Sound Swimmers

This summer, while you and I “swam” — in other words, did a lap or two in a clear, chemically balanced pool — 5 Westport teenagers swam.

In other words, they started at Port Jefferson, Long Island.  They finished in Bridgeport.  In between, they stroked their way — for 15 long, choppy miles — across Long Island Sound.

The event was the 24th annual Swim Across the Sound.  It’s a benefit for St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation.  This year 3 Abel siblings — Larry, Joss and Verity, and fellow Staples swim team members Kyle Bacon and Gabby Wimer — swam in honor of  the Abels’ father, a cancer survivor, and Masato Sakaguchi, a 4-year-old from Fairfield who died a year ago of a brain tumor.

(From left): Gabby Wimer, Joss and Larry Abel, plus Kyle Bacon and Verity Abel, pose happily after completing their cross-Sound swim.

The swimmers rotated half-mile shifts.  Together, they covered the 15 1/2 miles in 6 hours, 5 minutes and 2 seconds.

That’s about the time it took me this summer to apply sunscreen.  It earned the Westporters — all present or former Staples swim team members — 5th place overall.

This month, MSG Varsity ran a story on the quintet.

“It was way choppier than I thought it would be,” Joss said during the segment.  “And all the (support) boats looked the same.”

“It was 20 times more tiring than I thought,” Verity added.  “Every splash of water felt like a tsunami.”

Kyle said, “I went into the last leg tired, and I came out tired.  But the adrenaline made me feel good.”

So does the knowledge that he — and his 4 waterlogged, weary but motivated friends — raised $11,000 to help turn the tide against cancer.

6 responses to “Sound Swimmers

  1. This is awesome! Who says that this younger generation doesn’t care!

  2. Gerry Kuroghlian

    As freshman at Staples both Larry and Kyle exhibited the type of leadership that has fully blossomed in their senior year. All of these young people are an honor to the Staples and westport community.
    Mega points!!!!
    Dr K

  3. Kerstin Warner

    Good show, Staples swimmers! That’s an intense commitment for a great cause. Bravo!

  4. Always loved those Abel kids..Great job
    Mrs. Essagof

  5. The Dude Abides

    Super! What a great story and worthwhile cause. I just watched the Diane Nyad attempt to swim from Cuba to Key West on CNN. Congrats to all those involved and bringing it to us, Professor.

  6. Way to swim, kids. You’ve done your school, town, and the rest of us very proud !!!!!!