Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Back in 2008, Olympic swimmer Luiz Lima took a popular song in Brazil and literally swam the course as described in the lyrics.

The 35 km coastal course between Leme Beach and Pontal in Rio de Janeiro caught the attention of the Brazilian media.

But it was not until seven years later that another swimmer replicated his feat.

Adherbal de Oliveira and Renato Ribeiro Barbosa established the Leme to Pontal Swimming Association (LPSA), creating a new marathon ocean swimming challenge for many others to attempt. With the help of escort pilots Anderson, Paulo Gomes, Max Jurujuba, and Ary da Caonceição, the governing body has grown. Eight solo swimmers and relays have already achieved their dream after one year.

Adherbal explains the history, “Luiz Lima first completed the 35 km crossing in 2008; inspired in part by Do Leme ao Pontal (From Leme to Pontal), a well-known Brazilian song by Tim Maia. We have several swimmers who have become successful.”

Solo Swims without Neoprene
*Adherbal Treidler de Oliveira (Brazil) on 12 July 2015 in 9 hours 23 minutes (at age of 45)
*Paulo Amaral (Brazil) on 27 February 2016 in 13 hours 25 minutes (at age of 53)
*Patrícia Farias de França (Brazil) on 29 May 2016 in 10 hours 22 minutes (at age of 35)

Solo Swims with Neoprene
*Luiz Lima (Brazil) on 12 December 2008 in 8 hours 25 minutes (at age of 31)
*Marcos Campos (Brazil) on 19 December 2016 in 7 hours 34 minutes (at age of 32)
*Vitor Gadelha (Brazil) on 19 December 2016 in 8 hours 43 minutes (at age of 19)

Relay Swims without Neoprene
*LL Gladiadores1 (Brazil) on 6 November 2016 in 8 hours 11 minutes with Luiz Lima, Humberto Sampaio, Marcelo Nissenbaum, José Getúlio, Pedro Alquéres, Georges Lezaun

*Team RR (Brazil) on 18 December 2016 in 8 hours 33 minutes with Arthur Silveira Ramalho, André Loureiro Rosário, Leila Maria Da Roz, Livia Tereza Salzano, Itamar Bran Júnior, Alain Lucien Levy

Relay Swim with Neoprene
*Team Maia 59 (Brazil) on 18 December 2016 in 7 hours 13 minutes with Eduardo Gerin Gabriel, Isabela Xanchão Marques, Luiz Eduardo Castro, Gisela Barbosa Coutinho

The water temperature along the course ranges from 59°F (15°C) to 79°F (26°C) depending on the time of the team. Crossings can be attempted any time of the year. The costs for the escort and pilots are $1,300 for solo swimmers and $1,500 for relays between 2 to 6 swimmers.”

For more information on 35 km (21.7-mile) Travessia do Leme ao Pontal, visit www.swimlpsa.com.br.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association