To accurately guess your time on a 1000m test swim in the pool (without looking at the pace clock) takes practice and experience. To accurately guess your time on a 3 km swim in a calm lake (without looking at your wristwatch) is remarkable. To accurately guess your time on an English Channel swim is rare. But to accurately guess your relay time on a 228-mile swim in the Pacific Ocean is downright uncanny.

But Phil Cutti is that kind of athlete and prognosticator.

With a sharp intellect, some well-thought-out assumptions, and teammates who swam consistently well-paced through strong winds, large ocean swells, curious marine life, thick kelp beds, and night, the Night Train Swimmer was remarkably right on the money.

We asked Cutti to estimate the time that the Night Train Swimmers would take to swim 228 miles (367 km) from Gaviota State Park to the San Diego Yacht Club several weeks in advance of their attempt.

My guess with a 3 pm start in Gaviota is that our best-case scenario would have us land at 11:43 am [the following week]; the worse-case scenario would have us land at 7:23 am [the next morning; but the likely case is that we will land in San Diego at 7:19 pm.”

The Night Train Swimmers landed at 7:28 pm.

9 minutes off on a relay swim that lasted over 100 hours over 367 kilometers. Remarkably uncanny.

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