2017 English Channel swim

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Countdown to 2019 Cook Strait

It's countdown to Cook Strait,  my last swim challenge of the Oceans Seven.  I will be in Wellington, New Zealand with my son Tom on Monday, February 25, 2019.   My five day slot begins on Wednesday, February 27.   My boat pilot and organizer of this swim is Philip Rush.  This swim will start early morning and I will swim 16 miles between the North and South Island of New Zealand.  This swim will be very challenging due to its cold, rough water,  strong currents, and frightening marine life.   My boat pilot will decide the morning of my swim which start location (North or South Island) depending on currents and wind.  If he decides to start me on the South Island, we will take a boat ride to the start.   I am currently training six days per week.  My focus has been on improving my stroke technique so I can swim faster.   I have been very fortunate to have Suzi Boccanfuso,  Head Coach of the Casco Bay Y  swim team,  give me weekly swim lessons.   She has been a tremendous  help and my swim pace has certainly improved.    To have a successful swim of Cook Strait, a swimmer not only needs to be fast but needs Mother Nature on their side.   Currents are very strong in the Strait.  Five years ago, I attempted Cook Strait and experienced a DNF (did not finish) due to strong currents slowing my pace.
   If I am successful, this would be a world record for the Oldest Person to complete the Oceans Seven (Guinness World Record) and a record for the Oldest Woman to swim Cook Strait.  My good friend Marilyn Korzekwa of Canada is the current record holder set at the age of 59.    I will be celebrating my 68th birthday in February before my swim.
   I will have a Spot Tracker activated 10 minutes prior to the start of my swim.  See link below.
    Once I arrive in Wellington, I will have contact with my boat pilot to discuss which day he recommends for a swim.   I will update my blog on the day and time of my swim.  Hopefully,  two days after my swim,  I will attempt to swim 24 miles across Lake Taupo on the North Island.   Lake Taupo is part of the Still Water Eight Challenge (Eight challenging lake swim worldwide).  So far, I have found these lake swims to be as challenging as any ocean swims.  To date, I have completed four out of the Still Water Eight:  Lake Ontario, Lake Tahoe, Loch Ness, and Lake Windermere.
     Many thanks to my family and friends for their encouragement and support.  Also, I would like to thank Swimsuits for All and Lake Region Imports for their sponsorship.
Please see newest post for updated link.