Welcome to the New Year: A Successful Travessia do Leme ao Pontal by Emerson Pereira
Adherbal de Oliveira, president of Leme to Pontal Swimming Association, reported that the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal swimming season kicked off on January 4th. “41-year-old Emerson Pereira Mendes began preparing for the 36 km Travessia in 2019.
The 41-years-old Emerson Pereira Mendes began preparing for the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal in 2019. He trained in a swimming pool doing between 4,500 and 5,000 meters a workout with longer training sessions in the sea on weekends. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, he had to adapt to the restrictions of security protocols imposed by the local authorities, and his dream of making the crossing in 2020 had to be postponed to January 2022. His preparation was guided by coach João Alexandre Rodrigues who accompanied him in the escort boat Olympus 2 of Captain Tiago Alberto da Silva together with LPSA observer José Eduardo do Amaral Ferreira.
The swim from Leme to Pontal started at 3:51 am. It was still at night with the expectation of good weather conditions along the way.
The water temperature, which at the beginning of the swim was 19°C, increased throughout the day, reaching 24°C on the stretch of beach at Barra da Tijuca, an area with a very beautiful sea, with huge condominiums and malls, good restaurants, and a super beautiful lagoon — Lagoa da Tijuca. As it is a spacious neighborhood with large hotels, many events are held in this region.
After swimming more than 30 km, Pereira felt a little tired and his pace dropped to 2.5 km per hour which worried his coach and everyone who accompanied him on the Leme to Pontal Swimming Association (LPSA) social media. However, Pereira was brave and determined. After his penultimate stop for hydration, with Pedra do Pontal ahead, he returned to regain his previous performance, and started swimming again at a speed above 3 km per hour.
After swimming along the winding 36 km course in 11 hours and 51 minutes, Pereira was welcomed by friends, his wife and daughter who gave a beautiful party on the sands of Pontal Beach. With the success of the swim, Emerson Pereira is the first swimmer to complete the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal in this 2022 LPSA season that promises to have great emotions and many new stories of overcoming in the open waters.“
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