Chesapeake Bay Swim, June 12, 2011
by Patty Waldron

SwimMAC Masters Tackle the Difficult Chesapeake Bay Swim

June 12 was the 20th Annual Chesapeake Bay Swim. This is a 4.4 mile swim between the bridges in the bay. Swimmers swim from Sandy Point State Park to Hemingway's Marina. SwimMAC was represented by Bill Davis, Maureen Holden, Tom Turpin, Ben Holland, Connie Roberts, Joe Matysek and Morgan Yaguda. To enter this event you have to have completed an open water event recently or completed a 3 mile pool swim in under 2 hours and 15 minutes. Then you must commit to training because this event can be extremely difficult depending on race day conditions.

The water was 78 degrees with some cool spots and hot spots. The race director explained the way the currents worked during the race and he mentioned a flat tide in the middle. The swimmers found all this to be contrary and in fact initial words to me from Bill Davis were: "I thought I wasn't going to make it." In the middle of the swim swimmers found themselves swimming diagonal just to go straight! A chop also developed making this swim extremely difficult.

The most veteran of swimmers were swimming their race at least 10 minutes slower than the previous year which had some ideal conditions. There were 620 swimmers that started the event and 544 that finished. Weather did become an issue and about 62 swimmers were pulled from the water as lightening glimmered in the distant horizon. 16 other participants were DNF prior to the weather event. Sadly, there was a fatality in the event....a 43 year old man had a heart event that took his life.

Below is how our crew placed!

Bill Davis (40-44) 2:03.12 16th Age Group, 83rd overall
Maureen Holden (40-44) 2:08.50 6th Age Group, 133 rd overall
Ben Holland (30-34) 2:11.29 10th Age Group,148th overall
Joe Matysek (50-54) 2:50.08 54th Age Group, 446th overall
Connie Roberts (40-44) 2:26.06 13th Age Group, 268th overall
Tom Turpin(45-49) 2:21.43 32nd Age Group, 234th overall
Morgan Yaguda (15-19) 2:37.52 9th Age Group, 353rd overall

Also Coach Patty had a big time connecting with SwamMAC Alumni Dr. Jenny Klotz Jubulis. She graduated from Providence High, Davidson College, UNC Med School and now studies infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University. She is also getting ready to have her first child! Great to see Jenny! Former SwimMAC athlete Chip Potterton who regularly competes in this event was 20th overall and third in his age group with a 1:50.57. Bruce BrockSchmidt (40-44), former SwimMAC athlete was 4th overall, 1st in his age group with a 1:41.04. Wow!!!!!!!!

Truly a huge accomplishment to have finished this great race. Even more amazing to be able to have the discipline to train for this with all the responsibility and activity that adults have with their jobs and their family lives. Some mornings these swimmers were in the water at 4:45am to go 7400 yards before a full day's work! Congrats to the first timers in this event.....Bill Davis, Ben Holland, Tom Turpin and Morgan Yaguda, as well as seasoned competitors Joe Matysek (numerous times), Maureen Holden (4 times) and Connie Roberts (2 times). Next year anyone? Remember it is a lottery for the 4.4 mile swim!