31-year-old Ben Lecomte Attempts to set World Record when he Swims North Atlantic in Memory of Deceased Dad
Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, June 20, 1998
Paris-born, Benoit “Ben” Lecomte, an experienced long-distance swimmer, will attempt to set a new world record when he sets out from Hyannis, Massachusetts, on or about July 14, 1998, on his 3,400 mile swim across the North Atlantic in memory of his deceased father and to benefit the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR).
Lecomte explains, “Aside from personal reasons of wanting to create public awareness of cancer and raise funds to help find a cure for the disease that took my dad, I decided to swim the Atlantic not because I wanted to best someone else’s record, but because — like finding a cure for cancer — I wanted to accomplish something completely new.”
Lecomte’s training schedule is rigorous at best. He swims or bikes three to five hours a day, six days a week. During his cross-Atlantic swim, Lecomte points out, “In an effort to avoid muscle cramping, as well as to maintain my physical pace during inclement ocean weather, I will use a specially designed bicycle from Exercycle Corp. of Rhode Island during down time on the boat.”
Lecomte is working closely with University of Texas professor Dr. Edward Coyle, director of the school’s Human Performance Laboratory, his graduate assistant, Jennifer MacAuley, and with Susie Jastrow, a licensed dietitian.
Together they have devised a swim strategy that will include six to eight hours of swimming per day, broken into two hour segments. Coyle notes, “Ben will burn between 7,000 and 8,000 calories each day, requiring as many as six meals for the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to meet the needs of his highly fueled engine.”
Lecomte’s swim will take approximately three month’s to complete. He will be escorted by two experienced sailors in an 40-foot R迅e des Tropiques sailboat. This team will also closely monitor his progress and send daily updates to Lecomte’s interactive website at www.swimatlantic.com.
When swimming, he will be protected from dangerous ocean dwellers by a protective ocean device (POD). The POD emits an electronic field that dramatically reduces the possibility of shark attacks.
The public is invited to support Lecomte’s historic effort. Donations may be sent to 3005 South Lamar Blvd. – D-109-353, Austin, TX 78704-4785. Checks should be made payable to The Cross-Atlantic Swimming Challenge or AICR. Two separate funds have been established for this event: a cancer research fund and a “project” fund. Please specify a preference. To learn of additional donation options visit www.swimatlantic.com.
The Cross-Atlantic Swimming Challenge is made possible by the generous sponsorship of American Airlines Cargo and TeleService Resources, a subsidiary of American Airlines that serves as a reservations call-center; Exercycle Corp., designers and developers of advanced motor-driven exercise devices; Finis, Inc., manufacturers of the Monofin and other swimming equipment; Kessler Industries, producers of metal components; Quintana Roo, maker of fine wet suits; Stream Studio Web Architects, www.streamstudio.com; and countless individuals.
Note to Editor: Photos and interviews with Ben Lecomte are available upon request. Please contact Colleen Turner of TurnStyles Public Relations at 617.227.2206 or fax 617.429.2217