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2012 Presenting Sponsor


Any normal girl and woman who is proficient in swimming, healthy and in good condition, will profit by going in [the water] as often as she pleases, even daily.

— Louis de Breda Handley, Swimming for Women, 1925


2012 Swim Series


(Dates Tentative)

Great Hudson River Swim (1.6 M)

Stars & Stripes: Aquathlon and Swim (1.5 km swim/ 5 km run)

Statue of Liberty Swim (1.2 km)

Brooklyn Bridge Swim (1 km)

Governors Island Swim (2 M)

Manhattan Island Relays (28.5 M)

Ederle Swim (17.5 M)

New York Swim Festival (tbc)

Little Red Lighthouse Swim (10.2 km)




NYC Swim is always looking for volunteers (paddlers, powerboaters, monitors, etc.) to help with our events.


Cross Currents Newsletter

June 28, 2012

Top Items in This Issue

Ring Around Manhattan >>
Statue of Liberty Swim on Friday! >>
NYC Swim — Now More Awarding Than Ever >>
FAQ: Can I submit results from outside events to qualify for NYC Swim? >>
George Forbes: Off-Broadway and Off-Shore — Swimmer of the Week >>

Upcoming Events

6/29: Statue of Liberty Swim
7/15: Brooklyn Bridge Swim

Links of Interest

New program emphasizes swim safety for school children

NYC Swim in the News/Blogosphere

Nunn wins Manhattan Island Marathon Swim
Evan Morrison provides top-notch, real-time commentary for MIMS via Twitter
Mentally focused in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim as viewed by a competitor
Three more swimmers join Triple Crown club upon successful completion of MIMS, William "Davis" Lee, Jim Fitzpatrick, and Darren Miller
2012 Aquathlon event video shows off Randall's Island course

Ring Around Manhattan

NYC Swim – Now More Awarding Than EverIt was all about the island this past Saturday — Manhattan Island! On a hot, sunny day, we enjoyed a 100% completion rate for competitors enrolled in the event. You can see how everyone did by viewing the results online.

In a performance reminiscent of Erica Rose's domination of the 2011 event, 22-year-old Yale graduate Abigail Nunn (pictured passing the United Nations building) of Richmond, Virginia set the leader's pace early and won the race in 7:30:26. She opened up a solid lead in the Hudson home stretch over the next swimmer, 38-year-old Javier Gutierrez of Marina del Rey, California, who finished in 7:47:44. There was much jostling and repositioning among the other swimmers, which was fun to follow along with online for most of the race, except when the GPS system was overwhelmed in a few spots and wasn't able to keep up with the demand for information from viewers.

Among the two-person relay teams, the Mako Masters team of Charles Herrick and Sarah Bednar finished first in 8:07:10, followed by the Texas Two-Step team of Gretchen Sanders and Pamela LeBlanc, who visited us from Austin, Texas, to take part in the race.

We also had a successful debut of the new three-person Team Pursuit format, an event that sees three swimmers cruise around the island together in a pack. Mo Siegel, Cara McAteer, and Lori Carena pioneered the format for NYC Swim and had a blast on their 9:04:23 journey around scenic Manhattan Island.

Congratulations to all of the participants and a huge "thank you" to the awesome volunteers who make this event possible each year.

Statue of Liberty Swim on Friday!

Statue of Liberty Swim on Friday!Next up on NYC Swim's 2012 slate of events is this Friday's Statue of Liberty Swim. Swimmer enrollment is now closed, but we still need more volunteers. Enroll online, and you'll get a free ride to the island and be part of an exclusive opportunity to hang out on Liberty Island without all the tourist crowds. Guest, ferry, and BBQ tickets are also still available for purchase online until 10:30 am tomorrow, Friday 6/29. So check out this iconic event and come join us for a fun summer evening on Liberty Island.

NYC Swim – Now More Awarding Than Ever

NYC Swim – Now More Awarding Than EverNYC Swim is always looking for ways to improve our swimmers' experiences, and as our events have grown, we have expanded our award categories to acknowledge great performances. Our larger events go five places in the largest five-year age brackets, meaning that lots and lots of people end up winning awards at each and every event. Many people have been pleasantly surprised to find out they are award winners. Maybe you'll win one at your next event?

To find out if you're a winner, please stick around for the awards ceremony at the end of each event. You'll not only possibly claim an award for yourself, but you'll also be supporting your fellow swimmers and improving their experience. Who doesn't like to finish a race to find an adoring crowd waiting onshore? Also, NYC Swim does not mail out awards or bring them to future events, so if you want to bring home that hard-earned hardware, stick around for the awards ceremony.

FAQ: Can I submit results from outside events to qualify for NYC Swim?

Yes, entrants often submit recent open water competition results to fulfill the experience requirement for an NYC Swim event. Check the Experience Requirement section on the NYC Swim race overview page to see if you have a result that fits the bill. Either way, we encourage you to list results in your user profile, so other swimmers can see what you're up to.

The best results for qualification purposes are those that are posted publicly and ideally come from events that list all finishers in overall order, without regard to award categories, wetsuits, gender, start waves, or affiliation (i.e., USMS or open). After you post a result, NYC Swim will review the information, and if approved, it will allow your entry to be approved for applicable events. More details.

Help us out with this! It is always the entrant's responsibility to obtain the documentation to support qualifications. We are happy to help with uploading documentation but do not contact other race directors or coaches on behalf of registrants. Keep in mind that for our swim series events, you also have the option of doing a qualifying swim in a pool.

Where to do a pool certification swim
How to Upload Pool Certification

George Forbes — Swimmer of the Week

George ForbesOff-Broadway and Off-Shore
If you've been to New York City, there's a good chance you've been to a Broadway show. The glitzy theater district is home to about 40 large venues that present some of the biggest names in show business. But the smaller theaters, known as "off-Broadway" houses, represent a thriving part of the city's world-famous arts culture, premiering new works, giving up-and-coming performers a place to hone their craft, and even being an artistic haven for established performers. Off-Broadway theaters are often situated literally "Off Broadway," with some of them located quite a way from the Theater District, but they are nonetheless shaping the Big Apple's artistic persona.

The Lucille Lortel Theater, on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, is certainly one such cultural force. Founded by actress-turned-producer Lucille Lortel, the theater's colorful history began in 1955, with its inaugural production of Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera (which won the 1956 Tony for Best Off-Broadway show), and has continued with works by everyone from Eugene O'Neill to Wendy Wasserstein. The luminaries who have appeared onstage at the Lortel include Richard Burton, Richard Dreyfus, Helen Hayes, Bernadette Peters, Elaine Stritch, and countless others.

Nowadays, the Lortel is home to several not-for-profit theater companies, principally the Manhattan Class Company, which presents risk-taking work by new and emerging playwrights, and Theaterworks USA, which presents free summer productions for children (this summer's show is Skippyjon Jones). Lortel passed away in 1999 at the age of 98, but the vision of "the Queen of Off-Broadway," as she was known, is carried out by a small staff headed up by George Forbes, who has been executive director of the theater, as well as the foundation that shares Lortel's name, since 2000.

George is quick to point out that the theater and the foundation are actively involved in supporting off-Broadway, and not just in the financial sense, though that is part of the picture. The Lucille Lortel Foundation makes grants to about 50 small- to mid-sized theater companies in NYC, as well as in non-urban areas of New York and Connecticut. The foundation also maintains the Internet Off-Broadway Database, an online repository of show information that is a nod to Lortel's interest in archiving the history of Off-Broadway theater. "Preserving history was important to Lucille," says George, who worked closely with Lortel for 10 years prior to her death. "The history of off-Broadway is very interesting and ephemeral. The shows come and go so quickly, and the companies don't always have a lot of resources. The history gets lost, and we're trying to prevent that."

It seems that George could be a one-man theater archive himself, based on the number of shows he sees each year. He tries to see at least one show produced by each of the Lucille Lortel Foundation's grant recipients — that's 50 shows right there! And in 2011 there were 91 shows eligible for the Lucille Lortel Awards, "the Tonys of Off-Broadway," and George needs to see as many of those as possible. In his final estimate, he attends about three shows each week, totaling approximately 150 per year.

Despite his demanding theater schedule, George swims NYC Swim events, participates in triathlons, and manages to train six mornings a week, averaging two days each of swimming, biking, and running. He works with a coach who lives in Colorado Springs, using video, e-mail, the web, and also occasional visits to keep himself on track for upcoming events. He also trains with the New York University triathlon team, an association that led him to NYC Swim.

"Some of my teammates (Lori Carena, Leigh Behnke, and Jonathan Wells) were involved and were so positive, encouraging, and wonderful," George says. "They told me, ‘You have to do this; you would really like this.'"

George's first NYC Swim event was the 2011 Great Hudson River Swim, which he enjoyed so much that he followed it up with the Brooklyn Bridge Swim and the Little Red Lighthouse Swim, the latter of which intimidated him, in part because of the daunting 10.2-kilometer distance.

"I finished and was really happy and proud," George says. "It was the hardest thing I've ever done. It was the distance, it was the coldness of the water. The mental challenge of it was just as hard as the physical challenge. I kept telling myself, ‘I'll just swim to this next buoy, and then if I'm tired, I'll wave a boat over and get out.' I'd get to the buoy and feel OK, so I'd keep going."

In terms of something to work toward, George says he's seriously considering the "huge challenge" of a Manhattan Island Marathon Swim two-person relay.

When asked what keeps him coming back to open water swimming, George said, "It's just a beautiful perspective of the city. Every time you do it, it's different. Even if it's the same body of water, it's never the same. The tides are different, something is different. It makes it an adventure. You're making it up as you go along." Open water swimming is, after all, a largely unscripted, real-life drama.

RCN: Presenting Sponsor of the NYC Swim Series

Come Home to RCN logoRCN Corporation is proud to present the NYC Swim Series. RCN, a leading provider of video, data, and voice services to residential and business customers, is excited to partner with NYC Swim and to assist in presenting competitive swim events and raising the public's awareness of the waters around NYC. The Swim Series would not be possible without assistance from RCN and our other sponsors. To learn more about all of them, please see each issue of Cross Currents and visit our sponsors page.


Copyright © 2012 NYC SWIM, Inc.


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