Lori completes 21-hour swim around island
Imagine swimming around Bermuda for 21 hours straight. This is exactly what open water swimmer Lori King accomplished on Wednesday.
With a support crew of 11 people by her side, Mrs King, 40, took to the water at Elbow Beach at noon to begin the longest, most challenging swim of her life. Her inspiration, she said, was resident Sean O'Connell, who was the first and only person to have completed the swim 40 years ago.
“I read his story and I had been thinking about doing a 24-hour swim,” she said.
“I'm from New York and I had been to Bermuda for the Round the Sound event for the past six or seven years and it holds a special place in my heart.
“So, I knew when I thought about doing a swim and reading that one other person had done it and it was possible, that this was the place.
“It's special to me, I love the people and the water.”
The swim was planned and certified through the Bermuda Open Water Swimming Association, with president Nick Strong acting as event co-ordinator and first observer.
Devon Clifford, on-site coach and support swimmer, described some of the challenges they faced.
“Lori swam counterclockwise around the island and throughout the swim she missed Portuguese man o' wars, there were two to three foot swells coming into the boat that she was swimming through.
“Going around Fort St Catherine, starting off in the north shore of the island, it was very rough.”
They also dealt with multiple kayak rescues and their boat hitting a reef because of the high winds.
Mrs King was overwhelmed with emotion as she thanked her crew and the residents who had supported her in becoming the first woman to ever complete the swim.
“I am just totally indebted to these people, I don't even know how to repay them.”