Anything and Everything Can Go Wrong and Can Go Right in the Open Water

Anything and Everything Can Go Wrong and Can Go Right in the Open Water

Jaime Lomelín Gavaldón is a 59-year-old Mexican open water swimmer and a Triple Crowner.

The photo above from Michael Twigg-Smith was taken just moments after he left the island of Molokai en route to the island of Oahu, 42 kilometers across the Molokai Channel in Hawaii. Lomelín is swimming today.

What can possibly be going through his head at this point, 41.95 kilometers away from his goal?

Swimmers can be

  • excited and confident
  • nervous and apprehensive
  • ignorant and blissful
  • relieved and relaxed

Whether you are doing a channel crossing, ice swim, marathon swimming, or competitive open water swim, swimmers plan and train for all kinds of things in the open water. But as Steve Sutton says, “Marathon swimming is the most planned activity that never goes as planned.”

Quite often, there are two principles at play with open water swimmers:

Murphy’s Law that says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong“, and Yhprum’s Law that postulates, “Everything that can work, will work.”

In open water swimming races, channel swims, marathon swims, stage swims, ice swims is that Murphy’s Law and Yhprum’s Law often both occur in the same swim.

In the case of Lomelín across the Molokai Channel, everything seems to have gone along to plan on his 13 hour 8 minute crossing. Twigg-Smith explains, “He finished at 6:36 am. Jaime is a very fast swimmer. There were no currents, no sealife. Just awesomeness.”

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Steven Munatones