Raphael Maia Completes Travessia do Leme ao Pontal after a Cyclone

Raphael Maia Completes Travessia do Leme ao Pontal after a Cyclone

Courtesy of Adherbal de Oliveira, Travessia do Leme ao Pontal, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

38-year-old Raphael de Sousa Maia had to outlast cyclones in order to attempt the 36 km Travessia do Leme ao Pontal.

Although he started swimming at the age of 6 years, it was not until 2012 that he started swimming in the sea. In 2017, he decided to join a swimming team to improve his performance in the open water.  His trajectory in swimming evolved from the 2 km Rei e Rainha do Mar to the 18 km Rio Negro Challenge and the 15 km Desafio AquamanAdherbal de Oliveira said, “His preparation was excellent and 100% carried out on the beach. With night and long training sessions supported by escort boats, even with some interruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Raphael was very well prepared and confident to challenge himself on the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal.  Due to the presence of a cyclone off the coast of Brazil, his swim had to be postponed twice.  Disciplined and dedicated, Raphael remained focused on training.”

Very grateful to start, Raphael began the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal at 1:57 am on June 25th. Adherbal recalled, “It was a starry night with a full moon with a light wind and crystal clear waters with a temperature of 26ºC.  After three hours of swimming, Raphael had already covered 13 km on the beautiful course that is full of natural beauties like the Archipelago das Cagarras, Tijucas Islands, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Christ the Redeemer. The current was favorable and the swells and winds were also aligned with the final destination, Pontal Beach. It was definitely a beautiful day, perfect for swimming in open water.  He maintained an average speed greater than 4 km per hour with a stroke per minute pace of 56 strokes per minute. 

After 8 hours 29 minutes, Raphael completed the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal in a very happy mood. He was welcomed by his parents and friends when he arrived on the sands of Pontal Beach. It was a great party. After the achievement, Raphael Maia was the 38th swimmer to complete the most beautiful and challenging crossing in Brazil.

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Steven Munatones