A Long Swim is proud to announce a premier open water marathon swim from Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard for the rescheduled date of August 28, 2019. English Channel Swimmer Doug McConnell will be the first to attempt this swim, and 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.
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.
“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 at the Harbor View Hotel which overlooks the Edgartown Light. Landing is expected to be at 6:00pm.
Since its founding, A Long Swim has raised $500,000 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.