On March 19th, it was Viana’s turn to take on the 36 km challenge.
Previously, Viana had experienced a DNF when his first attempt had to be aborted by a storm that approached the city of Rio de Janeiro. But he waited and remained in the area for six more days for a second chance.
Viana began his attempt at 2 am starting off on a strong pace of 4.9 km per hour with 76 strokes per minute in the 28ºC Atlantic where he enjoyed only a few ocean ripples, little current and calm winds.
But after six hours of a high pace, his back started to act up that caused much concern among his support team. Twice he stopped to stretch, further increasing concerns aboard his escort boat.
They made a strategic decision to ask Viana to swim on the left side of the boat. He was able to regain his strong rhythm and finally caught some advantageous ocean swells as he entered the beach area of Barra da Tijuca that pushed him southwards in the direction of his arrival on the beach of the Pontal.
He completed a bioprene course record of 7 hours 22 minutes.
After receiving his trophy on the beach, he surprised everyone with a marriage proposal to his girlfriend Natália Alonso who had accompanied him on the escort boat.
Upper photo of Viana with his fiancé Natália Alonso. Lower photo shows hands of future matrimony on the Leme to Pontal Swimming Association.
For more information about the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal, visit here.
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