Henrique Forte, Gabriel Antunes Complete Travessia do Leme ao Pontal
February 14th was very special for the Samir Barel team. Coach Barel brought two swimmers to swim in the beautiful, challenging Travessia do Leme ao Pontal.
38-year-old Henrique Pereira Fortes was a competitive swimmer born in the city of Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais. He swam from 5 years old to the age of 22, but it was only in pools. While he lived in the city of Rio de Janeiro, he discovered a passion for open water swimming. Fortes has already participated in several crossings, the most challenging so far being the 24 km Maratona Aquática 14 Bis.
After six months of preparation, Forte decided to challenge himself on the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal course with the aim of having his greatest experience in open water.
Another swimmer, 35-years-old Gabriel de Carvalho Antunes, was born in the city of Campinas in São Paulo and he also similarly focused on pool competitions from 9 to 17 years old. Then he decided to give up swimming to dedicate himself to his academic studies; but he rediscovered swimming again at the age of 29. When he returned, pool competitions no longer motivated him. That is when he discovered the pleasure of open water swimming. Similar to Fortes, his longest challenge to date was the Travessias 14 Bis, a traditional event in Brazil that attracts many open water specialists.
Adherbal de Oliveira reported, “Fortes and Antunes started their tandem swim at 2:19 am. With a very similar pace, both swimmers progressed quickly along the stretch of Leme and Copacabana beaches and arrived at Barra da Tijuca beach with less than 4 hours of crossing, demonstrating that they were very well prepared.“
Fortes was accompanied by the escort boat Olympus 2 of Commander Tiago Alberto da Silva and observer Adherbal de Oliveira and his coach Samir Barel. Antunes was accompanied by the escort boat Ferrari of Commander Luiz Alberto da Silva, observer Ricardo Ferreira, and physical trainer Ana Carolina Morelli.
Oliveira continued, “The two swimmers got through the night swimming period very well and knew how to take advantage of the waves, winds and favorable currents to complete the crossing from Leme to Pontal in less than 9 hours of swimming.
Fortes was the first to arrive with a time of 8 hours 12 minutes, followed by Antunes who finished his swim very excited and happy with his time of 8 hours 43 minutes.
It was a very special day in which, despite a window with few possibilities, the swimmers and their teams were successful in choosing the day and start time when two more swimmers wrote their names in the history of the challenge. From Leme to Pontal there is nothing like it!“
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