1990 Capri-Napoli, A Marathon Race Like No Other

1990 Capri-Napoli, A Marathon Race Like No Other

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The 35th edition of the Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in 1990 has been a signature race for decades. But the 1990 race was a showcase event that pitted 18 swimmers against each other who ultimately became inductees – Honour Swimmers – in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

American David Alleva is shown above winning the Maratona as well as the 1990 professional marathon swimming series, but he was chased by a truly global all-star field.

Besides the victorious American Alleva, who later earned his doctorate, all-time greats like Diego Degano, Paul Asmuth, Attila Molnar, Claudio Plit, Firas Moualla, Christof Wandratsch, Shelley Taylor-Smith, Susie Maroney, Silvia Dalotto, Annemie Landmeters, Irene van der Laan, Maria Luisa Cabañeros Sanchez de Leon, Igor de Souza, Alison Streeter, Carole Hunt, Sarah Hunt, and Yuko Matsuzaki also competed in this race.

What is so interesting about this race is that so many in this field set marks around the world and were honored in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame,” said Steven Munatones. “That was an era when all the men swam in briefs and none of the women wore – or even heard of – tech suits.

The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame is now implementing its rule about swimsuits. So if a swimmer wears jammers or any kind of techsuit, this runs counter to the rules of the IMSHOF. That is, to be considered for eligibility, men can only wear swim briefs made from a permeable material that does not offer thermal protection, buoyancy or protection from the elements and shall be sleeveless and legless.*

Because nearly all the top professional marathon swimmers wear jammers or tech suits nowadays, those swimmers are not eligible to be considered for consideration or nomination to the Hall of Fame.

While there are some IMSHOF Honour Swimmers like Larisa Ilchenko, Maarten van der Weijden, Petar Stoychev, Angela Maurer, Britta Kamrau, Fran Crippen and others who are currently in the Hall of Fame, but who wore swimwear outside the acceptable rules of the Hall of Fame, contemporary swimmers like Oussama Mellouli, Trent Grimsey, Éva Risztov, Martina Grimaldi, Pilar Geijo, Ferry Weertman, Sharon van Rouwendaal and all the other top professionals fall outside the acceptable IMSHOF rules and cannot be nominated, unfortunately in my opinion.

So this 1990 Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli race in Italy was very unusual and was a historically significant race that included 18 of open water swimming’s most notable athletes

Results of the 1990 Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli with 51 swimmers (34 men and 17 women entered)
1 David Alleva USA 6h 57’ 41”
2 Diego Degano Argentina 7h 05’ 59”
3 Paul Asmuth USA 7h 21’ 34”
4 Attila Molnar Hungary 7h 24’ 28”
5 Claudio Plit Argentina 7h 28’ 13”
6 Ahmad Hussein Syria 7h 28’ 32”
7 Bill Schmidt USA 7h 29’ 58”
8 Richard Kamas Czechoslovakia 7h 32’ 37”
9 Firas Moualla Syria 7h 36’ 56”
10 Rosario Castellano Italy 7h 38’ 20”
11 Christof Wandratsch Germany 7h 38’ 22“
12 Michael Sanda Czechoslovakia 7h 41’ 44”
13 Shelley Taylor-Smith Australia 7h 44’ 11” 1st women
14 Max Metzker Australia 7h 46’ 04” 15 Mamhoud Nail Egypt 7h 47’ 12”
16 Julio Fernandez Argentina 7h 52’ 54”
17 Cristian Fredes Italy 7h 53’ 10”
18 Rick Heltzel USA 8h 03’ 25”
19 Mohamed Ali Yassen Egypt 8h 04’ 26”
20 Susie Maroney Australia 8h 12’ 08” 2nd women
21 Silvia Dalotto Argentina 8h 24’ 37” 3rd women
22 Annemie Landmeters Belgium 8h 28’ 43” 4th women
23 Diana Simonovic Yugoslavia 8h 30’ 48” 5th women
24 Rita Lazar Hungary 8h 41’ 09” 6th women
25 Irene van der Laan Netherland 8h 45’ 02” 7th women
26 Girella Szlavitsek Hungary 8h 46’ 56” 8th women
27 Waldir Arid Brazil 8h 55’ 58”
28 Michael Baranek Czechoslovakia 9h 02’ 49”
29 Mohamed El Meseery Egypt 9h 07’ 21”
30 Igor de Souza Brazil 9h 07’ 56”
31 Jolanda Palmentieri Italy 9h 14’ 05” 9th women
32 Alison Streeter England 9h 15’ 10” 10th woman
33 Joze Tanko Yugoslavia 9h 40’ 55” 34 Khaida Muala Syria 9h 45’ 55” 11th women
35 Maria Luisa Cabañeros Sanchez de Leon Spain 9h 49’ 08” 12th women
36 Carole Hunt England 9h 49’ 43” 13th women
37 Zsolt Nemeth Hungary 9h 50’ 51”
38 Sarah Hunt England 9h 52’ 28” 14th women
39 Javquo Odemaere Netherland 10h 01’ 00”
40 Yuko Matsuzaki Japan 10h 02’ 49” 15th women
41 Derek Yach South Africa 10h 13’ 59”
42 Zaharinka Dineva Bulgaria 10h 46’ 31” 16th women
43 Philippe Mayer Switzerland 11h 09’ 48”
44 Nicki Farrugia Malta 11h 11’ 47”

* Sleeveless means the swimsuit cannot extend beyond the end of the shoulder onto the upper arm. Legless means that the swimsuit may not extend onto the upper leg below the level of the crotch.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones