Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The fourth annual 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim took place between June 18th – 25th under the direction of David Barra and Rondi Davies.

The world’s longest open water swimming competition – 120 miles (193 km) in all – included 7 swims over 7 days, starting at the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in Catskill, New York and ending at the Verrazzano Bridge in the New York Harbor.

The individual stages are current assisted for the duration of the ebb tide which varies from day to day,” explains co-founder David Barra. “The distance per stage varies from 13 to 20 miles with Stage 5, The Great Bays aka the Beast.”

This year, the longest stage saw some tough conditions,” described Barra about Stage 5, The Beast where only Andrew Malinak [shown above] finished. “Additionally, construction of the replacement Tappan Zee narrowed the approach to the bridge to the main channel. A southerly headwind diminished the current enough to make it difficult to make headway to the Tappan Zee within the ebb tide.”

But like every marathon swim, there was the unexpected. “From the splash at the Tappan Zee, the swimmers in State 6 were hammered by wind and chop. Historically, Stage 6 is the fast one, but not today. We called it at 6.5 hours when the flood became overpowering. For some of the swimmers, this was their longest swim to date.”

Malinak became the first man and third person after Grace van der Byl and Rondi Davies to complete all 7 stages in one week.

Stage 1 results:
1. Andrew Malinak 4:44:41
2. Heather Camargo 4:55:47
3. Ed Riley 5:03:27
4. James Penrose 5:33:42

Stage 2 Results:
1. Andrew Malinak 5:50:53
2. Heather Camargo 6:07:46
3. Ed Riley 7:10:51
4. James Penrose 8:03:13

Stage 3 results:
1. John Humenik 3:39:51
2. Heather Camargo 3:52:26
3. Frank Levy 3:53:40
4. Ed Riley 4:04:25
5. John Royer 4:08:53
6. James Penrose 4:18:30
7. Martin Turecky 4:22:15
8. Mo Siegel 4:24:37
9. Mark Watson 4:32:07
10. Andrew Malinak 4:38:38
11. Charles Bender 5:15:11

Stage 4 results:
1. Dave Farrell 4:12:26 (men’s record)
2. Heather Camargo 4:39:57
3. Michele Walters 4:40:52
4. Andrew Malinak 4:46:12
5. Ed Riley 5:10:08
6. Melissa Kretschmer 5:33:16
7. James Penrose 5:36:21
8. Mo Siegel 5:57:34
9. Jia Jung 6:05:57
10. Wilson Hong 6:07:43
11. Gen Wanatabe 6:11:08

Stage 5 Results:
1. Andrew Malinak 9:22:41
2. Lynne Ascione/Susan Kirk relay 10:30 DNF
3. James Penrose 9:40 DNF
4. Yuta Tsuboi 8:00 DNF
5. Mike Genelli 6:00 DNF

Stage 6 Results:
1. Andrew Malinak 5:03:47
2. Janet Harris 5:12:30
3. Lynn Ascione 5:19:49
4. Hannah Borgeson 5:29:40

Note: Rick Shanley, Susan Kirk, Laura Picardo, James Penrose, and Jaimie Monahan swam within a mile of the bridge. Janine Serrell and Capri Djatiasmoro were a little further back. After over six hours of swimming, these swimmers were pulled because of the opposing flood current.

Stage 7 results:
1. Lori King 5:43:11
2. Andrew Malinak 5:57:58
3. Kenn Lichtenwalter 7:05:55
4. James Penrose 7:15:24

We had a week of beautiful weather with a few windy days,” described Barra. James Penrose put in a strong effort in all seven stages and will be attempting the North Channel this summer.”

Andrew Malinak gives his perspective of his 7-stage, 7-day marathon swim here. For photos from the event, visit here.”

Support crew and kayakers included Alex Arevalo, Steve Blumling, Arik Thormahein, Teddy Gruber, Terry Lopotosky, Darian Rivera, Pat Kerrigan, Steven Welch, Richard Feiner, Richard Clifford, Donna Stein, Matthew Frey, Lee Reiser, Christina Lutters, Bonnie Frogma, Juan Pablo Camargo, Mary Egan, Thomas Raffel, and Jeff Robins.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association