Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Mother Nature had her way in today’s Stage 2 during the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim between the Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge and the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

Rondi Davies reported on the conditions of the world’s longest competitive open water swim. “Today we had a strong headwind that created large swells and significantly slowed the outgoing ebb current which meant swimmers had to swim into a strong flood for the last 1.5 or more miles of the swim.”

Only four of fourteen veteran marathon swimmers finished under the turbulent conditions of the 19.8-mile (31.8 km) leg in the 76°F (24.4°C) water.

There are plenty of war stories behind all of today’s swims. But there were great, gallant efforts by the swimmers and the kayakers who had to deal with the conditions while looking after their swimmers.”

Stage 2 The Lighthouses Results:
1. Paige Christie 7:56:45 (total time: 13:01:23; second of 7 stages)
2. Cheryl Reinke 7:57:05 (total time: 12:55:50; second of 7 stages)
3. Ed Riley 9:04:42
4. Michele Walters 9:19:42
5. Devon Clifford DNF (second of 7 stages)
6. Steve Gruenwald DNF (second of 7 stages)
7. Thomas W. Kofler DNF (second of 7 stages)
8. Jamie Tout DNF (second of 7 stages)
9. Cristian Vergara DNF (second of 7 stages)
10. Erica Flickinger DNF (second of 7 stages)
11. Todd Erickson DNF
12. James Braddock DNF
13. Spencer Schneider DNF
14. David Barra DNF

Throughout the history of the event, only 4 swimmers have completed all 7 stages in one week: Grace van der Byl, Rondi Davies, Andrew Malinak and Lori King. There can now only be two swimmers from this year’s challengers who can join that esteemed group: Christie and Reinke who were only separated by 20 seconds and remain in a neck-and-neck battle for the overall lead.

For more information, visit www.8bridges.org.

Additional articles on the 2016 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim:
*History: Christie vs. Reinke Recalls Van Der Byl vs. Davies Battle
*Stage 1: Cheryl Reinke Wins 8 Bridges Stage 1 Marathon
*Competitor: Elena Pavlova Swimming From Ukraine To New York
*Stage 3: Cheryl Reinke Extends Slight Lead Under 8 Bridges
*Stage 4: Four For Cheryl Reinke At 8 Bridges
*Ageless Swimmers: Touting Jamie Under 8 Bridges
*Stage 5: Top Duo Duel Each Other And Weather
*Nerves: Goose Bumps While Swimming The 8 Bridges
*Stage 6: Swimming In Stages Down The Hudson River
*Stage 7: Cheryl Reinke, Paige Christie Go 7 For 7 At 8 Bridges
*Perseverance: Stage 6 Takes 6 For Capri Djatiasmoro

23-year-old Paige Christie and 51-year-old Cheryl Reinke shown above.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association