 hours, 5 minutes, and 7 seconds.   And on top of that, she set new records for each direction. She made it from Manhattan to Sandy Hook in just 4 hours, 59 minutes, 6 seconds, beating her 2010 time and, by 7 minutes, the previous record of Tammy van Wisse of Australia. And she made it back in just 6 hours, 6 minutes, 1 second—also a record, and not a bad time for someone who had already completed a 17.5-mile swim!

I was one of the two kayakers who accompanied Liz as she completed this  feat. Here’s the swim from a kayaker’s perspective:

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