Jitendra Khasnis, the swimming coach of the Shark Aquatic Club in India, reported that the Indian government has lifted its restrictions on attempts to swim the Gate Way of India. The restrictions were put in place after terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.
“I was very keen that one of my marathon swimmers shall swim this stretch. My former swimmers where the first ones to cover this 18 km grueling distance. Since the governments relaxed its norms, we took advantage and decided to give a shot for two swimmers. It is always difficult to manage two swimmers of different speed at once, but due to school final exams and end of season, we had no options. Both lived up to the expectations.
They jumped in the water from Mandava Jetty early in the morning at 6:37 am. For the first hour, both were swimming neck-and-neck, but then the more experienced Sampanna took advantage of sea currents, moved ahead and swam 68 strokes per minute to touch Gate Way of India at 10:17 in the morning. His 3 hour 40 minute swim was 30 minutes faster than Soham who completed his first sea swimming solo in 4 hours 10 minutes.
The event was supposed to start at 6 am but due to strong wind they had to wait for 30 minutes. The weather favored them throughout the swim. This stretch is considered to be a tough swim because the swimmers have to cross two tides and, if not calculated properly, it is nearly impossible to complete the event. Both are now training for solo Elephanta Swim, scheduled to be held next month.”
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