Historic Swim Across North Atlantic Draws Near

From High Tech Satellite Services to Specially Designed Exercycles, Lecomte’s Cross-Atlantic Swim Captures the Spirit of America & World

Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, June 30, 1998 

Ben Lecomte’s unique attempt to set a new world record in long-distance swimming draws closer with each day. “I’m not nervous, just ready,” explains the 31-year-old Lecomte. “A lot of people have worked very hard to reach this point, including myself. Now I’m ready to get in the water and get going.”

Lecomte will begin his 3,400 mile swim from the Hyannis Yacht Club in Hyannis, Massachusetts, on or about July 14, 1998. He is swimming in memory of his deceased father and to benefit the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR). The yacht club has generously donated a slip to berth Lecomte’s accompanying 40-foot sailboat prior to his start. Lecomte will be in Hyannis after July 6th to finish training and to prepare for his departure.

The world-at-large can keep tabs on Lecomte’s progress via daily updates to his website www.swimatlantic.com. Stream Studio Web Architects, www.streamstudio.com, designed the interactive site and Satellite Communication will provide the link from Lecomte’s pace boat direct to the website. Shannon Swenson, cofounding partner of Stream Studio, explains, “We wanted to create the same excitement for the site that my partner, Nigel Prentice, and I felt when we met Ben. This is an historic, unique event and we are proud to be a part of it.” Visitors to the site can read Ben’s journal entries, keep track of Ben’s health status, location and weather conditions and make contributions to benefit the AICR.

Pride appears to be the general consensus among the many sponsors who have made Ben’s dream a reality. David St. Germain, president of Exercyle Corp. of Rhode Island, notes, “Ben’s enthusiasm is contagious. If anyone can do this, he can. We were honored to donate our Exercycle equipment to the effort, particularly because it is so important for Ben to stay active when inclement weather might strike.” Staying active when not swimming will help to avoid muscle cramping.

Also working with Ben on his diet and general physical stamina are Dr. Edward Coyle, professor at the University of Texas and director of the school’s Human Performance Laboratory, his graduate assistant, Jennifer MacAuley, and Susie Jastrow, a licensed dietitian.

Ben’s strategy will include six to eight hours of swimming per day, broken into two-hour segments. Coyle explains, “Ben will burn between 7,000 and 8,000 calories each day. All his meals will be heavy on carbohydrates, focusing on lots of bread, pasta and plenty of carbo-rich fluids. Given how hard his body’s engine will be working, this proportion is appropriate.”

The Cross-Atlantic Swimming Challenge will take approximately three month’s to complete. He will be escorted by two experienced sailors in an 40-foot sailboat. When swimming, he will be protected from dangerous ocean dwellers by a Shark POD (protective ocean device). The Shark 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 Architectswww.streamstudio.com; and countless individuals. Ð 30 Ð

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

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