Ultra Marathon Swim Record Attempt -- February 5, 2000
Coconut Creek, FL - Today, Event Coordinator Joe Pignatiello announced that on March 1st, South African attorney, Hulme Scholes, will attempt to break the Ultra-Marathon world record for longest nonstop unassisted open water swim set in 1998 by Australian Susie Maroney with her 128 mile swim from Isla Mujeres, Mexico to Las Tumbas, Cuba.
This year's attempt was scheduled to start from Bahia Honda, Cuba and end in Key West, Florida. Due to the recent heightened tensions between Cuba and the USA with regard to the immigration status of Elian Gonzales, the swim course has been changed. The new swim course will start at Marathon, in the Florida Keys and end at The International Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Mr. Pignatiello stated: "It is terrible we have to alter the swim course because of a political disagreement between the two countries, however, the safety of Hulme Scholes and all of the support team is our primary concern. There are elements in both countries that present a risk and I have to do what is best for the entire swim team. Add to that danger, Mr. Scholes will be swimming without the aid of a shark cage. We will have our hands full when it comes to problems which we will have to address during the swim and we need to be focused on the task at hand".
In 1996 Ms. Maroney became the first person to swim from Cuba to USA territorial waters. In 1997 Ms. Maroney became the first person to swim "Land to Land" from Cuba to the USA and in 1998 she set the unassisted non stop open water swim of 128 miles. Ms. Maroney has brought the attention of the world to Ultra-Marathon swimming over the years with her record attempts. In 1997 she was named "Person of the Week" by Peter Jennings.
A web site has been established with information on the swim and this sight will be updated every two hours during the swim by the Webmaster with information directly from the Command Vessel. Interested parties can log on at: www.sharkeyman.cjb.net