Courtesy of WOWSA, Río Coronda, Argentina.

Over the decades, there have been innumerable number of great moves in open water swimming races.

This is another part of the Great Moves In Open Water Swimming History series.

France’s Stéphane Lecat loved the 57 km professional marathon swimming competition called the Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda down the Río Coronda, a river race in Argentina that he competed in annual between 1995 and 2001.

In 1995, he finished second to Greg Streppel of Canada, finishing in 8 hour 9 minutes.

He first won the race in 1996 in a thrilling 3-second victory over fellow Frenchman Gabriel Chaillou in 8 hours 49 minutes. In 1997, Lecat and Chaillou tied exactly in 8 hours 17 minutes to claim a joint victory.

In 1998, he finished third to David Meca Medina of Spain and Chaillou, finishing in 7 hours 43 minutes. But then he came back to win two races: the 1999 race in 8 hours 1 minute, a one-second victory over Meca, and the 2000 race in 9 hours 31 minutes, a 10-second victory over Chaillou. He finished second in the 2001 race in 7 hours 31 minutes losing to Meca again.

Lecat retold the strategy behind his 1999 victory over Meca and Igor Majcen of Slovenia. “I frequently swam against David Meca and knew that the race in Argentina was going to be close. He always liked to swim next to me on my left side towards the finish. He would draft and then sprint fast as he breathes to his right as I would be on his left. So I told my escort boat driver to guide me exactly on the buoy line and along the chute line coming into the finish. I knew David would try to come up on my left side so I hugged the buoy very tight – and he ran into it, and gave me a chance to hold onto my lead. I swam along the chute line and buoys and won.”

1999 Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda Men’s Results:
1. Stéphane Lecat (France) 8:01:48
2. David Meca (Spain) 8:01:49
3. Igor Majcen (Slovenia) 8:01:51
4. Gabriel Chaillou (Argentina) 8:06:47
5. Nace Majcen (Slovenia) 8:08:36
6. Christof Wandratsch (Germany) 8:08:57
7. Andrés Perez (Cuba) 8:10:22
8. Stéphane Gomez (France) 8:10:53
9. Petar Stoychev (Bulgaria) 8:19:45
10. Carlos Scanavino (Uruguay) 8:24:49
11. Facundo Quiroga (Argentina) 8:28:30
12. Jay Benner (USA) 8:30:57
13. Thomas Stolz (Germany) 8:48:18

1999 Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda Women’s Results:

1. Peggy Büchse (Germany) 8:22:20
2. Edith van Dijk (Netherlands) 8:34:18
3. Britta Kamrau (Germany) 8:38:18
4. Morgan Filler (USA) 9:08:00
5. Janaina Soarez (Brazil) 9:33:05

Other parts of the Great Moves In Open Water Swimming History series include:

* Great Moves In Open Water Swimming History – Lake Michigan is here
* Great Moves In Open Water Swimming History – Lac St-Jean is here
* Great Moves In Open Water Swimming History – Mount Everest is here
* Great Moves In Open Water Swimming History – Marine Stadium is here
* Great Moves in Open Water Swimming History – Rome is here
* Great Moves In Open Water Swimming History – Río Coronda is here

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