8 Bridges Hudson River Swim - 2013

david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
edited June 2017 in Event Announcements
I’m pleased to announce that we will be opening up registration to 2 person relays for 2013... the third annual 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim.
Two categories will be offered:

COMPETITIVE RELAYS will alternate by the hour. An official observer will be assigned to insure that a legal exchange is made. If said relay enters 2 or more consecutive stages, they must alternate the lead-off swimmer each day.

NON-COMPETITIVE RELAYS may alternate swimmers at will. They may also swim together as long as it is safe to do so. (meaning they can pace well together and stay within 5 yards of each other... other restrictions may apply)

We hope to have registration open by 1/1/13 (if the world doesn’t end in December)

...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.



  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    edited December 2012
    @david_barra, do I understand the website correctly? Each solo stage will cost $700?

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    IronMike wrote:
    @david_barra, do I understand the website correctly? Each solo stage will cost $700?

    Entry fees for stages 1-6 are $700 per stage. Kayak escort/guide provided
    $1,300 for stage 7. Kayak and motorized escort provided.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Just FYI, the biggest expense for this event is motorized craft, and that expense is about to go up a bit.

    From USMS:

    URGENT: Open Water Event Sanctioning

    December 31, 2012
    Due to claims made against USMS's insurance policy in the recent past, USMS is faced with a liability insurance premium that is significantly higher than in previous years. In an effort to address certain limitations in the new coverage, help defray the expense of the increased premium, and reduce the likelihood of additional premium increases in the future, USMS Board President Nadine Day has assembled a task force to review and recommend compliance requirements, administrative procedures, and insurance fees for USMS open water events.

    The task force is chaired by Phil Dodson and includes Long Distance Chair Donn Livoni, Open Water Chair Lynn Hazlewood, Past President Rob Copeland, Legal Counsel Patty Miller, USMS board member Bruce Hopson, Treasurer Ralph Davis, President Nadine Day, and Executive Director Rob Butcher. The task force will be making formal recommendations to the USMS Board of Directors at the February 9-10 board meeting.

    In the interim, USMS is placing a hold on sanctioning of new open water events until after the Board of Directors is able to review the full task force recommendations at the February 9-10 board meeting. LMSCs should not issue any sanctions to open water events until further notice. If this hold creates a substantial hardship for an open water event that needs to be sanctioned immediately, the LMSC Sanctions Chair should contact Rob Butcher (rob@usms.org) so that the task force can consider, on a case-by-case basis, whether a sanction may be issued despite the hold.

    New Compliance Standards Effective Immediately
    The task force has recommended, and President Day accepted, the following compliance standards that will be in effect immediately for sanctioned USMS open water events:
    Sanctions may only be issued via the online sanction program at usms.org
    All propeller driven watercraft used in conjunction with the sanctioned open water events must have a propeller guard(s) installed for the duration of the event. The following are exceptions:
    Boats owned and operated by Coast Guard, police, fire and rescue, or other government agencies;
    Boats at anchor from start to finish of the sanctioned event with engine(s) off, while any swimmer is in the water;
    Boats with propellers fore of the rudder (e.g. inboard motors), provided
    These boats do not run directly on the designated swim course.
    For events requiring personal escort craft, water craft with inboard motors may be allowed on the course provided their engines are off when any swimmer is within 20 feet of the propeller and during relay exchanges. For feedings the swimmer may approach within 5 feet of the bow or side of boat with engines engaged.
    All motorized watercraft hired for the event (by the host, participants, or others) must provide a certificate of insurance naming United States Masters Swimming, Inc., its LMSCs, officers, directors, employees, sponsors, trustees, and event host as additional insured. The certificate shall be submitted to the referee at least 24 hours prior to the event. Liability coverage limits shall not be less than $1 million with a $2 million aggregate.
    All motorized watercraft volunteered to the event must provide proof of insurance. The proof of Insurance shall be submitted to the referee at least 24 hours prior to the event.
    All current sanctioned USMS open water events are subject to administrative review to ensure compliance with these new standards. Any current sanctioned event not meeting these standards may have its sanction revoked and thus no liability insurance from USMS. All open water events not yet conducted may be subject an insurance surcharge, amount to be determined.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Dear Marathon Swimming Friends,
    We are pleased to announce that registration for 8 Bridges 2013 is open!

    The event will be held from June 15 to 22 and promises to be as epic as ever.

    What's new in 2013?
    + Due to several issues with USMS insurance we will not be sanctioning the event through USMS. The event will still follow USMS rules; however, you no longer need to be a USMS member to participate. This means that younger (<18) swimmers will have the opportunity to enter, so please tell your younger marathon swimming buddies the good news.<br>
    + We are also offering two-person relays for each stage. So if the full event is more than you can chew, why not swim all seven stages with a buddy?

    + Blueseventy will be donating schwag, as will other sponsors we have not yet finalized.

    + Finally, Launch 5 and Agent Orange will be back as chief safety and support boats.

    To learn more about each stage go to this link: http://www.8bridges.org/stages/
    For event pricing and to sign up go to this link: http://www.8bridges.org/register/

    We hope you'll come out and be part of this 7-day, 7-stage, 120 mile adventure this summer.

    Rondi and David

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Stage 1
    Facing unseasonably low temperatures... 60.2 degrees at the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, and a forest of flotsam from recent storms swimmers arrived at the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge in near record time.
    WIllie Miller 4:44
    Mo Siegal 5:05
    Tommi Patila 5:11
    Jerry Smith 5:22

    Congratulations stage 1 swimmers!

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Stage 1 Overview:
    Timing is everything. The day before we started the river was flooded from heavy rain and choked with debris. When the waters rise, all the material that rests on the banks is awakened at once and is again set adrift on the slow journey to....???? Commercial traffic was disrupted and tugboats with barges, freighters, tankers, etc dropped anchor. I launched 90 minutes before splash time and had to motor 20 miles north to meet the field. There was a single tug and barge clearing a path through the flotsam, which was now starting to clear. Boat wakes, current, wind and receding water levels are the forces that clear the surface, and they are fully engaged. JC and Eri are my passengers, my crew, my company for the ride north. Its chilly and has the intensity of driving in a heavy snowstorm.
    After we meet up with the Launch 5, we motor a couple of miles to the Rip Van Winkle for the start. We are early, but the river is already ebbing... a check of the archives showed that there was in fact no flood due to the increased volume flowing from all the tributaries. We knew this would be a fast swim, the challenge would be picking a clean line through all the floating wood.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    We had a glorious day for Stage 6. Sunny with an increasing wind from the south made conditions a bit choppy for the last few miles, but we’ve come to expect that from the Hudson.
    The water was all clear. The obstacles that we encountered on stage 1 have disappeared from the river…. and my mind drifts… (perhaps one too many Nabokov novels?)
    How long will it be until those limbs that we slalomed through in Catskill floating with their leaves still attached make it to the NY Harbor? How many times will they be beached and set adrift/ beached and set adrift / beached and set adrift … tumbling against the rocky banks… rolling in the sand… before they meet the brackish and then briny Atlantic Ocean? Weeks? Months? Years? Decades? How often will the large commercial vessels force them beneath the surface with their gargantuan hulls before their buoyancy brings them back to surface to meet the gulfstream? How long will they lie bleaching in the sun on a sand dune on Nantucket before someone will nail it to the door of their beach house with “WELCOME” carved into it… bas relief. The crisply carved all upper case letters in stark contrast to the true sculptors: Time and The Elements.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited June 2013
    Gina (Counselor/Performance Coach at Counseling Solutions) joined the crew of Launch 5 for a day on the river. Here is her take:

    The 8 Bridges Swim: My Thoughts, By: Gina Karnisovas

    People often look at endurance athletes with their heads cocked to the side and a bewildered look on their faces filled with questions like, “what on earth would make someone push their bodies through undoubtedly grueling circumstances for an extended duration, by their own choice?” The answer to that question may not be a simple one. In fact, regardless of sport, personal background or demographics, what’s at the core of an endurance athlete’s drive to do what they do, is unique to each person. One characteristic that they all seem to share, however, is competitive drive. Whether or not that competitiveness presents as an external force comparing one’s performance to someone else’s, or an internal motivation to push past one’s own personal best, the characteristic seems to be a prerequisite for endurance participants.

    On Thursday, June, 20th, I had the pleasure of joining the crew of Launch 5 who provided support for the swimmers participating in the 8 Bridges Marathon Swim. For me personally, it was an educational and inspirational experience. As a distance runner, I can liken this event to something like an ultra marathon running race, where athletes complete stages in consecutive days for a set amount of time. However, this sport and in particular this event, takes “extreme” to a whole new level. There are so many elements and changing conditions that the swimmers and their crews must contend with, especially in the Hudson River. Navigating currents, understanding and timing swims in accordance to the changing tides and avoiding hazardous flotsam and jetsam that are emblematic of the murky river waters, require tremendous coordination between swimmers and support crew, thereby making this swimming event very much a team sport.

    What happens in the mind and the body of the swimmer who endures these conditions for hours upon hours is nothing less than monumental. To say that these athletes must be well conditioned and mentally tough is a colossal understatement. In order to engage and persevere in an activity such as this, a consistent balance of psychophysiology must be maintained. In anyone, a stress response to anxious thoughts, for example, releases certain chemicals in our bodies that cause heart rates to increase, blood pressure to rise, breathing to quicken and muscles to tighten. Therefore, it is crucial for these athletes to have an enormous capacity to mentally manage the challenges of their sport for extreme amounts of time in the face of physical and mental fatigue.

    These swimmers, are most definitely, a special breed. Everyone who I had the pleasure of meeting were highly intelligent, warm and humble about the special gifts that they clearly possessed and moreover, shared a tight bond with their fellow swimmers, as well as their support crew. It was special day for me to be a fly on the wall at such an event. I strongly encourage people to follow and support this sport and it’s athletes at every opportunity. It’s not glamorous. It’s not flashy and it definitely doesn’t receive the publicity it deserves. However, marathon swimming promises no less than to leave an impression that will endure for a long time.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

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