Vicki Keith of Canada felt it in lakes and the channels. So did Gail Rice of Florida around Key West. Julie Bradshaw of Great Britain also feels it on her marathon swims throughout the British Isles.

As do Paolo Cerizzi of Italy, Dan Projansky of Chicago, Héctor Ramírez Ballesteros of Spain, and Brenton Williams of South Africa.

These are the butterflyers on the international open water swimming community, taking a difficult sport and making it even harder. But these ocean flyers get into the rhythm of the sea, moving forward without swallowing water propelled their face-forward, double-arm strokes in synchronicity of the undulating swells.

Williams, who just swam butterfly through one of the world’s most famous surf zones this weekend, explains, “I feel the ocean more when swimming [butter]fly. I know it sounds weird, but it’s actually better than swimming freestyle, though slower and harder for sure. But sighting and becoming part of the ocean’s rhythm makes up for that.”

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source