Courtesy of WOWSA, Laje de Santos, São Paolo, Brazil.

On September 24th, Adriano Passini pioneered a swim of 23.4 nautical mile from Laje de Santos to the mainland in Santos, Brazil in 11 hours 55 minutes.

Passini, a member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team who previously crossed the English Channel in 11 hours 10 minutes, swam in the 21.5°C water under cloudy skies and in moderate surface chop. Laje de Santos is a Brazilian islet for its abundant marine life and was the first marine park created by the state government.

Passini grew up in the nearby city of San Vicente and was initially inspired to attempt the 43.3 km crossing when he first saw Laje de Santos from the airplane on his way to São Paulo.

He has been training for this swim for over two year. In May 2016, he spent 3 weeks waiting for navigitable conditions before he passed the initial attempt. This time, his swim window was rapidly closing, but he took a chance on the last possible day.

Passini explained his motives, “I was inspired to start swimming by [International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honoree] Sri Chinmoy who saw sports as a field in which meditation could be put to powerful use. In particular, Sri Chinmoy encouraged his students to practice the philosophy of self-transcendence, to experience the liberating feeling of challenging one’s perceived limitations.”

Passini was escorted by navigators Cezar Elvin Laso and Marcio Pires Lopes Jacaré, Ashirvad Zaiantchick who was on his English Channel swim, and his father Aurélio Passini Júnior. “I did not touch the island at the start because people are not allowed by the law to touch the rock because it is a protected marine state park. It was necessary to get official authorization even to go there to swim. Our boat are dive operators familiar with the park so they are allowed to go there because they know very well the area and weather conditions.

The area near Santos lies on one of the busiest shipping lanes in the Americas. I passed 50 large ships during the swim after starting the swim at 7:10 am. Today a dream has been realized, the impossible has become possible; after a lot of effort, I’m really happy to arrive in the city of Santos and complete my goal.”

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