2013 Results

Congratulations to the 2013 Rose Pitonof Swim Swimmers!

trio

(Alan did the swim 100% BREAST STROKE (like Rose…but with no modern “over-hand” stroke when the going got tough)…Willy had a great finish at 6hrs…and, thanks to Jaimie, the ladies are STILL #1!)

  • Jaimie Monahan: 5:31:18
  • Willy Blumentals: 6:00:00
  • Alan Morrison: 6:29:00 (Breast Stroke)

A few other points to note:

  • Like our Swimmers, Rose started against the current and hugged the Manhattan shore to make headway. (Unlike our Swimmers, she had to swim under piers 6 times to maintain forward motion!)
  • Rose occasionally switched to overhand stroke at the beginning of her Swim (before the Battery) and at the end (final mile) to buck the currents.  (Unlike Alan, who did Breast Stroke 100% of the time!)
  • Rose reached the Williamsburg Bridge almost 2 hours after her start. Our Swimmers got there in less than half that time.
  • Rose experienced her first push from an ebb tide 3 hours into her swim, right around the Brooklyn Bridge. For our Swimmers, the current was definitely in their favor at around 2 hours into their swim, at the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Rose swam out toward Staten Island to catch the best current mid channel, as our Swimmers did.
  • As Rose turned into the final stretch of her Swim, the tide changed and she spent 1hr 40min swimming the final mile against the current. Our Swimmers experienced a fairly strong current in their favor right up to the pier.
  • Rose finished her Swim at 5:27 PM…almost identical to the time that our swimmers finished!  (Willy finished at 5:23 PM)

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Breast Stroke, According to Rose…

Rose-Pitonof“To learn the breast stroke, lie comfortably in the water, so that feet are only a few inches below it and mouth just under the surface.  Place legs together straight out, arms extended in from, hands touching, fingers closed, and palms down.

In starting to swim, turn palms outward, thumbs down, and, keeping elbows stiff, push arms backward paralleled to the body.  Arms really form a big sweeping circle, starting in from and ending at the hips.  Shoot them forward again to starting position.  Draw legs up, knees out, and when the arms are pushed forward kick out straight, and as arms get to full reach snap the legs together.  A little practice before entering the water will show anyone just how it is done.”

– Text from back side of Pan Handle Scrap Tobacco Card, circa 1913

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Fourth Annual Rose Pitonof Swim: August 10, 2013

Join us on August 10th 2013 for the fourth annual Rose Pitonof Swim!

Swimmer Registration and Volunteer Sign Up are now open.

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Abby’s Swim

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2012 Rose Pitonof Swim Results

Congratulations to our 2012 Rose Pitonof Swimmers!

(Even faster times than last year…and the ladies are still #1!)

  • Elke Hofmann: 5:06:00
  • Kevin Joubert: 5:09:00
  • Matt Gurry: 5:10:48
  • Patrick Spearing: 5:19:33
  • Abigail Long: 5:25:30
  • Jaimie Monahan: 5:27:42
  • Paul Rekoff: 5:29:00
  • Franco Prezioso: 5:33:36

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3rd Annual Rose Pitonof Swim: August 18, 2012

Join us at 9:30 AM on Saturday August 18, 2012 for our third annual Rose Pitonof Swim.

Here is the NYTimes article about Rose’s record breaking swim on August 13, 1911.  (Below, more coverage of her achievement.   I love the drawing of her route, and the “TIME TABLE OF GIRL’S GREAT SWIMMING FEAT.”)

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2011 Centennial Swim Yearbook

Video coverage of Swim from Ed Dutchmazz, including great footage of Lori, Cara, and Alan coming ashore.

Photos from Maureen Donaghy, kicking it off with a swath of pink fabric.

Great flickr set from “Princess Polar Bear” Capri Djatiasmoro.

Photo of JC, Parachute Jump, and Pier from Terry O’Malley as JC closes in on the finish line.

Another great flickr set from JP Reardon.

Aline Dolan got some pics at the beach and at Ruby’s.

Nicole Mermet took some great shots of the day.

Cat Mardis’ shots from Cara’s pink boat.

Will post more updates shortly…please feel free to add your own links!

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The Rose Pitonof Centennial Swim

So strong, fast…such a fantastic celebration!

  • Lori Carena: 5:47:08
  • Cara McAteer 5:51:05
  • Leonard Jansen: 6:01:15,
  • Jaimie Monahan: 6:03:48
  • Alan Morrison: 6:09:04
  • Jason Malick: 6:24:53

Please share your story…

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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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Coney Island Water Fun in Rose’s Day

Unlike the rivers around Manhattan this weekend, Coney Island ocean waters are still open for public use.  Here’s what that looked like back in Rose’s time:

Bathing and Wading at Coney Island 1910

Bathing at Coney Island 1908

 

1911 Bathing Suit Magazine Ad

For more pictures and info about women’s bathing suits in the 1900’s, take a look at this piece from Victoriana Magazine.

Here is a quote from the above mentioned article:During the early 1900s, people flocked to oceanside beaches for popular seaside activities as swimming, surf bathing, and diving.  The only activity for women in the ocean involved jumping through the waves while holding onto a rope attached to an off-shore buoy. Their clumsy Victorian and Edwardian style bathing costumes were often quite burdensome.

Women typically dressed in black, knee-length, puffed-sleeve wool dresses, often featuring a sailor collar, and worn over bloomers or drawers trimmed with ribbons and bows. The bathing costume was typically accessorized with long black stockings, lace-up bathing slippers, and fancy caps.

 

But saltwater bathing and wading weren’t the only Coney Island water fun activities available back then…

There was the Steeplechase Swimming Pool:

Steeplechase Pool 1912

Shooting the Chutes:

Shooting the Chutes, Luna Park, Coney Island 1912

Shooting the Chutes, Coney Island NY

Top of the Dreamland Chutes, Coney Island 1910

Steamboat Rides:

Coney Island Waterfront Steamboat 1919

(There must have been much more than this going on out there at the time…bath houses, other swimming pools, vaudeville water performance venues?  If anyone has more pictures/info to add, please let me know!)


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