Race director Mike Cash (in red swim cap) competing in the Strongman (log-pulling category)
Courtesy of Bermuda Four Corners Challenge, Bermuda.
The 2018 Bermuda Four Corners Challenge went off without hitch over the weekend of April 21st – 22nd under generally favorable conditions.
The Four Corners is a set of four open water swims, each of 4 miles around the outside of Bermuda. “The swims represent a true exposure to elements,” explains event visionary Michael Cash.
“Each year, two of the four swims are completed over a weekend. The event is hosted by Bermuda Open Water Swimming and was conceived as an event to take advantage of some of the more beautiful but also more exposed and less accessible locations around the island. The first edition was held in April 2017.
Due to the nature of the reefline and difficulty for boats to navigate easily around the swim areas, the event is structured as one without support, however conditions have allowed a couple of kayaks to act in support of each of the legs.
This year, Bermuda Open Water Swimming raised the bar by adding a Strongman category where participants swim the same routes as everyone else does, but they tow a heavy log.”
Cash was not going to organize the Strongman category without himself going strong, but he ended up being the only swimmer to accept the challenge.
“The Saturday route (i.e., Somerset Long Bay to Black Bay via Daniel’s Head) was swum in 15 knot winds which thankfully were more of a cross wind than a head wind,” described Cash. “The air temperatures of ~17°C (64°F) took its toll on some local swimmers, but all finished, with Erik Soria leading the men out of the water in 1 hours 31 minutes 45 seconds followed by visiting Lori King in 1 hour 35 minutes 45 seconds.”
42-year-old King, who in 2016 became the second person to complete a full circumnavigation of Bermuda, said after the swim, “I have a special place in my heart for the Daniel’s Head area, it great to have another chance to swim out there and enjoy the views and corals. The chop was a bit tough, but I just kept my head down and tried to push through.”
Meanwhile, Soria cut his hand on some rocks near the finish which would leave him unable to double up on the Sunday.
The Sunday route (i.e., Well Bay on Cooper’s Island down to John Smith’s Bay) was held in slightly weakened winds with a slight tailwind. Graham Smith come out on top in 1 hour 38 minutes 42 seconds in Soria’s absence, while Eileen Mullowney turned the tables on King with a 1 hour 42 minutes 30 second time for second place overall and the first female.
Smith reveled in his victory, “The conditions suited me perfectly. I felt like I handled the wave action inside the reef well, sometimes the way the reefs impacts the flow of water is tough, but I handled it great.”
27-year-old Mullowney, an ex-patriot worker, originally from Vermont has clearly acclimatized to the warmer Bermuda conditions with current water temperatures of 22°C (72°F), added, “I was freezing yesterday, and was looking for some chicken soup to try to warm myself up from the inside, so it was pleasing to have some sun and keep a little warmer in the water today.”
Further down the field there were a number of other impactful performances. A total of nine people have now completed all four of the swims, earning themselves the recognition as pioneers of the Four Corners. Most of those will be back in 2019 to refresh on the other two routes: Jobson’s Cove to Whale Bone Bay, and Soldier Bay on Cooper’s Island to Fort St Catherine’s.
The combined winners across the two days (based on total cumulative time) were:
* Female Visitor: Lori King in 3:22:15
* Female Local: Eileen Mullowney in 3:20:19
* Male Visitor: Spencer Schneider in 4:01:18
* Male Local: Matt Neuber in 3:25:29
* Strongman: Michael Cash in 4:03:50
The 9 Four Corners pioneers who have completed the full Four Corners are in order of aggregate time: Eileen Mullowney, Lori King, Nick Strong, Mike Cash, Paul DiGiulio, Dmitri Haas, Spencer Schneider, Gary Taylor and October Dow.
BOWS hosts various open water races and events during the year. “You can join the email list send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can get the inside scoop on some of the most beautiful water in the world. The major event in the BOWS calendar is the Round the Sound scheduled for October 7th 2018 that coincides with Columbus day in the US and the Canadian Thanksgiving. Round the Sound offers distances of 10 km, 4 km, 2 km, 0.8 km and usual water temperatures are 26°C (78°F.”
Bermuda Four Corners Challenge: All Four Legs Results 2018
1. Eileen Mullowney 6:46:37
2. Lori King 6:50:38
3. Nick Strong 7:27:36
4. Mike Cash 7:28:32
5. Paul DeGiulio 7:44:22
6. Dmitri Haas 8:15:17
7. Spencer Schneider 8:20:25
8. Gary Taylor 8:55:04
9. October Dow 10:30:09
Bermuda Four Corners Challenge: Fair or Foul North West – Somerset Long Bay to Black Bay
1. Erik Soria (36) 1:31:45
2. Lori King (42) 1:35:45
3. Eileen Mullowney (27) 1:37:49
4. Paul DeGiulio (57) 1:38:08
5. Matt Neuber (31) 1:38:59
6. Nick Strong (41) 1:39:42
7. Dmitri Haas (44) 1:40:44
8. Spencer Schneider (57) 1:57:04
9. Mike Cash (50) 1:57:30
10. David Norman (47) 2:01:38
11. Gary Taylor (61) 2:04:40
12. Dana Page (56) 2:11:48
13. October Dow (41) 2:13:56
14. Tamara Salerno (43) 2:36:01
Bermuda Four Corners Challenge: Fair or Foul South East – Well Bay to John Smith’s Bay
1. Graham Smith (35) 1:38:42
2. Eileen Mullowney (27) 1:42:30
3. Lori King (42) 1:46:30
3. Matt Neuber (31) 1:46:30
5. Dmitri Haas (44) 1:47:35
6. Paul DeGiulio (57) 2:04:11
7. Spencer Schneider (57) 2:04:14
8. Nick Strong (41) 2:04:46
9. Mike Cash (50) 2:06:20
10. Lesley Balcombe (52) 2:13:32
11. Ryne Cash (16) 2:14:11
12. David Norman (47) 2:14:24
13. Gary Taylor (61) 2:15:32
14. Dana Page (56) 2:21:35
15. October Dow (41) 2:35:20
16. Tamara Salerno (43) 2:45:10
17. Wesley Lindo (38) 2:46:25
Bermuda Four Corners Challenge: Fair or Foul NW & SE
1. Eileen Mullowney (27) 3:20:19
2. Lori King (42) 3:22:15
3. Matt Neuber (31) 3:25:29
4. Dmitri Haas (44) 3:28:19
5. Paul DeGiulio (57) 3:42:19
6. Nick Strong (41) 3:44:28
7. Spencer Schneider (57) 4:01:18
8. Mike Cash (50) 4:03:50
9. David Norman (47) 4:16:02
10. Gary Taylor (61) 4:20:12
11. Dana Page (56) 4:33:23
12. October Dow (41) 4:49:16
13. Tamara Salerno (43) 5:21:11
The unique Four Corners medals are shown below.
Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association