International swimmers lead the way in the Little Red Lighthouse Swim on Saturday, August 26, 2006
Posted online: Saturday, 26 August 2006
NEW YORK, N.Y., August 26, 2006 --- An early morning thunderstorm and intermittent rainfall didn’t dampen the spirits of a record field of swimmers for the Manhattan Island Foundation’s Little Red Lighthouse Swim on Saturday, August 26. Kamel Tejeda, 18, from Dominican Republic, took first place with a winning time of 1:27:02. He had previously won MIF’s Cove-to-Cove and Race for the River Swims in 2005. In the women’s division, veteran open-water swimmer Rondi Davies, originally from Australia and currently residing in New York, NY, took first place/second place overall, with a time of 1:31:46.
“At the start, it (the river) was really calm,” said Davies. “But at times the wind blew up, created chop and it was hard to keep rhythm. It was sporadic, then it would get calm again. It went really fast…I couldn’t believe I was only swimming for an hour and a half (before finishing.)”
Second and third place in the men’s division went to Alex Ovallles, 38, also from Dominican Republic, finished in 1:33:01, and Scott Gibson, 39, from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, finished in 1:40:22. In the women’s division, Rebecca Jackman, La Mesa, CA, finished second with a time of 1:41:30, and Tobey-anne Saracino, Rye, NY, was third with a time of 1:44:09.
Anna Barratt, New York, NY, the youngest swimmer in the field at age 13, finished in a time of 2:12:25.
Swimmers started to the south-to-north, 5.85-mile swim from Hudson River Park’s Clinton Cove Park (Pier 96) at 56th Street and made their way up the Hudson River past the 79th Street Boat Basin, Grant’s Tomb, and Riverbank State Park to a beach-finish at Fort Washington Park at 165th Street, within view of the George Washington Bridge and Little Red Lighthouse. A record field of 179 swimmers represented the tri-state, eight states (California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania) as well as Brazil, Dominican Republic, France, Ireland, Japan and Jamaica. The skies were gray and overcast and water temperature was 73 degrees. Swimmers ranged in age from 13 – 75.
The Little Red Lighthouse Swim is organized and sponsored by the Manhattan Island Foundation, the authority on open-water swimming in New York, Hudson River Park Trust, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and New York Kayak Company.
Proceeds from the swim benefit the Learn to Swim program, and to raise public awareness of the waters that surround New York by supporting efforts to clean and protect them. MIF's final swim of the season will be the inaugural Brooklyn Bridge Swim on Saturday, September 9. For more information, please visit www.nycswim.org.
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