Six swimmers to swim twice around Manhattan Island

Some people will go a long way for a unique sightseeing experience. This morning in New York six solo swimmers will set off to swim around Manhattan Island. Twice. That’s a total of 57 miles of swimming.

Mo Siegel, Jaimie Monahan, Courtney Paulk, Steve Gruenwald, Giulles Chalandon and Michele Walters will take on the 40 Bridges Double Manhattan Swim, organised by New York Open Water.

The swim will circle Manhattan Island twice in a counter-clockwise direction. The swimmers will swim in the Hudson, Harlem and East Rivers and pass some iconic New York landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building as well as 20 bridges including Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge.

Once around Manhattan island is part of the Triple Crown of open water swimming, along with the English Channel and Catalina Channel. Only four people have swum around the island twice – and two of those swims were part of triple circumnavigations!

“This is an extremely personal challenge for me, not just because of the distance, but because if all goes well, it will be my first opportunity to view our beautiful city lights from the water at night,” says Jaimie Monahan, one of the six swimmers attempting the challenge today. “My heart thrills at the thought of it.”

The swim is scheduled to start at 11.50am New York time and you can track the swimmers’ progress here:


Image: A swimmer’s eye-view of Spuyten Duyvel by Capri Djatiasmoro

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Jonathan is a year-round skins swimmer with a particular love of very cold water. He has competed in ice swimming competitions around the world. He is a qualified open water coach with a particular love of introducing new swimmers to the open water.