Californian swim buddies, 62-year-old Les Mangold from Modesto and 51-year-old Jeff Everett from Oakland, became the two latest members of the Half Century Club when they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar on September 17th.

This was our second try,” explained Mangold who has swum the width of Lake Tahoe twice as has Everett. “Last year it was too windy through out the week and then when the wind calmed down the fog came in.”

But this year was different. “It was fun. It was exciting. It got all of the juices flowing. Tarifa is also a very cool town with great beaches. Jeff is slightly faster than me so he governed his pace to stay with me. We absolutely had to stay together. We fed together every 30 minutes and were never more than 50 yards apart – most of the time we much closer.” 

Yes, it was cool.  Very cool swim to Africa,” said Everett.

And they were together at the finish in Morocco 5 hours 23 minutes after their start in Spain.

Photo shows Les Mangold in pink cap and Jeff Everett in yellow cap at the start in Europe and finish in Africa.

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