Courtesy of Adherbal de Oliveira, Travessia do Leme ao Pontal, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

On September 20th, Edilson Heleno Holz Bento became the latest swimmer to complete the 36 km Travessia do Leme ao Pontal in Rio de Janeiro with the longest time in the history of the Leme to Pontal Swimming Association.

Edilson Bento, a native of southern Brazil, learned to swim five years ago and was motivated by his dream to become a military police lifeguard. Bento began participating in open water swims and marathons.

At the beginning of his window, the sea around Rio de Janeiro did not offer the minimum safety conditions for attempting the crossing, but Bento waited patiently and anxiously for three days. Finally, at midnight on the 20th, he was given a go.

His mother, Ivanilda Bento, was on his escort boat Rio Boa Sorte and saw him tackle the night hours, strong currents, cross winds and turbulent sea, finally finishing on Pontal Beach after a long 15 hours 50 minutes. Bento surprised everyone on shore when he took a picture of his late father out from inside his neoprene suit.

Bento decided to swim with the photo to pay homage to his father who had the dream of knowing the city of Rio de Janeiro.

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