Eduardo Slerca Completes the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal

Adherbal de Oliveira, President of the Leme to Pontal Swimming Association reported on another successful crossing from Leme to Pontal, Brazil. "More than a challenge, the 36 km Travessia do Leme ao Pontal in Brazil is a dream that many swimmers have. It motivates them to work hard for a long period of time and to one day be able to transform those dreams into an unforgettable reality.

The swim that started at 1:29 am on March 17th was very special due to the characteristics of the swimmer who, as an amateur, needs to know how to reconcile his training series with family and work routines, as well as for everything that they had experienced during the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal.

A challenge of 36 km in the Atlantic Oceans requires a long preparation with the fulfillment of tests with intermediate lengths that demand for many swimmers some years of dedication, focus and discipline.

To complete a marathon, it is necessary to leave your comfort zone, leave that routine with routine swims without pre-defined footage or goals to be achieved and, preferably, have a professional with experience in the open water to correctly guide you. This was the path that 53-year-old Eduardo Slerca had to take, never ceasing to dream of the big day of swimming from Leme to Pontal.

After 10 hours 16 minutes of swimming, Slerca reached the sands of Pontal beach to complete his biggest open water challenge, placing his name in the history of the event. He was very moved and happy to realize his dream of completing the crossing from Leme to Pontal, considered the most beautiful and challenging crossing in Brazil. “It really was an exceptional experience. Everything. So many things.

I entered the water at 1:30 am and swam in total darkness. I saw the moon rise; seeing stars in the sky when I was breathing, seeing the stars reflecting off the water when I exhaled, and seeing hundreds of lights because of the bioluminescence of the plankton agitated when I made my arm pulls, seeing the twilight hours, seeing the sun rise, swimming along the coast beach by beach, slope by slope, the well-known design and relief of our very special coast, passing by the islands along the way, facing the rest of Barra, overcoming the current to go around Pontal and finally reach Macumba.

Everything under the watchful eye of the LPSA Observer José Ferreira, present and with immediate action in everything. Especially during every second of the four-hour night swim, every time I took a breath over the side of the boat, I saw José Ferreira watchful, always staring at me, which allowed me to relax and enjoy the experience. I expected a lot. BUT THIS WAS EVEN BETTER."

By Steven Munatones.
Southern California native, born 1962, is the creator of the WOWSA Awards, Oceans Seven, Openwaterpedia, Citrus Corps, World Open Water Swimming Association, Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Global Open Water Swimming Conference. He is Chief Executive Officer of KAATSU Global and Editor of the KAATSU Magazine. Inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Swimmer, Class of 2001) and Ice Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Contributor - Media, Class of 2019), recipient of the International Swimming Hall of Fame's Poseidon Award (2016), International Swimming Hall of Fame's Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award (2010), Dale Petranech Award for Services to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (2022), USA Swimming's Glen S. Hummer Award (2007 and 2010), and Harvard University's John B. Imrie Award (1984, awarded to the senior whose interests are not bounded by academic or institutional structures. A joyous, deeply-rooted affirmation of life, disdain for the purely conventional; a love of adventure, and desire to learn by experiencing; the ability to respond creatively to difficult situations). Served on the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee (until 2011) and as Technical Delegate with the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, a 9-time USA Swimming coaching staff including 4 FINA World Championships, and 2008 NBC Olympic 10K Marathon Swim commentator.


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