Ben Lecomte Pacific Ocean swim

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited May 15 in General Discussion

It will be very interesting to see how Ben and Steve/WOWSA and Guinness define the "goal posts" for this event.

Thankfully he is upfront about using wetsuit / flippers / hood / paddles / snorkle / gloves / booties / etc.

The more intriguing question is whether he will allow himself extended dry trips on the boat, with the prevailing currents, without returning to the position of the previous exit from the water.

Is this a swim across the Pacific? Or a boat trip with occasional swimming?

Related thread:



  • WarmWaterWarmWater SingaporeMember
    edited May 4

    It shouldn't even be considered, it's illogical from every angle.

  • HelbeHelbe Senior Member
    edited May 5

    The swim webpage states that 'Ben Lecomte was the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean without a kickboard in 1998'. Is this documented somewhere? Thanks.

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    So does that mean someone swam it with a kickboard? Of all the swim aids I could choose from, I'm not sure that would be the one I'd go for.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    The main criticism of Mr. Delage was that he had used a 15-foot raft, in prevailing winds and currents that kept him moving west even when he was asleep. Mr. Delage said he swam for up to ten hours a day, but some experts quoted in French newspapers this week raised suspicions over even that claim.

    "Since it was out of the question for the swimmer to tow the raft, it had its own mode of propulsion, a kind of sail controlled by an automatic pilot," wrote Jean-Michel Barrault in Le Figaro on Friday. "Was it in front of, behind, or beside the swimmer?"

    "Any object put into the sea in the Cape Verde Islands will arrive on the other side of the ocean after a few months," said Mr. Barrault, a veteran sailor.

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    So I guess it depends on the size of the kick board....

  • LynneLynne Member

    Another Ben?

  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member

    Huge groan...... yet another one.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited May 7

    Precious few non-swimming media seem to be capable of critical thinking about ocean swimming.

    A happy exception - Deadspin's coverage of a claimed Atlantic Ocean swim in 2009 by Jennifer Figge:

    Figge left the Cape Verde Islands off the cost of Africa on January 12 and arrived in Trinidad last Thursday. That's about 2,500 miles in 24 days. It didn't take long for some of the hundreds of people using the internet to realize that depending on where you measure from, that's about 90 miles a day, at a pace of about 10 miles an hour. According to one tipster, the world record in the 1500m is about 3.5 m.p.h. Plus, Cape Verde is like 500 miles off the coast of Africa, so that's like a two-lengths of the pool head start.

    And that's before you even hear Figge's side of the story. She only swam on 19 of the 24 days and on one of those days she only spent 21 minutes in the water. So it seems completely obvious to anyone paying attention that currents—and her accompanying sail boat—carried Figge a rather substantial portion of the route. But you wouldn't know that from reading the stories that appeared in many newspapers and websites, most of which did not include this choice quote:

    ""Nobody could swim across the Atlantic. It's physically impossible. It would take literally years."

    That's her friend, who was steering the boat that accompanied her along the way. She never planned on swimming the full length and didn't come close to doing so. In other words, she didn't actually swim across Atlantic Ocean; she swam a long way while being in the Atlantic Ocean. But it sounds better the first way, so the AP (and others) just went with that. Nice work, boys.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    Kickboard sets in swim practice just FEEL that long. :D

    KarenT said: So does that mean someone swam it with a kickboard? Of all the swim aids I could choose from, I'm not sure that would be the one I'd go for.

  • andissandiss Senior Member

    If i did my math right - he needs to average 6.2km/h to make the swim in 180 days

    180days * 8hours * 6.2km / hour = 8928km (Roughly 5580k miles)

    Maybe he needs bigger fins?


    Colting swam across Sweden with a mix of gear - 640km in 41 days (15km a day)

    But in fairness it looks like a good project - specially the research element.

Sign In or Register to comment.