Venturing Into The Unknown Under 8 Bridges In The Hudson

Venturing Into The Unknown Under 8 Bridges In The Hudson

Rondi Davies and Grace van der Byl became the first individuals to entirely complete the 193 km 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, a stage swim 120 miles down the Hudson River in New York.

Conceived by David Barra, the 7-stage swim began at the Rip Van Winkle Bridge near Catskill, New York and ends at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City.

As the longest competitive swim in the world (see list here), van der Byl commented on her Facebook page, “It was such an honor to share this experience with Rondi.

Stage 6 was on Sunday and what should have been super fast and smooth turned into a very crazy race with 30 mph wind and 4-6 foot waves. It was nuts and definitely not an amateur swim, but was still fun and beautiful
.

Stage 7 was tough. Not because of conditions, but mostly because my body was venturing into unknown territory. There were places where the water was smooth and calm with a nice current and then other places where it was really choppy, no current, and even some spots that felt like the water was against you. The skyline of Manhattan is amazing, the Freedom Tower was inspiring as it is a reminder of our strength during a time of adversity, Ellis Island was stunning, and without a doubt the most incredible site of my entire swim adventure in New York was the Statue of Liberty.

The minute I saw [the statue] I was overwhelmed with emotion and couldn’t help but fill my goggles up with tears. This was one of the greatest challenges and experiences of my life
.”

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