The Longest Swim: Severe seasickness slows Pacific Ocean swim challenge

longest swim ben lecomte

A severe bout of seasickness is the latest obstacle facing open water swimmer Ben Lecomte as he bids to become the first person to swim the Pacific Ocean.

Lecomte is now two weeks into his 5,500-mile challenge, known as The Longest Swim, but he's been battling nausea for the past few days as he tackles the rough and choppy ocean waters.

His illness is the latest setback in the early stages of the challenge. Last week he was forced to spend several days out of the water due to a tropical storm.

Lecomte has currently covered around 60 miles since leaving the Japanese coast, and has clocked up 28 hours of swimming. With storms and seasickness now easing, the 51-year-old is hoping to get back to his target of eight hours per day in the water as he heads towards San Francisco.

His nausea became a problem on day 10, when Lecomte said he woke up "feeling like I had been riding a big roller coaster".

"My morning protein shake came back up and became food for the fish," he wrote in his daily blog.

longest swim ben lecomte

"Around noon I forced myself to eat some lunch, a combination of vegetable fried rice. I was able to keep it down but I had to lay down most of the time until we reached our location. By that time it was 4pm. It was a short day in the water, but still nice to be back."

The next day, Lecomte resumed swimming but, with the wind picking up and the size of the waves increasing, his seasickness returned which ruled him out of action for the next 24 hours.

"I spent the night in my bunk with pillows and my backpack on my side to limit my movements," said Lecomte. "I could hear the waves breaking on the hull and rolling on the deck.

"Yoav, our skipper, and the crew were handling over 30 knots of wind on deck with heavy rain. Those conditions did not stop, the waves stayed with us the rest of the day. It made it impossible for me to swim. Each time I stood up, the nausea came back, I stayed in my bunk most of the day."

Lecomte was finally able to get his TYR wetsuit back on for day 13, and returned to the water for a better day of swimming which was only cut short later in the day when temperatures dropped.


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