Jamie Patrick - 90-mile Lake Michigan swim

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited December 2013 in Event Announcements
@Jamie just announced he will attempt to swim 90 miles in Lake Michigan next August, from Milwaukee to Chicago.

This will be a Channel Rules swim, and he is declaring his rules ahead of time - see here:


Good luck, Jamie!


  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Holy crap, Jamie. Good luck!

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

  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    edited December 2013
    ~~From www.thegreatlakeswim.com
    The sport of marathon swimming is one of the most pure tests of mind, body and spirit. It requires extreme physical and mental strength as the swimmer tackles obstacles in the foreign environment of water - some expected (but no less difficult), and many that are unforeseen. The athlete is alone for the majority of the swim, accompanied only by a few support people. It is usually a very private journey between the swimmer and his or her crew. It is rarely, if ever, a spectator sport. A key element in a swim of this magnitude, is having an "official observer" who is completely impartial and independent of the crew. Their role is to verify that the swimmer has legitimately completed the swim according to the pre-established set of rules. During the entire Great Lake Swim, there will be an independent observer documenting Jamie's journey.

    Using technology available today, this is going to be the most transparent marathon swim in the history of our sport. Incredible. Exciting. Best wishes to @Jamie!
  • Any chance we can convince you to tack on another 23 miles?
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Wow! That's incredible! Best of luck!
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but won't this be the longest still water swim to date? No super currents and he's swimming it pure by EC standards. Wouldn't that qualify it to be a world record? Niek or Evan, I'm sure one of you have this info. Educate me. What's the current longest still water swim on the books?
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    I'm asking the question seriously. You know I'm still relatively new to all this. Surely there is a differentiation in records that are not current assisted. And while I'm asking questions about records, is there one place where they are listed? Who decides if a record has legitimately been broken?
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    edited December 2013
    @Niek, there is a current in the great lakes, but swimming from Milwaukee to Chicago would be upstream. Lake Michigan flows north to the Straights of Mackinac. Lakes Superior and Michigan meet up in Lake Huron where water generally flows south to the St. Clair River.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited December 2013
    Hey @JBirrrd, I will try to answer some of these good questions.
    JBirrrd wrote:
    won't this be the longest still water swim to date?
    I'm not sure what the definition of "still water" is. No currents? Obviously, in any large body of water there will be currents.

    Would it be the longest lake swim ever? I don't know... probably? I can't think of a longer one.

    Do we need to define it even more precisely? e.g., "longest one-way lake swim" ? What if someone jumped in a one-mile long lake and swam back-and-forth 91 times consecutively? Would that "break" a 90-mile Point A to Point B lake swim? Personally I'd say they're not comparable swims.

    As you can see, the issue of "world records" in OWS gets complicated very quickly. In fact it's been discussed before on this Forum:

    JBirrrd wrote:
    Surely there is a differentiation in records that are not current assisted.
    is there one place where they are listed?
    You'd think so, right? But actually, the only organization that maintain such records - the Guinness Book - lists the record for "longest distance ever swum without flippers in open sea" as belonging to Veljko Rogošić, who apparently swam 140 miles (225km) in 50h 10m in the Adriatic Sea (at 65 years old!) in 2006.

    Of course, his average speed of 2.8mph seems impossible without a current assist - and Rogošić acknowledged benefiting from one.

    And of course, "without flippers in open sea" is, as far as I know, not a swim category recognized by any recognized marathon swimming organization in the world.... hmm...

    More here:

    So what to do about currents, given that any large body of water has them? Do we set a limit for net current assist, similar to what track does with maximum wind assist? Or is it a matter of whether the current is predictable? e.g., some California Channel Island swims (Catalina Channel, Santa Barbara Channel) benefit from currents, and some are hindered by them -- often in the same swim! In other words, they are not predictable, so these swims are considered non-current assisted.

    Of course, many of us thought Cuba-Florida was a cross-current swim! So some currents may seem unpredictable... until someone figures out how to predict them :)
    JBirrrd wrote:
    Who decides if a record has legitimately been broken?
    The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame does not recognize world records. An excerpt from an email from Steve @Munatones, chief administrator of IMSHOF and advisor to the Guinness Book:

    I have written repeatedly that the IMSHOF does not recognize or record world records or records unless they are recognized by an establishing governing body. The IMSHOF has not recognized records or keeps an archive of RECORDS; IMSHOF keeps an archive of SWIMS and this policy has continues since 1961.

    So in my opinion, the most legitimate body/organization for judging records that are not specific to any local governing body would be....

    The members of this community.
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    edited December 2013
    Thanks so much for taking the time to thoroughly answer my questions. Learning. Always learning. :-)

    But how about that Jamie Patrick swimming 90 miles from Milwaukee to Chicago...
    flippin' awesome.
  • Lake Michigan current info here...


    I use this all summer long to decide which direction I'm swimming on any given day. The Lake currents swirl on my side of the lake (SE corner). I believe that they pevail southerly on the western side of the lake.
  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaCharter Member
    Are there things in Lake Michigan that can sting you?
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    @KNicholas - I grew up on Lake Erie, not Lake Michigan, but i'd be really surprised if there was much of a threat from any wildlife.
  • Born and raised on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan (Saint Joseph)...I can attest that other than elevated mercury levels, drunken boaters or choking on a perch there is nothing in the lake to threaten a swimmer. At least not in my corner.
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member





    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    Are these included as standard equipment because this is what I'll be wearing from now on.

  • jcmalickjcmalick Wilmington, DEMember
    Good Luck with that bell! :D
  • LOSTswimmerLOSTswimmer Oakville, Ontario, CanadaMember
    The longest lake swim that I know of (Steve M might have better records though) was Vicki Keith on a double Lake Ontario Crossing in 1985... 95 km/59 miles... in 56 hours and 10 minutes! http://lostswimming.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Successful-Lake-Ontario-Swims-record-book-Sep-19-2013.pdf

    Also, there are definitely currents in the Great Lakes, but they are inconsistent, so they may work for you or against you. I would just call them "lake swims", rather than ocean or river swims which have different current and tide effects.


  • LOSTswimmerLOSTswimmer Oakville, Ontario, CanadaMember
    Also, when Marilyn Bell swam Lake Ontario in 1954 she pulled off lots of Lamprey eels... having said that, in all my time swimming in Lake O since 2006, I've never seen one. The map above is likely right, I don't think they arguably exist in Lake O anymore.


  • You know, I considered mentioning the lampreys but I'd never heard of them attaching to a human... "At least not in my corner" of Lake Michigan. I don't think Jamie needs to worry about them. Great...now I'm going to think about them when I go out. I may need to swim in chainmail.
  • ForeverSwimForeverSwim Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaCharter Member
    @karenT - I would vote that as the most amazing marathon swim in history if you could pull off a swim in that lead suit! Rest assured the metal boots would protect you from the pebbles at Dover ;)

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

  • GordsGords Syracuse, UTCharter Member
    edited April 2014
    That picture reminds me of a scene in the scary sci-fi movie Prometheus.

  • GordsGords Syracuse, UTCharter Member
    Niek wrote:
    @Gords You mean this.
    Can someone edit the title and add: Alert not suitable for KarenT!
    Man, I didn't mean for you to post this. That's disturbing.
  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaCharter Member
    I was looking forward to this swim. Perhaps sometime in the future?
  • AzskiAzski ArizonaMember

    LOSTswimmer said:
    The longest lake swim that I know of (Steve M might have better records though) was Vicki Keith on a double Lake Ontario Crossing in 1985... 95 km/59 miles... in 56 hours and 10 minutes! http://lostswimming.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Successful-Lake-Ontario-Swims-record-book-Sep-19-2013.pdf

    What about Abo-Heif and Ted Erickson Racing 60 miles from Chicago to Benton Harbor, Mi. in 1963? Abo-Heif won in 36 hours, If Iremember correctly. Refer to book, Wind, Waves and Sunburn, by Conrad Wennerberg and MSF longswimdatabase.

    Stevenc616, are you still out there? I grew up in Bridgman, Mi.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited August 2018

    Azski said: What about Abo-Heif and Ted Erickson Racing 60 miles from Chicago to Benton Harbor, Mi. in 1963?

    This thread hadn't been active in a few years, and the leaderboard has changed rather significantly.

    Longest Lake Swims

    (1) Sarah Thomas - 168.3 km in Lake Champlain (2017) -- overall world distance record, current-neutral
    (2) Sarah Thomas - 128.7 km in Lake Powell (2016)
    (3) Abdel-Latif Abou Heif and Ted Erikson - 96.6 km in Lake Michigan (1963)
    (5) Vicki Keith - 95 km two-way Lake Ontario (1987)
    (6) Greta Andersen and Ted Erikson - 80.5 km in Lake Michigan (1962)
    (8) Sarah Thomas - 80.4 km two-way Lake Memphremagog (2013)

    source: longswims.com/longest-swims

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