Monday, September 28, 2009

Terrific Three Days In Three Seas

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Between September 23-25, 10 swimmers completed the 30 km Three Days in Three Seas marathon swim (called Shlosha Yamim BeShlosha Yamim in Hebrew) over the course of 53 hours.

The swimmers did three 10 km swims in 3 different seas on 3 consecutive days.

On Day 1, the group, ages 24-55, swam in an aquatic peloton (pace line) and started in the north with a 10 km in the Sea of Galilee. On Day 2, the group did their 10K in the Mediterranean off the coast of Tel Aviv. On Day 3, the group did a 10 km in the Red Sea, from the southernmost border between Israel and Jordan to the border of Israel and Egypt.

The group took their hydration from a single escort boat as they started and finished as one.

Organizer Gadi Katz, a media consultant and head coach of Total Immersion Israel, said, "The water was warm with temperatures ranging from mid 80's (F) for the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean to mid 70's (F) for the Red Sea. The swims started before sunrise at 6:00 am each day, to avoid the strong sun and high air temperatures that can exceed 100˚F."

"We swam through the calm water of the Sea of Galilee and the high rolling waves and fields of medusas in the Mediterranean. In the Red Sea, where the course began near the Israeli-Jordanian border and finished at the Israeli-Egyptian border, the group enjoyed very strong tail winds and swam over coral reefs and tropical fish."

"I am committed to enlarging Three Days in Three Seas next year. Israel is ideal for open water swimmers with ready access to open water and very warm water temperatures almost year round."

Participants in all three swims included Shlomo Amitai (55), Omer Bar (52), Ilan Barda (45), Kathy Kirmayer (45), Ely Friedman (43), Uzi Teshuva (41), Hanan Ulner (41), Avi Lagsi (39) and Gadi Katz (40). Participants in two swims included Gidi Shaprut (33), Danny Zilberstein (48) and Ron Shilon (45). Participants of one swim included Or Thiberg (24), Yaron Davidi (45), Maxim Shahaf (41) and Michael Zilberman (40).

Their time per swim was 3 hours and 50 minutes in the Sea of Galilee in 3:5 gross, 3:15 in the Mediterranean and 3:05 in the Red Sea.

Kathy Kirmayer, an American who joined the group, said, "This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The seas were beautiful and the swims were a blast. But the best part was the spirit, warmth and comaraderie of the Israeli swimmers who welcomed me with open arms and painstakingly translated every briefing and debriefing for me. They translated even when we were fueling - confirming that open water swimmers are just cool people the world over."

Photos by Yaron Weinstein.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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