Ricardo Perlingeiro Mendes da Silva Completes Travessia do Leme to Barra da Tijuca
55-year-old Ricardo Perlingeiro Mendes da Silva from Niterói in Rio de Janeiro, completed his biggest challenge in his open water career, the 16 km Travessia do Leme to Barra da Tijuca.
He explains, “Da Silva learned to swim at a very young age, participating in pool competitions, always racing breaststroke. However, by the age of 10, he had stopped swimming, diving into a long period of a sedentary lifestyle. It was more than 40 years without doing any athletics which led to him being overweight and other health problems.
However, three years ago, Da Silva decided to turn around his sedentary lifestyle and return to sports under the guidance of renowned open water swimming coach Sidney Pereira as well as change his eating habits and became a vegan.
The return to swimming was not easy and adapting to the waves of the sea has been a daily challenge, since Da Silva does not feel very comfortable swimming other than breaststroke. Based on this characteristic, Pereira has been trained him alternating freestyle and breaststroke sets in an attempt to gradually increase his training volume.
As this is a process that is still in progress, Da Silva has been swimming in the open water alternating freestyle and breaststroke. It was no different in the 16 km Travessia do Leme à Barra da Tijuca.
He started on the dawn of June 16th. Despite being winter in Brazil and having some climatic instabilities, the forecast was very good with the promise of a moonlit night and southeast swells of 1 meter, weak north winds, and a water temperature close to 22ºC.
The start took place at 4:40 am, requiring Da Silva to swim and navigate alongside the escort boat at night. He had some difficulties with navigation, but he overcome the night and managed to swim an average speed close to 3 km/hour, always alternating breaststroke and freestyle, progressing well.
As expected, the conditions were favorable and Da Silva experienced a beautiful sunrise, the islands that form the Cagarras Archipelago and all the natural coastal beauties such as Morro do Vidigal and Pedra da Gávea. He accompanied by the LPSA observer Ricardo Ferreira and Coach Pereira who guided him from the escort boat Otto Magalhães Jr piloted by Commander Ary da Conceição.
Swimming 6,290 meters freestyle and 9,710 meters breaststroke, Da Silva brilliantly completed the challenge by reaching the sands of Barra da Tijuca beach in 6 hours 1 minute 1 second by his friends and teammates from the Sidney Pereira Team.
For those interested, the LPSA offers three marathon swimming options in Rio de Janeiro:
- 36 km Travessia do Leme ao Pontal and its variations
- 50 km Travessia da Praia Vermelha à Barra de Guaratiba
- 16 km Travessia do Leme à Barra da Tijuca
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