Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Stroke for Egypt event in the Red Sea began today.

Nestled in the calm, warm waters off the coast of Sahl Hasheesh in Egypt, the 5 km open water swim was held this morning.

A giant 2.5 km flag was unfurled along the Red Sea. The governor presided over the unique flag extension ceremony where American marathon swimmer Lexie Kelly got in the water with the special needs swimmers.

A slew of Californians including Evan Kraus, Jenny Perrey and Megan Monroy along with Great Britain’s Michael Read and a pod of swimmers from the UK took part.

The Stroke for Egypt organizers are Khaled Shalaby, an Egyptian who swam across the English Channel with just one arm back in 1983, and Sherwitte Hafez, a 1984 Olympian from Egypt, put on a wonderful race with heartfelt hospitality,” said Kelly. “This is my second year here in Egypt and they always put on a great show.”

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