In late November 2013 I received an email from Kathleen Wilson of Charleston, South Carolina, USA which informed Chris and I of their local 12 mile (20k) tide assisted swim through Charleston harbor and one of the surrounding rivers, named “Swim Around Charleston”.
Kathleen told us that Charleston was one of the most beautiful small cities in the USA, a wonderful place to explore and that September is a beautiful month in Charleston. She also mentioned the water temperature was expected to be around 25-27C, that’s pretty warm, and quite similar to what we’re used to here in Queensland during our summer months.
As mentioned in my last post Chris and I were keen on swimming from Anacapa Island on the west coast, it didn’t take us too long to decide that we would like to tie the Swim Around Charleston in with our 2014 trip to the USA. And so the planning and arrangements began.
We weren’t disappointed, we arrived into beautiful, historic Charleston a few days before the swim, and attended the pre-race briefing the evening before the race, where we learned about the swim course, were introduced to our kayakers and fellow swimmers which included my mate and Charleston local Brian Lanahan who I’d shared accommodations with the year before while on a swim training camp in Ireland! Then Chris and I headed back to our hotel to try to catch some sleep before the excitement of the following days challenge.
The swim began at Remleys Point in Mount Pleasant, SC, proceeded across the Cooper River to the Charleston side, parallel the peninsular city and then proceeded north up the Ashley River to the finish point at I-526. There was a Charleston county boat landing serving as the take out spot for swimmers.
The race is very well organized, Kathleen has been able to get all the maritime safety authorities behind the swim, and even to the point of acting as on course escort vessels.
The SAC should appeal to most open water swimmers, including newbies. Mother Nature can make this a challenging swim, but certainly not beyond the reach of first timers. We very much enjoyed our “Swim Around Charleston”. I came in first woman and second overall in 4hrs 44 minutes and Chris was happy with his placing as 5th male in a time of 5hrs 14 mins.
(photo from SAC website)
Chris and I would like to extend a big thank you to Kathleen for all her assistance and support in making our trip to Charleston, SC a memorable one for all the best reasons and a big thank you also to our kayakers for their help during our swim, Eric Ruckel you were awesome!
The Swim Around Charleston will become one of the USA’s must do, long distance open water swims. Think of it as a shorter version of the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. Some good current assistance, good scenery and some very impressive bridges to swim beneath. www.swimaroundcharleston.com
Charleston video http://www.charlestonly.com/videos/
Interesting link; www.charlestonly.com