Give Me A Gel Pack

Give Me A Gel Pack

Give me a gel pack,” yelled Lexie Kelly to her escort crew with a steely resolve. “If you are going to leave me, I want a gel pack.”

In the middle of the 34 km Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog, Kelly’s escort boat engine kept on having trouble and stalling. She would swim and swim and then be all alone when the boat stalled. But this has not stopped the pros from moving on and the 26-year-old American was no different.

Things happen in the open water and engine problems are one of the many possible variables.

Kelly just wanted to be prepared if she had to swim alone without her crew. “I am putting this gel pack in my suit .” Not knowing when her next feeding would be, she swam off with an emergency security boat in tow.

After stalling repeatedly in the rainy, stormy conditions, the Traversée’s mechanic was called out on the race course and completely refitted Kelly’s boat with a new engine: right in the middle of the race, right in the middle of lac Memphremagog. Meanwhile, the security boats surrounded Kelly to ensure that safety remained paramount.

But when worse comes to worse, the open water swimmers put their head down and just keep moving forward.
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones