Russell Chaffee, first to swim across Cape Cod Bay, passes away

evmoevmo Admin
edited August 25 in General Discussion
This discussion was created from comments split from: P2P Plymouth to Provincetown.

Comments

  • gregocgregoc Member
    Sad News. Another OW legend has passed away. Russell Chaffee of Sayre, PA was the first to swim across Cape Cod Bay. He literally set the course back in 1968. The present swim that is sanctioned by MOWSA that starts at Whitehorse Beach in Plymouth and finishes at Herring Cove in Provincetown was extensively researched by Chaffee before he made his crossing. He even created a computer program, during a sabbatical at Trinity College, to predict the currents in the bay! Below is a link to his Obit which lists many amazing accomplishments.

    http://www.loweryfuneralhome.com/tribute/details/3399/Russell_F_Chaffee/obituary.html#tribute-start
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    gregoc said:

    Sad News. Another OW legend has passed away. Russell Chaffee of Sayre, PA was the first to swim across Cape Cod Bay. He literally set the course back in 1968. The present swim that is sanctioned by MOWSA that starts at Whitehorse Beach in Plymouth and finishes at Herring Cove in Provincetown was extensively researched by Chaffee before he made his crossing. He even created a computer program, during a sabbatical at Trinity College, to predict the currents in the bay! Below is a link to his Obit which lists many amazing accomplishments.

    http://www.loweryfuneralhome.com/tribute/details/3399/Russell_F_Chaffee/obituary.html#tribute-start

    I think Mr Chaffee deserves his own thread. I’ve been trying to find more information about his swimming acomplishments... but the interwebs aren’t cooperating with me.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • gregocgregoc Member
    @david_barra, I agree. Thank you @emvo for doing so.
    I will add more information here about Russell Chaffee as I find it.
  • David Barra & I finished up a weekend of swimming at Skaneateles Lake yesterday when a young woman working at the Marina told me that her great uncle had swum the Finger Lakes (yes, all of them) & the length of the Susquehanna River. Without hesitating, I said "And Cape Cod Bay - his name is Russell Chaffee, right? "

    Since then we've found out that he had swum many more swims - including the Allegheny, Delaware, Juniata, and several other rivers, and 600 miles down from Pittsburgh on the Ohio. (See his obituary in Greg's post above).

    What a wonderful coincidence that 3 of his successor Cape Cod Bay swimmers - Dave, myself & Eileen Burke - we're standing on the dock & had a chance to meet one of Mr. Chaffee's grand nieces!

    There are a few contemporary news articles on the internet about his swims, but we are working on getting more information about this true unsung giant of open water swimming. Steve Munatones has also posted a nice summary of his accomplishments on the Daily News of OWS this afternoon.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    edited August 25
  • What a guy, what a swimmer and what a valued member of his community judging by all the volunteer work he did. RIP.
  • gregocgregoc Member
    edited August 26
    Russell Chaffee created a computer program back in 1968 to predict the currents for his P2P swim. That must have been a huge stack of punch cards!

    http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2014/08/a-1968-relic-russell-chaffees-computer.html?m=1
  • gregocgregoc Member
    edited August 27
    Here is a list of some of Russell Chaffee's accomplishments from the Oct 12, 1978 copy of the Reading Eagle.

    image
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @gregoc, I must correct you on the name of my childhood paper: The Reading Eagle. ;)
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