Sunrise began at 6:45 with air and water temperatures of 57 and 58 degrees respectively.
But there was a 2 1⁄2 foot chop on the water with 6 foot swells which provided a pounding boat ride to the Golden Gate.
Commencing at 7: 00 AM, the butterfly leg was completed with a pounding undulation in the predicted time of 41 minutes. And then, the backstroke was accomplished in a similar time of 55 minutes with the chop pounding over Greg’s head.
Both strokes were swam directly under the center of the Bridge, which proved to be a deceptive affair when Greg found himself going backwards 10 minutes into the breaststroke leg almost slamming into the South Tower.
After repositioning to be removed from an eddy, Greg then continued with the breaststroke for 66 minutes in severely eroding unpredicted conditions to the point he felt as if he did not know how to swim and was going to drown.
After repositioning, Greg finished the third leg of the IM doing the freestyle pull for 11 minutes, his legs exhausted from an inability to get a catch with his feet due to the horrific currents, chop, and swells.
The sturdy breastroke – the diesel engine of swimming – failed Greg in those horrific conditions requiring a time two times longer than was predicted.
In contrast, it took 18 minutes to reach the South Tower in the freestyle leg requiring only one-half the predicted time.
Had the swim been started an hour earlier than the predicted time, the ebb and secondary currents around the Towers would not have had as severe an impact, once again proving the uncertainty about swimming under the Golden Gate, which is why Greg said he would consider the swim a success if he accomplished a mile of fly - the rest he didn’t know about!
Finally, a video of Greg’s Swim will be coming out in October
for all of you to see….
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