The Great Chesapeake Bay Swim on June 10, 2018 was another good day on the water. The weather was threatening, but held (storms stayed to the north, wind stayed reasonably calm during the race, although the easterly breeze did pick up a bit after the race). The sun never came out, but that’s OK. We had about two dozen kayakers on the 4.4 mile swim and a little over a dozen on the 1 mile swim, and we all were busy. The decision to start the race a half an hour early so swimmers wouldn’t be pushed into the rather obtrusive paint barge was successful for that purpose, but it did present tidal challenges for the main span area. Over 60 swimmers had to be pulled, well above average.
Based on the LinMark Sports results, there were 532 4.4 milers and 271 1 milers.
The Capital Gazette has a story with a photo gallery at http://www.capitalgazette.com/lifestyle/ac-cn-bay-swim-0610-story.html.
For those that participated this one, they knew it was one of the most challenging ones in memory. There was a small craft advisory with winds coming from the northwest. Said winds were over 20mph, guesting far higher, creating conditions that were “challenging” (or perhaps “hazardous”) to small craft such as kayaks. Swimmers probably benefited from it, as it pushed them across in record time. But this did lead to some lessons learned and the event became more the better for it.
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 Safety Fleet
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.