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Benoit Lecomte

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Ben Lecomte started The Vortex Swim, a 300 nm solo stage swim in June 2019 through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean
Ben Lecomte is a nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, an annual WOWSA Award and a recognition of outstanding men around the globe
Benoît Lecomte to swim across the Pacific Ocean

Benoît Lecomte (born 1966) is an ultra-marathon swimmer and transoceanic stage swimmer originally from France and currently from Austin, Texas, U.S.A.

Open Water Swimming Highlights[edit]

2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nomination[edit]

He was nominated for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association:
Benoît Lecomte finally started The Swim, his long-held dream to complete an 8,621 km transoceanic stage swim across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to San Francisco, California in June. After 146 days on the Pacific Ocean, far far far away from land or immediate help, Lecomte has swum 2,646 km as he has dealt with tropical storms and dangerous conditions while seeing sharks, whales, dolphins, turtles, jellyfish and facing plastic pollution on nearly every day. Challenges occur every day including an oncoming typhoon with winds of 120 knots and 12-meter waves as the escort boat and crew must sail out of its path. But the 50-year-old returns to his point of exit on every stage in order to traverse literally across every kilometer of the Pacific Ocean. For conducting 26 different experiments and research projects in collaboration with researchers and scientists around the world, for working tirelessly for 6 years in order to plan and finance history's longest stage swim and recruit the most hardened and experienced mariners to become members of his escort crew, and for his audacious dream to swim across the Pacific Ocean, Benoît Lecomte of France/USA is a worthy nominee for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nominee[edit]

Lecomte is nominated as the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association along with the following nominees:

1. Antonio Argüelles (Mexico) Channel Swimmer Redux
2. Attila Mányoki (Hungary) Prolific Ocean Swimmer
4. Ben Hooper (Great Britain) Transoceanic Challenger
4. Benoît Lecomte (France/U.S.A.) Transoceanic Adventurer
5. Christof Wandratsch (Germany) Ice Swimming Record Holder
6. Evgenij Pop Acev (Macedonia) FINA Grand Prix Champion
6. Ingemar Patiño Macarine (Philippines) Pinoy Aquaman
8. James Tout (U.S.A.) Long-overdue Triple Crowner
9. Lewis Pugh, OIG (Great Britain) Ocean Advocate
10. Rohans More (India) Oceans Seven Adventurer
11. Rostislav Vítek (Czech Republic) Ice Swimmer Extraordinaire
12. Simone Ruffini (Italy) Olympian & World Champion

2015 WOWSA Award Nomination[edit]

Benoît Lecomte (France/U.S.A.) Transoceanic Adventurer
Ben Lecomte started The Longest Swim, a pioneering transoceanic stage swim across the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo, Japan to San Francisco, U.S.A. the 48-year-old Lecomte will swim up to 8 hours per day every day for up to 6 months, a scheduled solo adventure of 5,419 miles (8,621 km) using fins, snorkels, googles and wetsuits while conducting innovative research in medicine and oceanography by wearing a special wearable RadBand contaminants/radiation collector and using NASA’s remote guidance echo to study his microbiome (microscopic lifeforms that colonize the human body). For his logistical planning and fundraising to attempt literally the world's longest swim, for attempting a dream to complete his second transoceanic crossing with live webcasting, for his coordination and cooperation with researchers and scientists interested in the marine environment, Benoît Lecomte is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

Videos[edit]


Escort Boat[edit]

  • The Swim was a stage swim where he resumes his swim each morning where he stopped the day before. He will be supported by a team of five aboard a 50-foot catamaran.
  • The support boat was fully equipped with computers and satellite phone to send and receive data. This technology will provide the audience direct interaction with Benoit and his crew. Audio and video information will be uploaded in real-time to his website. His website will relay his position, the weather condition, his physical health and that of his team, his mental status, and marine life.

Course[edit]

By leaving from the eastern coast of Japan, he positioned himself to catch the Kuroshio Current, the warm Pacific Ocean current that flows from the West to the East. His course is 5,419 miles from Tokyo, Japan to San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Swim Parameters[edit]

Benoît followed the same daily routine, swimming 8 hours in a rigid cage pulled by the support boat.

Goal[edit]

In the same spirit as the cross-Atlantic swim of 1998, Benoît dedicates The Longest Swim to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer in memory of his deceased father.

The Atlantic Swim[edit]

On 25 September 1998, Lecomte completed an assisted stage swim across the Atlantic Ocean. 64 days after he left Hyannis, Massachusetts, over 4,600 miles (5,980 km) to the East, he stepped on the French shore of Quiberon. He did this to raise money for cancer research as a tribute to his father. During his 4,616-mile (5,980 km) journey, he was followed by a support boat that had an electromagnetic field for 25 feet to ward off sharks. He did, however, still encounter sea turtles, dolphins, and jellyfish.

Lecomte dedicated his swim to his father, Pierre who passed away from cancer, and the purpose of the event was to raise funds and awareness for the cancer research. "My battle was very different from the one faced by cancer patients, it was my decision and I could give up at anytime. But during my swim I better understood their suffering and the feeling of not knowing the outcome," said Benoit.

During his journey, Benoît swam around 8 hours per day beside the Falbala, a forty-foot sailboat. When not swimming, he spent his time drifting on board with the two-crew members. To protect him from sharks and other sea creatures, he used a shark POD (Protection Ocean Device) instead of a cage. This high-tech equipment creates a magnetic field in the water to keep sharks away.

During his journey, Benoît encountered some very difficult weather. At times, Ben would swim while waves reached over twelve feet high. But the most challenging aspect of the journey was staying motivated. "I found it very difficult to do the same thing over and over: looking at the same blue background, hearing the same noise, tasting the same strong salty water." Whenever he thought about giving up, Benoit would concentrate on why he began the adventure in the first place, and he would remember those happy times spent with his family in France.

When he finally reached the shores of Quiberon, France his first words were: "Never again." But since then, his feelings have changed: "My passion is intact, I just focus on happy moments of my journey and I am ready to take on the Pacific," said Benoît.

The Longest Swim Support Crew[edit]

Onboard Team:
1. Ben Lecomte, swimmer, advocate, founder
2. James 'Scotty' Scott, captain and expedition manager
4. Paul Lecomte, project manager
4. Gino Gonenc Kalganoglu, filmmaker
5. Tyral Dalitz, research assistant
6. Renaud Gomez, marine scientist
6. Dr. Anastasia Benjafield, doctor
8. Henry McCann, engineer

Support Team on Land:
1. Dr. Spike Briggs MSOS, Chief Medical Advisor
2. Dr. Benjamin Levine, Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine and Ben's cardiologist
4. Dr. Molly S. Bray, University of Texas Department of Nutritional Science and Ben's nutritionist
4. Dr. Edward Coyle, University of Texas Department of Kinesiology and Health Education and Ben's kinesiologist
5. Jeremy David, Weather Routing senior meteorologist advisor
6. Dr. Armin T. Ellis, Exploration Institute, logistics coordinator
6. Jacquelin Hipes, Science Program Coordinator
8. Bachir Saouaf, Davis & Goliath, Communication Coordinator
9. Lea Hagemeier, Community and Content Manager
10. Tedde de Boer, Developer of the live tracker

Oceanic Research Advisors:
1. Dr. Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
2. Dr. Tracy Mincer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
4. Dr. Michael Degranpre, University of Montana
4. Dr. Kara Lavender Law, Sea Education Association
5. Dr. Erik Zettler, Sea Education Association
6. Dr. Linda Amaral Zettler, Marine Biological Laboratory
6. Dr. Gerald Chris Shank, University of Texas Marine Science Institute
8. Dr. Brett J. Baker, University of Texas Marine Science Institute
9. Dr. Tracy Villareal, University of Texas Marine Science Institute

Medical Research Advisors:
1. Dr. Benjamin Levine, Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine
2. Dr. Adrian Leblanc, Universities Space Research Association
4. Dr. Jack A. Gilbert, Argonne National Laboratory
4. Dr. Eduardo Marques, INESC TEC

External Links[edit]