Photo of Jenny Smith courtesy of John Tierney at Cork Distance Week, Ireland.

44-year-old Jenny Leigh Smith from Chattanooga, Tennessee completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with her 45.9 km circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island at yesterday’s 20 Bridges Manhattan Island Swim.

It was rough conditions on the Hudson River,” recalled Jenny Leigh Smith about yesterday’s 8 hour 52 minute 20 Bridges Manhattan Island Swim in New York City.

There was no current assist and there were big swells due to wind. The hardest part for me was the hot water temperature, 74-75°F (23+°C). Fortunately, my crew Stephanie and Craik Davis, escort boat captain Doug Dougherty and kayaker Jeff Flomsbee, observer Andy were superb and made up for the tough conditions.

This is the allure of open water swimming: unpredictable and swimmer versus nature.”

The allure has drawn Smith across the English Channel in 2017 (11 hours 13 minutes), across the Catalina Channel in California in 2017 (10 hours 45 minutes), training at the 2017 Cork Distance Week in Ireland, Swim The Suck marathon river swims in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 as well as around Manhattan Island.

It was a crazy hard swim, but it was a first class swim [that was] very well orchestrated and executed.

Jeff Flomsbee had mad kayak skills and mother bear instincts to protect [me] from helicopters, sea planes, ferries, cargo boats, vessels and a dead rat. My boat – the Juggernaut – piloted by Captain Doug Dougherty was an invincible force warding off dangerous collisions especially the cluster at 600 meters to the finish. My Baylor Tri Masters crew and swim mates, Stephanie and Craik were relentless in the heat and sun to keep encouraging me, keeping me hydrated and fed, and provided me with the strength to keep on swimming.

My observer Andy from the Jersey Shore had a laid back and chill vibe that one needed in the zero assisted current of the Hudson.”

20 Bridges June 30th Results
1. Nathalie Pohl (24, Marburg, Germany) 8:12:39
2. Ned Wieland (16, Sydney, Australia) 8:21:51
3. Luca Pozzi (33, San Francisco, California) 8:21:57
4. Samuel Vidal Fernandez (37, Alicante, Spain) 8:48:27
5. Jenny Smith (44, Chattanooga, Tennessee) 8:52:32
6. Rene Martínez Saenz (37, Mexico City) 8:59:36
7. Peter Dolnik (52, Slovakia) 9:17:49
8. Melissa Kegler (36, Redmond, Washington) 9:24:17
9. Peter Lofquist (56, Mesa, Arizona) 9:40:07
10. Ingrid Bon (48, Boca Raton, Florida) 9:50:22
11. Kate Robarts (57, Newquay Cornwall, UK) 10:09:56
12. Kamil Resa Alsaran (57, Istanbul, Turkey) 10:15:45
12. Ragip Vural Tandoğan (54, Istanbul, Turkey) 10:15:45
14. Pat Gallant-Charette (67, Westbrook, Maine) 10:53:27
DNF Zoe Sadler (45, Bramley, Tadley Hampshire, UK) aborted at 6:21:53
DNF Dongho Choi (53, Princeton, New Jersey) aborted at 7:30:32

For more information on the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, visit here.

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