Nautical Nirvana, Helen Lin's N2N2N

Nautical Nirvana, Helen Lin’s N2N2N

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

When people see Helen Lin, their impressions, assumptions and beliefs about open water swimming, ice swimming and marathon swimming get trashed.

When people see Lin compete in ice swimming competitions and complete unprecedented swims, they suddenly believe that either Lin is a superhuman or open water swimming achievements are within their capabilities.

The slender, personable 31-year-old swimmer nicknamed Happy Helen is from Quincy, Massachusetts and pioneered a new swim this week: the N2N2N.

On September 7th, Lin completed an 18-mile swim officially observed and sanctioned by the Masschusetts Open Water Swimming Association. Founder Greg O’Connor reports, “She started from Nantasket Beach in Hull, Massachusetts at 7:00 am. She swam across the opening to Boston Harbor passing east of the outer Boston harbor islands, Boston Light and Graves Light.

Helen cleared the water at Nahant, Massachusetts, a 9-mile swim from the South Shore to the North Shore. This is an unprecedented swim. It has never been done before.

Helen was not content with doing just that and swam back to Nantasket beach to complete a double crossing in 11 hours 28 minutes and 25 seconds. On the second leg she had to swim into a headwind that reached 16 mph with gusts up to 24 mph. That is the N2N2N [Nantasket to Nahant to Nantasket].

The swim was supported by the experienced Masschusetts Open Water Swimming Association and Boston Light Swim escort pilot Chris Sweeney in the Ariel. Helen also had Bill Steele, an experienced escort kayaker and coach, by her side. Kellie Joyce Latimer was the official observer

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