Skipping Back In Marathon Swimming History

Skipping Back In Marathon Swimming History

Skip Storch attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida on June 2-3, 1993. With great fanfare and great expense, Skip started north from Cuba to his goal of Florida. “During the night, I was exposed to millions of jellyfish. The cage pushed most jellyfish aside, but the exception were the 3-foot orange jellyfish that exploded upon impact. I suffered from many stings, but the 3-inch aprons that were affixed to the top of the surface boom on the cage redirected the man o wars aside.

[The cage] protected me from most of the invasive marine life. But what I swam in was not a shark cage, it was a jellyfish cage
.”

Skip’s photos on left show the rolled-up mesh that his team put around his aquatic cage. At most, it was 6 inches below the water line in the bow that served to push away to the sides any jellyfish and Portuguese man o war. The cage was constructed of 6-inch chicken wire and was designed to be towed 100-200 feet behind the boat.

This was important in order to not give any drag assistance to the swimmer. Shark cage designer and swim advisor Tim Johnson and Skip were very careful in their design to purposefully not to produce any forward propulsive aid to Skip.

Unsuccessful, but undaunted, Skip lasted 25 hours.

Later, Susie Maroney’s team took Skip’s same cage design and put a solid vinyl sheet around the cage from top to bottom and lashed it to the starboard of the tow vessel. This did not allow any water to pass through.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source