Mário José Marchi Vissali Pinto Completes 36 km Traversia do Leme ao Pontal

Mário José Marchi Vissali Pinto Completes 36 km Traversia do Leme ao Pontal

Adherbal de Oliveira, President of LPSA, reported about the successful Travessia do Leme ao Pontal of 55-year-old Mário José Marchi Vissali Pinto, “Mário Pinto is the first swimmer to attempt a triple crossing.  Mário had already swum from Leme to Pontal on November 25th 2020. This year, he decided to challenge himself in a triple crossing.

He was solely responsible for his physical and mental preparation because he is a Specialist in Sports Training and Neuropsychology with master’s degree in Sport Psychology.  His triple crossing started at 4:08 am on a cloudy night in Rio de Janeiro. The sea conditions were good with swells coming from the south which favorably pushed him with 1-meter waves, and light winds from the east.  The water was 25°C with the presence of small jellyfish which is normal at this time of year. 

Aided by the favorable current, Mário managed to maintain a good pace over the first stretch, reaching the sands of Pontal Beach with an average speed greater than 3 km per hour. He completed the first 36 km leg in 11 hours 4 minutes.

As allowed under the regulations, Mário spent 10 minutes on the sand and took the opportunity to receive guidance from his wife Denebe Lisboa Rocha while he ate pasta.  At the end of his 10-minute break, Mário returned to the sea to start his second leg from Pontal to Leme. He had a light southwest wind which created slightly wavy conditions.  However, the current that was favorable on his first leg was now his primary adversity to be overcome. In addition to the current, Mário and his wife who was responsible for his food, had to overcome the fatigue of working all night, showing symptoms of a lack of sleep. 

As Mário progressed over the 36 km stretch from Pontal to Leme, his pace dropped significantly, showing signs of fatigue. His pain began to be clearly apparent.  With about 18 hours into his swim, Mário asked for hydration stops every 20 minutes – no longer every 30 minutes. He also took pain medication. 

But his pace continued to decrease. After 20 hours of swimming, Mário was swimming with an average speed of 1.5 km per hour. The wind was favorable, but the current remained against him. Mário needed to push hard to finish this stretch and get the current back in his favor over the third and final stretch from Leme to Pontal. 

As the hours passed, the challenge became very tough. He covered increasingly shorter distances with each hour of swimming. 25 hours into the swim, Mário had reached at his limit and faced many difficulties managing his fatigue and pain. He was starting to show signs of disorientation, as he was no longer able to stay aligned parallel with his escort boat. 

With the increasing degradation of his physical and mental state, the LPSA Observer, attentive to the conditions, spoke with his support team.

Mário decided to abandon his attempt after swimming 27 hours 48 minutes and a total of 64 km. He got out close to the region from Leblon beach, about 8 km from completing the second leg. 

With his feat, Mário Pinto completed his second Travessia do Leme ao Pontal and wrote his name in the history of the crossing as the swimmer who swam the most hours over the Leme to Pontal course. Travessia do Leme ao Pontal, there is definitely nothing like it!

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Steven Munatones