Jim, Joe, John Put On Quite A Show Around Manhattan Island

Courtesy of Abigail Fairman, Manhattan Island, New York.

The 40 Bridges Swim was beyond incredible from nearly every perspective during the September 18th-19th event.

Not only is the distance absolutely daunting at 91.8 km, but the swimmers and kayakers also faced strong winds throughout the race swum counterclockwise around Manhattan Island – and the 48-year-old winner Jim Loreto set a course record in 19 hours 36 minutes 47 seconds (7 hours 19 minutes for Lap 1 followed by a 12 hour 17 minute Lap 2).

After the Mill Rock start, older brother Joe Zemaitis swam the first lap in the exact time of his younger brother John Zemaitis in 7 hours 19 minutes, both keeping pace with Loreto. They would end up swimming a total of 19 hours 37 minutes stroke-for-stroke, a remarkable feat in itself as they were escorted by Terry O’Malley on both laps and by Luiz Lopez on Lap 1 and Manuela Jessel on Lap 2.

Abigail Fairman, who served as one of the observers and who had completed a 20 hour 22 minute 40 Bridges Swim in 2018, recalled the end of the race where “there was even a sprint to the finish if you can believe it, with all three finishing under 20 hours for the first time ever.”

New York Open Water co-organizer Alex Arévalo served as Loreto’s kayaker for both laps while NYOW observers included Rondi Davies, Abigail Fairman, Sharon Gunderson, Leslie Hamilton and Christopher Johnston.

Official Results:
1. Jim Loreto (48) 19 hours 36 minutes 47 seconds (7 hours 19 minutes for Lap 1 + 12 hours 17 minutes 47 seconds for Lap 2)
2. Joe Zemaitis (40) 19 hours 37 minutes 30 seconds (7 hours 19 minutes for Lap 1 + 12 hours 18 minutes 30 seconds for Lap 2)
2. John Zemaitis (37) 19 hours 37 minutes 30 seconds (7 hours 19 minutes for Lap 1 + 12 hours 18 minutes 30 seconds for Lap 2)

For more information about this marathon swim, visit www.nyopenwater.org.

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