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