Mayra Santos Swims Down River Zêzere

Mayra Santos Swims Down River Zêzere

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

41-year-old Brazilian swimmer Mayra Santos is the first woman to swim down the River Zêzere in Portugal between Foz de Alge in the municipality of Figueiró dos Vinhos and River Beach in Aldeia do Mato in the municipality of Abrantes this week.

The 45 km swim took 15 hours 9 minutes 2 seconds for SwimTogether’s open water swimming tour guide and marathon swimmer. She stopped to hydrate and refuel every 45 minutes after starting in the rain at 5:42 am. She was sent off in the downpour by Jorge Abreu, the Mayor of Figueiró dos Vinhos.   Everything ran smoothly and according to plan until the 23rd kilometer when Santos felt her first pains.

Along the banks of the River Zêzere, she swam past the cities of Figueiró dos Vinhos, Ferreira do Zêzere, Tomar, and Abrantes escorted by event director André Santos, her husband João Duarte, photographer Anais Moniz, and skipper Tiago Durães. She recalls, “During the second half of this adventure, the most difficult moment of the crossing was at a psychological level when I was accompanied by several local boats. The escort teams gave off good energy until the final meters. The team was made up of swimmers who entered the river at different times to swim with me.  Upon arrival at the River Beach of Aldeia do Mato, João Gomes, the Vice-President of the Municipality of Abrantes, and two dozen locals greeted me.”

Santos thus completed another stage in her preparation to swim to the island of Madeira.

This crossing was organized by SwimTogether and supported by Damm Life – Nautical Experiences, Aqualoja, Decathlon Funchal, Juventude Atlântico Clube Salesianos do Funchal, Camarão Seguros, Junta de Freguesia de Olalhas, União das Freguesias de Serra e Junceira, Municipio de Figueiró dos Vinhos, Municipio de Abrantes, Municipio de Tomar, Style, Pickle Films, and Hugo Pita Portas Automáticas e Madeira Household Management. 

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Steven Munatones