Doug McConnell is going to embark on an Open Water Signature Swim from Nantucket to Martha's Vineyard. Weather depending, the swimming window is between July 19 - 22, 2021.
The Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard swim is 18 miles, with some challenges that are specific to that route. Sharks and jellyfish top the list, and navigating through tides, currents and shoals will keep the crew on alert the whole expected time of 10 hours.
“At 18 miles, this is a challenging swim for anyone. Nantucket Sound is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world, and the channel between the two islands make for a real navigation challenge. For part of the tidal cycle, the currents sweep the swimmer way south, and the reward is that they reverse themselves after a couple of hours. Timing those tidal turns, particularly at swimmer speed, requires the help of navigational geniuses, and we have them on the A Long Swim team. These guys are brilliant.”
This will be English Channel Swimmer Doug McConnell's second attempt at this swim, with the first in the Summer of 2019.
“Our swim in 2019 was a terrific learning experience. We ended up two hours ahead of schedule, and the tidal currents were a little suboptimal. We were 0.3 miles from the beach – probably 400 strokes – but on the wrong side of a five-knot rip current. It is pretty frustrating not to land a swim, but safety considerations took priority. I feel like we are a lot smarter this time, and fully expect to land this swim.”
He will have the critical support of Martha’s Vineyard boat pilots, navigation experts, and his highly seasoned open water crew that includes two experienced ocean kayakers.
“I am proud to be the first to attempt crossing the Nantucket Sound to land at the Edgartown Light. Marathon swimming is a team sport, and we’ve traveled the world doing what we do best – swimming in the name of finding a cure to ALS.” There is a Landing Party Reception scheduled to be held on Martha's Vineyard. More details to come soon.
Since its founding, A Long Swim has raised over $1,000,000 by sponsoring Doug McConnell’s swims of the English Channel, Tampa Bay, Catalina Channel, Manhattan Island, and the Molokai Channel.
ALS is a disease that has had a profound effect on A Long Swim co-founders Doug McConnell and Ellen McConnell Blakeman. In 2006, shortly after their father, Dr. David McConnell, DVM, passed away from ALS, Ellen was diagnosed with the same horrific disease for which there is no cure. Ellen lived with ALS for 12 years, which is a testament to her indomitable will and strength. In 2011, siblings and co-founders started A Long Swim, a nonprofit foundation that both borrows the ALS acronym and is dedicated to raising funds for collaborative ALS research using open water and marathon-distance swimming.
Often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease for the New York Yankees icon, ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that slowly robs people of the use of their muscles, and so their ability to walk, speak and breathe. Most people live only two to five years after diagnosis. Approximately 1,000 people in Illinois and 35,000 people in the US are living with ALS at any given time; and a new person is diagnosed with ALS and a person dies with ALS every 90 minutes. ALS occurs throughout the world regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
As the day approaches, watch www.ALongSwim.org about how to track our swim. In the meantime, donations will be humbly accepted at here. Join us! #TheCureIsOutThere, #ALongSwim