Thursday, January 22, 2009

Facing the Dreaded Williwaw in the Strait of Magellan

The williwaw is a sudden violent blast of wind descending from a mountainous coast to the sea and occurs only in a few places on Earth.

Rachel Golub, Cristian Vergara, Scott Lautman and Mark Lautman faced the possibility of swimming in williwaw yesterday in their successful Strait of Magellan crossing.

Scott finished in 1 hour 18 minutes, Mark finished in 1 hour 38 minutes, and Cristian and Rachael both finished in 1 hour 50 minutes. Scott, Cristian and Rachel swam without wetsuits. Cristian and Rachel are members of the part of the Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers (CIBBOWS) team based in New York City. Scott and Mark are brothers.

Joshua Robinson of the New York Times gave a nice account of the training regimen of Rachel and Cristian who completed the 2.4-mile Strait of Magellan together with Scott and Mark in low 40°F water (4°+C) water yesterday. Rachel gives a comprehensive account of her preparation on her blog.

Cristian (50) is a Chilean-American accountant and accomplished distance-swimmer from Brooklyn. Rachel (32) is a New-York based musician and writer. Mark (59) is Chair of the Economic Development Commission of New Mexico and coach of 1972 Olympic gold medalist Cathy Carr. Scott (55) is a Human Resources Manager for Alaska Airlines in Seattle.

Congratulations to all.


Suzie Dods said...

This is great- It also shows that you dont need to be 'seal like' to swim in cold water. So much of cold water is mental and acclimatisation.
Congratulations to all swimmers.

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