Weather conditions were just about perfect for the 2017 swim & support. A great turnout of 44 kayaks total (45 kayakers, as one was a father & son tandem sit-on-top) supported 647 4.4 mile swimmers and 294 1 mile swimmers.
Fellow paddler and awesome photographer Dom J Manolo has published the following photo albums to Facebook:
The Capital Gazette ran this story after the swim: Smooth Day for Great Chesapeake Bay Swim (photo gallery)
Lin-Mark sports (organizers of the swim itself), shared these photos: SmileBox
Stories like this, from one of the 4.4 mile swimmers, really drive our value (and the reason I personally do this) home (outstanding job, Ron!):
I want to pass along a story about an amazing volunteer who changed my race. Maybe you might even know who I am talking about and can pass along my words. I know there were 700 volunteers but you never know.
This was my second swim. The second wave left from the beach and thrashed into the water. As always, people were bumping into each other and swimming over body parts. I couldn’t catch my breath and was getting completely overwhelmed. The more I thought about it, the worse I got. Breathing every other stroke wasn’t frequent enough. I was panicking-like panicking.
I stopped to catch my breath and was treading water. I couldn’t believe it. This kind man on a kayak noticed me and asked if I wanted to hold on. He was amazing. He spoke to me in such a kind way and completely talked me through my panic. He let me hang on the front and said it wasn’t a rush. He introduced himself (I wish I could remember his name but my brain wasn’t working). He just kept telling me to breathe. I hung there for what seemed like a long time but was probably just a few minutes. That interaction changed my race. I was able to calm down and go back to the race.
I wish I knew his name because I would like to send him an email/note. He was on a white kayak with a red stripe. He was right in the beginning when the swimmers first turn under the bridge. He was on the left.
I’m crying as I write this because that is the difference he made.