Penny Palfrey Of Australia Wins 8-Mile Boston Light Swim

Boston Light Swim
As anticipated, 53-year-old Penny Palfrey of Seventeen-Seventy, Queensland, Australia, handily won the 8-mile Boston Light Swim across Boston Harbor yesterday with a time of 2:56:48. The win adds to Palfrey’s legendary status and the lengthy list of successful swims this long-time open water swimmer and grandmother has completed.Sneaking onto the podium behind Palfrey was 63-year-old James Clifford of Poolesville, MD, the oldest male competitor in the race. Clifford finished second overall, first for the men, in a time of3:08:22, edging out third place finisher Jennifer Olsen, 44, of Natick, MA, who finished third in a time of 3:11:28.

The race began in the water in the shadow of America’s first lighthouse at 7 a.m. yesterday after a moment of silence in observance of the passing of Southie resident Paul Turner. Swimmers jumped off their boats and churned their way across 8 miles of cold water, which ranged from 64 to 68 degrees, without wetsuits.

Weather conditions were calm, hot, and sunny—perfect for a long swim back to Boston. Of the 24 solo competitors who started the swim, 4 terminated their swims early due to cold or other issues and one swimmer was very close to the finishline when time expired. Race Directors Elaine Howley and Greg O’Connor must enforce a strict 5-hour time limit that’s dictated by the U.S. Coast Guard event permit and the changing tide. “We hate having to ask swimmers to leave the water when time expires like that,” Howley said, “especially when they are within sight of the finishline, but it’s necessary to protect the integrity of the event and to ensure we can continue to run it in future years. Hopefully, the impacted swimmer will train this winter and be able to come back and finish next year.”

This year, 11 men and 13 women participated as solo swimmers. Another 23 swimmers took part as members of six different relay teams. Many of the swimmers who participated brought intensely personal and inspiring stories with them of their journey to this marathon swim. First time Boston Light Swim finisher Patty Gray, 64, of Mesa, AZ, swam in memory of her brother who had always wanted to do the swim with her.

The Boston Light Swim staff wishes to congratulate all the swimmers. Thank you to event sponsors Massachusetts Open Water Swimming Association (MOWSA), the Boston Harbor Yacht Club, the Curley Community CenterHarpoon BreweryDRINKMapleCarbo-Pro, and FINIS. The Directors would also like to express a huge thank you to all the volunteers who assisted as well as the boaters who made this race possible.

Solo Results

  1. Penny Palfrey, F53, Queensland AUS, 2:56:48
  2. James Clifford, M63, Poolesville, MD, 3:08:22
  3. Jen Olsen, F44, Natick, MA, 3:11:22
  4. Katharine Owen, F36, Arlington, MA, 3:18:14
  5. Frederick Hirsch, M54, Hull, MA, 3:24:33
  6. Barbara Held, F61, San Diego, CA, 3:26:01
  7. Michael Klonsky, M53, Lynnfield, MA, 3:29:06
  8. David Conners, M47, San Francisco, CA, 3:37:15
  9. Richard Born, M53, Jamaica Plain, MA, 3:38:52
  10. Kristin Hutchins, F48, San Francisco, CA, 3:42:49
  11. Amy Frick, F49, Chester, VA, 3:55:49
  12. Patty Gray, F64, Mesa, AZ, 3:56:41
  13. Jeffrey Pinnix, M41, Mansfield, MA, 4:04:19
  14. Rachel Petersen, F25, Littleton, CO, 4:11:37
  15. Patrick Couture, M49, Quebec, CAN, 4:23:12
  16. Martina Pavlicova, F43, New York, NY, 4:27:22
  17. John Gale, M59, Portland, ME, 4:38:08
  18. James Long, M45, Chester, UK, 4:44:15
  19. Nabil Radouane M38, Collegeville, PA, 4:48:49
  20. Dan Grodinsky, M33, Quebec, CAN DNF
  21. Martha Wood, F52, Manchester, MA DNF
  22. Jef Mallett, M53, Huntington Woods, MI DNF
  23. Donald Sorterup, M48, Tiverton, RI DNF
  24. Shannon Dinan, F47, Salem, MA DNF (Time expired)

Relay Results

  1. Beer Gutz & Coconutz: Tommy Gainer, Lidia MacDonald-Carr, Katelyn Kidney, Sean Barrow, 3:05:11
  2. A Fin & A Prayer: Katie O’Dair, Julie Mulkerrin, Lynne Mulkerrin, Juliette Byrnes,3:29:06
  3. Team Johnson: James Burden, Jim Kindelan, Franklin Johnson, 3:31:36
  4. Sachuset Ocean Swimmers – III: Jane Cheney, Neil Greenspan, Lynne Czech, Michael Garr, 3:57:46
  5. SOS II: Christopher Daly, Judy Beckman, Jonathan Cooper, Rita Hansen, 4:31:41
  6. Schuylkill Expressions: Louise Hyder-Darlington, Charles Bender, Diane McManus, Hugh Darlington, 4:52:01

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