Cristian Vergara Getting Ready To Round Easter Island

Cristian Vergara Getting Ready To Round Easter Island

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Cristian Vergara is now in Chile, planning to fly to Easter Island on November 18th. Most of his support crew for his unprecedented 38-mile (61 km) circumnavigation swim of Easter Island will arrive on the 21st.

Easter Island lies 3,512 km (2,182 miles) away from the nearest continental point in Chile.

The day I arrive I have an appointment with the Chilean Armada,” explains Vergara. “We will go over safety and weather conditions. Meanwhile, I’ve been in Chile for the past two weeks for shearing sheep at the farm. I also did some ocean training with Aguas Abiertas Concón in Concón, Chile and lake swimming at the farm at Lago Rapel.”

He has already transported his gear and equipment to Santiago ready for the flight to Easter Island.

To prepare for this circumnavigation, Vergara completed an 8 Bridges Swim and two CIBBOWS swims including a 16 km swim from the Verazzano Bridge to the Jamaica Bay Midland Bridge both on October 22nd and again on 23rd.

Logistically and operationally, Vergara is well-prepared. “I have the support of the Chilean Armada and the Municipality of Easter Island. Boat support will be done by the founders of Orca Diving, two French brothers, one of whom formerly crewed for Jacques Cousteau. The boat support and crew will take 8-hour shifts until the swim ends. I will swim next to a kayak the entire swim.”

The Municipality of Easter Island is going to promote this swim as part of the celebration of the 50 years that Chilean citizenship was granted to the people of Easter Island. The swim window will be from November 21st to December 5th.

I have been planning this swim for many years and it’s finally going to happen.”

His pre-stated rules for his swim are as follows:

*This swim will follow the Marathon Swimmer Federation rules for an unassisted circumnavigation solo marathon swim.
*These declared Swim Rules must be read aloud by the observer in the presence of the swimmer and all support personnel before the swim begins.
*If conditions permit, the swim will begin when the swimmer enters the water from a natural shore. The swim will finish when the swimmer clears the water on the same natural shore the swim began, beyond which there is no navigable water.
*As a circumnavigation swim, the swim may begin in the water where GPS coordinates will be taken and the swim will finish in the water once those coordinates are reached and passed. This start/finish will only be used if conditions or the authorities do not permit a shore start and finish.
*When completed, this swim will establish a Guinness World Record for the fastest time around Easter Island. The observer will keep track of the official swim time.
*The swimmer may not make intentional supportive contact with any vessel, object, or support personnel at any time during the swim.
*The swimmer will wear a single textile swimsuit with standard coverage, one latex cap, goggles, ear plugs, body grease (lanolin/Vaseline mix), sunscreen/block and during the night, and a small green light strapped to the goggles.
*The swimmer may not intentionally draft behind any escort vessel or support swimmer.
*The swimmer may swim alongside an escort vessel, but may not intentionally position himself inside the vessel’s bow and displacement waves, except while feeding.
*A support swimmer (or swimmers) may accompany the solo swimmer for a limited duration. Multiple support swims are allowed, but should not occur consecutively. There will be a one-hour limit per support swim and a minimum of one hour between support swims.
*The support swimmer may not intentionally touch the solo swimmer and must position him or herself at least slightly behind the solo swimmer.
*The observer is responsible for documenting the facts of the swim, interpreting the swim rules, and keeping the official time.
*The pilot of the escort vessel may cancel the swim at any time, with reason, including, but not limited to, concerns for the safety of the swimmer or support personnel. The pilot is responsible for following all relevant local maritime regulations.
*Everyone involved in the swim attempt – swimmer, observer, support personnel, and escort boat personnel – must treat the environment respectfully and prevent avoidable harm to marine wildlife and ecosystems.
*If any issue regarding swim conduct arises that the Swim Rules do not clearly address, the swimmer should act – and the observer should judge – in accordance with the spirit of marathon swimming.

Vergara’s swim is among the nominees for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year:

1. Toshio Tominaga (Japan) Tsugaru Channel Crossing
2. Craig Dietz (Jordan-Israel)
3. Sarah Thomas (USA) Lake Powell Crossing
4. Jennifer Figge (USA) Bermuda Triangle Swim
5. Pieter Christian Jongeneel Anderica (Spain) Double Manhattan Circumnavigation
6. Dan Canta (Romania) Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
7. Sean Conway (Great Britain) Swim Leg of the World’s Longest Triathlon
8. Hudson Brothers (Great Britain) Into the Maelstrom
9. Cristian Vergara (Chile) Easter Island Circumnavigation
10. Jarrod Poort (Australia) Olympic 10K Marathon Swim
11. Javier Mérida Prieto (Spain) Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
12. Patrick McKnight (USA) Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
13. Spyridon Gianniotis (Greece) Olympic 10K Marathon Swim
14. Malvinas/Falklands Islands Challenge by Matías Ola (Argentina) and Jackie Cobell (Great Britain)
15. Stephanie Hopson (USA) English Channel Crossing
16. Carol Schumacher Hayden (USA) Catalina Channel Crossing
17. Vasilly Mosin (Russia) Winter Swimming

To vote for the WOWSA Awards, visit here. Online voting continues until December 31st 2016.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones