Diego López Dominguez had a season to remember.
The Spanish swimmer from the Canary Islands transitioned from his specialty events of the 200m butterfly, 400m IM, and 1500m freestyle to the open water flawlessly.
The 36-year-old explains, “I had the dream of swimming around Manhattan Island since I moved to New York City in September 2016. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy after a few years of taking it easy, so I joined a local master swimming pool team.
I planned a busy year of open water swims overseas. It is never easy to juggle 6 am practices and weekend trips with a busy work schedule.”
His plan went off as planned. “I was well prepared in August to face Manhattan, which I circumnavigated in little over 6 hours 37 minutes. That wasn’t enough for me and I continued to face challenges in different states across the United States and overseas – including cold, long and night swims.”
“It is now time to rest – and to plan for 2018, which is already looking quite busy with over 200 km of racing planned and few other challenges. Among these goals is to become the 16th person and the first Spaniard to complete the Triple Break – with Alcatraz just done, I will be swimming Rottnest Channel Swim in March and Robben Island in April.”
In addition to his previous swims in Hong Kong (Sheko Challenge + Clean Half Extreme Marathon Swim), Brazil (Rei e Rainha do Mar Desafio), United Arab Emirates (Wild Wadi Swim), he completed 171.2 km over nearly 36 hours of ocean and river swims, competing in the following 15 races in 7 different countries:
* February 19th: he won the 10 km Swim for Haiti from Arcadins Island to Wahoo Bay Beach in the West Province of Haiti, finishing in 2 hours 56 minutes
* March 26th: he finished second in his age group in the 4.3 km Nevis to St. Kitts Cross Channel Swim from Saint Kitts to Nevis, finishing in 1 hour
* April 22nd: he finished finished 10th overall and second in his age group in the 11.2 km USMS Marathon Distance Open Water National Championship (Swim Around Lido Key) in Sarasota, Florida in 2 hours 48 minutes
* May 27th: he finished second in his age group in the 10 km Por La Libre (El Cruce) from Cancun to Isla Mujeres in Mexico finishing in 2 hours 23 minutes
* June 3rd: he won the 5 km 2 Bridges Swim Under The Walkway in Poughkeepsie, New York finishing in 1 hour 6 minutes
* June 17th: he finished second overall in 21.2 km Stage 3 of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim in Poughkeepsie, New York in 3 hours 52 minutes
* July 1st: he won the 5.5 km Race for the Conch in Turks & Caicos in 49 minutes
* July 8th: he won his age group in the 3.2 km Coney Island Aquathlon in Coney Island, New York in 51 minutes
* July 23rd: he won his age group in the 2.4 km Lady Liberty Sharkfest around the Statue of Liberty, New Jersey in 24 minutes
* August 19th: he won the 45.8 km 20 Bridges Manhattan Island Swim around Manhattan Island, New York in 6 hours 37 minutes, the 11th fastest swim in history and fastest by a Spanish swimmer, while raising money for Ocean Recovery Alliance
* September 9th: he finished third overall in the 2.5 km OWSHK Club Championship in Stanley Beach in Hong Kong finishing in 40 minutes
* September 30th: he finished second in the male skin division in the 2 km Alcatraz Swim with Centurions in San Francisco Bay, California finishing in 26 minutes
* October 14th: he finished fifth in the male division of the 16 km Swim The Suck in Chattanooga, Tennessee finishing in 3 hours 39 minutes
* November 5th: he finished second in the male division of the 10 km Barbados Open Water Festival in Carlisle Bay, Barbados finishing in 2 hours 25 minutes
* November 11th: he was third overall in the 22 km La Prueba Reina – Reto III in Acapulco, Mexico, a night swim finishing in 6 hours 3 minutes [shown above with the night light on his swim cap]
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