Laura Reineke swims 48.5 km (at night!) for wild fish

  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish
  • Wildfish

Hello from Henley-on-Thames where final preparations for my 20 Bridges swim, circumnavigating Manhattan Island, are almost complete. With just a few days to go, I am busy checking my equipment and planning my feeds.

The gruelling 48.5 km swim challenge starts on Friday 21 June at 19:30 New York time (00:30 in London!).

Alongside my swimming partner, Lee, I am taking on this challenge to raise funds for WildFish and to increase awareness of the crisis facing rivers and freshwater species which are disappearing at five times the rate of those on land. Your support will help us to reach our fundraising goal for wild fish and motivate us to keep on swimming!

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The 20 bridges swim is part of the triple crown of open water swimming. A marathon swimming challenge, it is one of three historically important swims also including:

  • The English Channel (33 km between France and England)
  • The Catalina Channel (32.5 km between Catalina Island and the California mainland)

If I complete all three swims I will become one of under 300 people to hold the title. I completed the English Channel swim last year and have my sights set on Catalina next!

I’ll be wearing just my (fabulous WildFish) swimsuit, swimming hat (get yours here for just £10!), and goggles. Lee and I will swim with separate safety boots and fed on a fishing line, with liquid feeds. The challenge starts from Lower Manhattan, West Side and takes in all 20 bridges that link Manhattan island to the mainland.

A journey through three rivers and under 20 bridges

The swim travels through three “rivers” that are actually all tidal straits or estuaries. The East River, connecting New York Harbour to Long Island Sound, has some ripping-fast tides that will have us shooting under the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and other spans as you pass the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.

The Harlem River, connecting the East River to the Hudson, is quite mellow by comparison, with relatively calm waters and a slower current. Though it’s just 8 miles long, the Harlem River is crossed by 15 bridges, most of them between Manhattan and the Bronx!

Then, of course, is the mighty Hudson, separating Manhattan from the state of New Jersey. The only bridge during this stretch is the magnificent George Washington Bridge, with the Little Red Lighthouse tucked at its base.

You can follow our swim tracker here for live updates!

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