Lecomte is quite a guy and you probably have never even heard his
Trailed relentlessly by a 10-foot (man-eating)
shark, this remarkable 31 year-old Frenchmansuccessfully swam across
the Atlantic Ocean completing the crossing
on September 25.
He is an American Airlines sales representative who now lives in
Austin, Texas. Benoit Lecomte hoped to reach the shores of Brest,
France, by mid-October, but finished well ahead of time (and he
says the shark had nothing to do with it).
Strong winds and high waves limited Lecomte's swimming time to between
six and eight hours per day, a devastating bout of seasickness did
not deter him, ( not to mention the 10 foot-plus shark that followed
him passing back-and-forth about 30 feet below him). Whatever it
was that drove him, he became
the first human to to swim across the wily, unpredictable and always
dangerous Atlantic Ocean.
"I'm did not so much swim," he said, "but I fought
my way across," in an interview afterwards. Tremendously rough
seas did not stop him as he pushed on through 20 and 25 foot waves
day after day. His previously longest
swim was a nonstop 23-hour stint in a Texas lake. His equipment
included a shark-repellent device in addition to the fins, snorkel
and a thin wet suit.
Between exhausting swims, Lecomte rested aboard a 40-foot sailboat,
where a crew of two prepared up to six meals of 7,000 to 8,000 calories
per day for him.
In all he swam 3736 miles, in 74 days, beginning in Hyannis, Massachusetts
and emerging at Quiberon, France, many, many miles off the preplanned
born in the Paris suburb of Enghien-les-Bains, dedicated the swim
to the memory of his father Pierre, who died of colon cancer seven
His swim raised more than $150,000
for cancer research, Turner said.
We just thought in a world of scandal and massacre,
a world that sometimes seems to lack dignity and nobility, that
you might enjoy seeing this awesome and majestic side of humanity,
that shamefully sometimes goes by unnoticed.
It's clear that the pioneering, self-sacrificing, reaching- for-the-stars
part of mankind's makeup is vastly more interesting, really, than
the self-indulging, harrassing and hassling of those other, darker
propensities of the human race that are always, always reaching
for self-gratification, self-justification and unearned self-agrandizement.
But maybe ... you can't have one without the other. Intellectually,
that is an easy argument to dismiss, but from a practical point
of view, while discouraging, there is plenty of evidence to support
the dark sides claim to legitimacy. So, take a few moments to consider
Benoit Lecomte's effort and amazing personality. Dwell on him for
a moment or two. You'll be better off for it.
A post script for you: he is planning to compete in the "Swim
Around The World," an event building now.
See you next time?