Coach Notes: August 13th, 1911


On Sunday Aug 13th 1911, to clear all doubt from the most skeptical & to show the world that Championship Timber is certainly in her makeup, she eclipsed her own grand & unparrelled record of 1910 by swimming from Bellvue Pier, E 26th St. to Steeple Chase Park Coney Island, distance 25 miles, time 8 hours and 7 minutes, a swim some experts declared could never be accomplished by anybody.

They said the writer was mad, to let a little girl attempt to swim a distance of 25 miles, they offered to pay all the writer’s expenses to call it off. That it would be the means of killing her, and in the next place nobody living could accomplish such a distance.

The Ametuer & Professional Swimming Clubs of NY sent the writer letters by mail, saying it would be a crime to let her attempt it. Their letters were answered in the following tone, Gentlemen, if you can spare the time on morning of the 13th, come & see her win out. If you cannot come, than watch the morning papers of 14th.

On the never to be forgotten Sunday August 13th, 1911, Miss Rose Pitonof, Champion Swimmer of the World, and one of the bravest that ever plunged in the briny, appeared at the starting point which was Bellvue Pier, foot of E 26th St. accompanyed by her father, Mr Eli Pitonof, her brother, Adolph, members of the press, refferees, time keepers, invited guests and coach who escorted her the entire journey & precisely at 9:20 A.M. started on her greatest of all endurance swims of 25 miles to Steeple Chase Coney Island.Think of it why you would hardly believe your eyes, this brave little school girl, accomplishing a mark in long distance swimming, that set two hemispheres in awe & wonder, a swim that was attempted no less than a dozen times by other famous world wide professional & ametuers without success.

She reached her goal, after making one of the gamest struggles ever witnessed in this or any other part of the world, swimming against the wicked flood tide of the East River, for 2 1/2 hours out of the 8 hours she was in the water, without taking nourishment of any kind, not even a teaspoon of water.

she went on with grim determination, & the pluck of a lion, to reach her goal which was Steeple Chase Pier Coney Island, which she did with the greatest reception ever tendered a titled grown head, and was received by upwards of 100,000 people, who in their frenzy to have a look at this wonderfuly little girl, nearly turned into a mob riot.

The very boat that guided her, in this her greatest of all record swims was dismantled by this infuriated mob of enthusiastic humanity. For souvenirs they took possession of the seats, oars, & oar locks, to take home for rememberance of the Greatest Endurance Swim of the 20th Century.

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