St. Vincent's SWIM Across the Sound Marathon
2016 SWIM Marathon Slideshow 2016 SWIM Marathon Complete Results
On Saturday, July 30th, 170 swimmers participated in the 2016 St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound. The SWIM in its 29th year started the day with very good weather conditions. The water temperature was 73◦F and though a little choppy for the first two hours it flattened out to provide ideal conditions for the swimmers. This year’s SWIM consisted of 7 solo swimmers, 3 two-person relays, and 9 Classic (non-wetsuit) team relays starting in the 1st Wave; and 10 Traditional (wetsuit), 7 Corporate Challenge, and 2 University Challenge team relays starting in the 2nd Wave.
At 2:00pm approximately 5 ½ hours from the start of the SWIM, the leaders were starting to make their way down Black Rock Harbor. With almost all solo and teams ahead of the milestones, it looked like the SWIM would have a record year of finishers with very fast times. However by 4:06 pm that prediction would change as thunderstorms were approaching at a fast pace and the decision was made to remove all solo and teams out of the water that had not reached Buoy 2A. At 4:32 the SWIM was called ending the SWIM for the remaining swimmers in Black Rock Harbor, some just a few hundred yards from finishing. It was very disappointing for all who had come so close. In the end, 18 boats crossed the finish line but all 38 successfully swam in memory and honor of family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors.
Black Rock Yacht Club hit the finishing dock at the time of 5:55:10, missing the Classic Record set by Hopkins Hilltoppers in 2015 by just 38 seconds. Close behind also in the Classic category was 2nd place finisher Water Rats Swimming (5:57:45) and 3rd place finisher Red Tide (6:11:06). Three other Classic team relays finished before the SWIM was called, these teams were Water Rats Masters (6:19:50), Hopkins Hilltoppers (6:46:39) and Fairfield YMCA (7:55:03). The Free Range Swimmers and #JustKeep Swimming were within a few hundred yards of finishing. Team Whitecap was targeted to complete the course had it not been for the thunderstorms.
The 3 two-person relays finished with Penfield Swimming (7:10:13) winning the category for the second year in a row. The Bullets finished 2nd with a time of 7:37:18, followed by Dad’s Water Babes in 8:01:40, the last team to finish before the SWIM was called.
Brian Power of Fairfield, CT won the solo category in a time of 7:31:38. Matthew Judge finished in 2nd place with the time of 7:49:18. Robert Kent was in position to be our 3rd solo finisher, followed by John Waanders, Mike Reardon, Sandra Ramirez Vinay (1st female solo), and Moshe Siegel. All solo swimmers were on track to finish within the time limit.
Wave Two began the SWIM 31 minutes after Wave One, as a consequence it was more impacted by the thunderstorm. Although only four teams were able to finish, all teams still officially swimming at the time the SWIM was called were projected to finish within the time limit.
The Traditional category was won by Ironfish with the time of 6:29:20, Water Rat Swim Team finished just 7 minutes later with a time of 6:36:28. Positioned to finish in 3rd was Survivors, followed by Team Triumph, Carl’s Angel, Pisces Pride, Trumbull High Lady Eagles, Lifesavers, and Colony Hot Oilers. Candlewood Tri team made of athletes from the Brookfield and Danbury area withdrew late in the SWIM.
Both teams in the University Challenge category finished the SWIM, Fairfield Stags ’12 had a time of 7:02:32 reclaiming the top place over the Pace Swimaholics who finished in 7:24.
Lastly, the Corporate Challenge category, the SWIM’s top fundraising group, had no official finishers. Brown Emergency Medicine was positioned for a 1st place finish, followed by Earn Money Swimming B, Sink or Swim and Earn Money Swimming A. First year team Fairfield Police, St. Vincent’s Code Blue Fish and St. Vincent’s Bullsharks swam unofficially after missing the distance milestones.
The “Dream of Life” award was presented to Jeffrey Sargent for his dedication and commitment to the SWIM Across the Sound. Jeff has participated in the SWIM “more times than he can count” and brought three teams to this year’s SWIM. Jeff swam on the Water Rats Swimming who finished 2nd overall this year.
For the second year we were fortunate to have the Spirit of the Sound, the Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk’s 63” catamaran that carried cancer survivors and families to a viewing point of the SWIM in action.
We are very grateful to all the boat captains and their crew, SWIM observers, EMTs and Long Island based kayakers who all volunteered for the SWIM. A special thank you to MyAthlete for providing the GPS tracking for the SWIM again this year.
I especially would like to thank our SWIM Committee members, Safety Officer, Joe Savino; Bridgeport Acting Harbormaster, Ryan Conrad; Medical Officer, Scott Tenney; Boat Operations Officers, Mike Herrington & Jim Hanrahan; Danfords Coordinator, Bill Dragan; Perimeter Coordinator, Doug Chavenello; Captain’s Cove Coordinator, Gib Colesworthy; the SWIM Committee members, the Foundation staff and all our volunteers, as well as the many others who have committed their time to this special event. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to this event year after year.
Mark your calendars for next year’s marathon which will be held on Saturday, August 5th.
With gratitude and admiration to you all,
SWIM Marathon Director