Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Samir Barel of Brazil completed the final leg of his Tríplice Coroa (Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming) this morning with a Catalina Channel crossing in 8 hours 45 minutes.

Among his support team are two FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix champions, a husband-and-wife team of Damián Blaum and Esther Nuñez, and friends from Brazil: Nick Fenzl, Thais Sant’ana, Larissa Zink, and Carmen Zinc. They assisted him to become the first Brazilian to complete the Triple Crown.

“It was a beautiful experience,” remarked pace swimmer Blaum. “Samir faced some hard moments, but he was strong and he picked up the pace at the end. We left Catalina Island at 11:30 pm and the ocean was very smooth the entire way from Catalina to the mainland. We saw some dolphins, a very BIG snake or something fast about 3 meters long, and a perfect sunrise.”

His crossing was funded by crowdsourcing where he gave Tríplice Coroa swim caps, t-shirts, slippers and water bottles to his supporters.

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