Hector Mariano Mortara Becomes First Argentine to Complete the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal
Adherbal de Oliveira of the Leme to Pontal Swimming Association reported on the most recent success on the 36 km Travessia do Leme ao Pontal, “Hector Mariano Mortara became the first Argentine swimmer to complete the Travessia.
After completing the 37.9 km Río de la Plata, the 14.4 km Strait of Gibraltar, and the 45.9 km 20 Bridges Manhattan Island, the 48-year-old arrived in the city of Rio de Janeiro to take on the 36 km coastal challenge.
His swim was planned to take place sometime during the window between July 19th and 25th; however, the weather conditions were not favorable and reduced the swimming possibility to one day, the 23rd in which the sea would be lower (about 0.6 meters) with southeast swells with weak offshore winds.
While Mortara kept waiting for the call from the Association, he managed to squeeze in some training at Barra da Tijuca and Leme, both parts of the course.
Once the forecasts were confirmed, Mortara was informed when to arrive for the swim briefing and start of the swim at midnight. The objective was to take advantage of the ebb tidal flow of Guanabara Bay to help with favorable currents in the first five hours.
The swim started as planned. Mortara started with an initial pace of 1:28 for every 100 meters with 68 strokes per minute as he headed towards Pontal accompanied by his wife Yanina, their children Luca and Pilar, and LPSA Observer José Eduardo do Amaral Ferreira on board the escort boat Olympus 2 of Captain Tiago Alberto da Silva.
The connection between Mortara and his family was obvious. It is great to see these special moments. When sunrise occurred, Mortara made a point of stopping swimming to admire from the sea.
Taking full advantage of the good conditions, Mortara continued swimming strongly finishing in 10 hours 38 minutes becoming the first Argentine swimmer to complete the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal.
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