A 46-year-old long distance swimmer from upstate New York attempted to break the world record for swimming around Manhattan—twice—a 57-mile jaunt that requires nearly 24 hours of nonstop exercise.
A Speedo-clad David Barra kicked off the swim yesterday from Randalls Island, followed by a kayak crew who monitored his activity and threw him an high-calorie liquid "meal" every half hour. He was attempting to beat the world record set in 2007 by Skip Storch, who swam around the island twice in 20 hours, 56 minutes. Barra, who first became interested in open-water swimming while lifeguarding at Manhattan Beach in the '80s, has previously swum around Manhattan one time and across the English Channel, though this would be his longest nonstop trip.
NYC Swim had been tracking Barra's movements—keeping a rough schedule of his expected arrival points, posting Twitter updates, and even tracking him on GPS. Sadly, the group tweeted early this morning that Barra was forced to quit after nearly 10 hours and 28 miles of swimming, claiming that "the currents were not what were expected and the tide turned about when Dave's leg's were spent." Maybe he should have stuck to waterskiing instead.