AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 240: SOFLO’s Marinheiro Wins Medal On Final Day Of Pan Ams

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 240: SOFLO’s Marinheiro Wins Medal On Final Day Of Pan Ams

Written by Sharon Robb

June 12, 2013

Edileide Marinheiro of South Florida Aquatic Club Masters saved her best for last at the Pan American Masters Championships in Sarasota.

On the final day of pool swimming on Wednesday, Marinheiro, 45, finished third in the 45-49 100-meter breaststroke to bring home a bronze medal.

Marinheiro, part of a swimming family from Brazil, finished in 1:36.10, a huge drop from her seed time of 1:46.01. It was her highest finish of the eight-day meet that featured masters swimmers from Pan American countries.

On Thursday, the men’s and women’s 1K and 3K open water events will be held.

Sunshine State Games

Coral Springs Aquatic Complex will host the Sunshine State Games Water Polo Championships Friday through Sunday.

South Florida Water Polo returns to defend its’ boys 16-and-under and 18-and-under titles.

Since 2005, South Florida Water Polo has dominated the annual tournament with 34 medals including 17 gold medals. This year the club has teams competing in six of the eight divisions.

Miami Gulliver Riptides return to defend their women’s open division.

The aquatic complex will be packed with more than 750 water polo players from fifty teams competing in eight age groups ranging from co-ed 12-and-under to men’s and women’s open.

During the three-day tournament that begins Friday at 1 p.m, a total of 104 games will be played in three pools at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Saturday’s action begins at 8 a.m. and is scheduled to end with the final round of games at 7:40 p.m. The final round of games are Sunday at 4:20 p.m.

Cuba To Florida Swim

Australian marathon swimmer Chloe McCardel left Cuba on Wednesday morning for her 103-mile swim attempt to Florida. McCardel, 28, is not using a shark tank or wearing a wetsuit.

The swim, so far in calm, warm waters, is expected to take about 60 hours. She hopes to make landfall by Friday night. McCardel is an experienced open water swimmer successful completing double crossings of the English Channel twice in 2010 and 2012, six English Channel crossings and 28-Mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

McCardel and her husband mortgaged their home to pay for the historical attempt.

In addition to making history, she is also swimming to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer fourteen years ago.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 187: Diana Nyad Still Going Strong During Record Swim Attempt

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 187: Diana Nyad Still Going Strong During Record Swim Attempt


August 20, 2012

After surviving jellyfish stings and lightning storm, Diana Nyad was joined by a pod of more than fifty dolphins swimming around her support boat Monday night before sunset.

Nyad and her crew could hear the dolphins breathing as dozens of them were playful, leaping in and out of the water.

“This is a good sign,” said one of her support crew.

At 11 p.m. Monday night, the 62-year-old former Pine Crest swimmer was at the 63.1-mile mark of her 103-mile journey from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. It is her fourth try at the record attempt.

The frolicking dolphin pod was a welcome relief for the marathon swimmer who braved jellyfish stings, including one on her hand and forehead that forced her to swim backstroke while she regrouped.

Then “all hell broke loose” according to her crew’s blog when an 18-20-mile storm cell and wind squalls forced Nyad to tread water and lose six hours of progress while the storm blew over Sunday night before she got to the Gulf Stream’s current in the right direction.

On Monday night, Nyad’s crew was preparing for the night swimming and staving off low core body temperature.

At 10:57 p.m. Saturday Nyad was stung on the hand by a box jellyfish, according to Mark Sollinger, operations chief of Voyager, her support boat. She was treated immediately. Ten minutes later, Nyad was back swimming at 50 strokes per minute.

The fourth time she was stung on her forehead and she started swimming backstroke with the cap-covered part of her head to minimize contact. Nyad is wearing a special FINIS wetsuit to help ward off the jellyfish.

At one time, there were so many jellyfish because of the tide and astronomical position, that her handlers had to move position because the water was lapping stings over their feet and legs.

On Sunday, Nyad told her handlers, “Today is more like swimming. I don’t know what you would call last night, probably surviving.”

Her team has equated Nyad’s swim to five English Channel swims with sharks and box jellyfish added in.

Her crew tweeted “There’s no stopping her now.” Nyad celebrates her 63rd birthday on Wednesday.


The United States Olympic Committee has had the final word on Michael Phelps and the inadvertent early leak of his newest advertisement for Louis Vuitton that forced several media and social outlets to jump to conclusions saying that Phelps was in danger of losing his Olympic medals. USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said that the USOC has investigated the circumstances behind the leaked photos and determined that there was “no issue from us.” Because of the IOC’s Rule 40, athletes and coaches were not allowed to promote non-Olympic sponsors during the Olympic Games window of July 18 and August 15. Two Louis Vuitton ads featuring Phelps surfaced were inadvertently released early. They were officially scheduled to be released on Aug. 16. “As far as the USOC is concerned, Phelps or his team didn’t clear photos in the Louis Vuitton campaign to be released before deadline. End of story,” Sandusky said…

Brazilian Olympian Cesar Cielo and his 200-meter freestyle relay teammates broke South American and Brazilian records Monday at the Jose Finkel Trophy Meet in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The meet is short course meters. Cielo’s lead-off split was 20.81. His teammates were Nicholas Dos Santos, Bernardo Novaes and Thiago Sickert. The foursome’s record was 1:25.28. In the 50-meter semifinals, Cielo also posted the top seed of 21.19 on the opening day of the meet…

Fourteen-year-old Annaleise Carr became the youngest to swim across Lake Ontario and helped to raise $90,000 for a camp for kids with cancer. It took her nearly 27 hours fighting high waves, cold current and leg cramps. The Ontario, Canada native successfully made the 52-kilometer crossing becoming the youngest since Mariyln Bell first made the crossing in 1956 when she was 16.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 180: Marathon Swimmer Palfrey Gives Up Record Swim Attempt

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 180: Marathon Swimmer Palfrey Gives Up Record Swim Attempt


July 2, 2012

Marathon swimmer Penny Palfrey endured jellyfish stings and shark sightings but the strong currents in the Florida Straits pushing her off course was too much to handle.

The 49-year-old grandmother was forced to give up her quest of completing the 103-mile swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage early Sunday morning.

Palfrey had made it well past the halfway mark and had been in the water for more than 40 hours before being pulled out by her crew.

Palfrey was hospitalized in Key West with severe stings, dehydration, mouth ulcers and blisters.

“Penny has been 100 percent focused on this swim for a year, so she was quite a bit upset,” said her husband Chris at a news conference in Key West.

“There were of course some tears. She didn’t know what was happening until we told her so it took a few minutes while she took it in.

“She was still strong but 41 hours of continuous swimming, she was physically exhausted. It was really only her mental focus that was keeping her going. She was going really well but she only had a few more hours in her.”

Palfrey had hoped to finish within 40 to 50 hours. American marathoner Diana Nyad, 62, also had two unsuccessful attempts at the crossing. She is training for a third attempt later this month weather permitting.


All members of Australia’s swimming team headed to the London Olympics will receive a share of more than $750,000 to assist in their final preparation for the Games. Athletes will also be eligible to earn financial performance bonuses based on their medal and finals achievements in London. An individual gold medal is worth $35,000 and relay gold medal $60,000 to be shared across both heats and finals swimmers. The goal of the Aussie swim federation is to be the world’s leading swimming nation by 2016…

Aussie Olympic athletes have been banned from using the sedatives Stilnox, Rohypnol and Mogadon. They have been warned their rooms will be raided if they are suspected of using the sedatives. Aussie Olympic Committee president John Coates made the recent announcement and said the AOC is rewriting its official team medical manual to include the sleeping pills. The action stems from swimming great Grant Hackett’s admission in a newspaper article that he developed a dependency on Stilnox after being prescribed the drug by team doctors and lost his shot at a gold medal…

The 4,700 Olympic medals have been completed and are now tucked away in the vault in the Tower of London for safe keeping until the Olympics begin…

Houston is among eight cities that have put in bids to host the 2016 or 2018 World Short Course Swimming Championships. The University of Houston or the 11,000-seat Berry Center, a high school arena in northwest Houston, is a possible site to be converted to a pool venue. Other cities bidding are Eindhoven, Netherlands; Hong Kong; Windsor, Canada; Abu Dhabi; China; Christchurch, New Zealand; and Gold Coast Australia. The meet will be awarded in December.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 179: Marathon Swimmer Penny Palfrey Nearing Florida Shore

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 179: Marathon Swimmer Penny Palfrey Nearing Florida Shore


June 30, 2012

About 69 miles (111 kilometers) into her Cuba-to-Florida swim, endurance swimmer Penny Palfrey saw hammerhead sharks beneath her, shook it off and continued swimming strong.

The 49-year-old mother of three and grandmother from Australia, taking advantage of near-perfect weather conditions, is more than halfway past her Cuba-to-Florida record swim attempt.

She is right on track to walk ashore on Big Pine Key on Sunday, 55 to 59 hours and 103 miles after her start from Havana, Cuba on Friday

The British-born Australian is attempting to become the first woman to swim the route unassisted and without the aid of a shark cage. Aside from jellyfish stings and extreme heat, Palfrey is swimming strong according to her support team.

At 8:30 p.m. Saturday she was about 30 miles (61.15 kilometers) south, southwest of Key West. Her website is tracking her through GPS and updating reports frequently. She is being accompanied by a support crew on kayaks and catamaran.

Before this, her personal best was 67 miles (108 kilometers) when she swam between Little Cayman and Grand Cayman Islands.

Palfrey, a 20-year veteran of distance swimming, also plans to swim the North Channel in August. She has already completed six of seven channels of the Oceans Seven.

Asked about the first thing she planned to do on arrival in Key West Palfrey laughed and said, “Get out of the water.”

Miami’s Valdivia Wins

Ricardo Valdivia of Miami Beach, a former Spanish national team member, won the 5K race at the inaugural Aaron Vaughn Memorial Frogman swim Saturday morning off the Jensen Beach Public Beach.

Valdivia covered the 5,000-meter loop course in one hour, 35 seconds.

Richard Andrews of Lake Lytal Lightning was second in 1:00:45 and Matthew Getty of Tampa was third in 1:06:16.

In the women’s 5K race, Mikayla Carnley of Alachua won the overall title in 1:07:54 followed by Maria Aponte in 1:07:57 and Emma Madden in 1:10:19.

In the 1,000-meter race, Chris Miller won the men’s race in 16:26 followed by former SOFLO swimmer Jonathan Skarie of Martin County in the same time. John Potts of Boca Raton was third in 17:17.

In the women’s 1K, Sophia Oliva of Plantation won in 16:15, Kacie Segovia in 18:07 and Abby Boburka in 19:17.

The event was held in honor of Martin County resident Aaron Vaughn, who was a Navy SEAL killed in active duty in the Middle East.

Swedish Nationals

Sarah Sjostrom, struggling with an infection this past week, has dropped out of the Swedish Long Course National Championships in Norrkoping, Sweden. She is being treated with antibiotics. The meet ends Sunday.

Sharon Robb can be reached at