For Immediate Release:  Saturday, April 19, 2008

Press Release

SOURCE: Distance Matters, Inc.

Penny Palfrey Sets New Women's Record at the 10th Anniversary 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim 

 CLEARWATER, FL-- Australian Penny Palfrey opened an early lead over the field and finished with a 1/2 mile advantage to set a new women's record at the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim on Saturday, April 19th, 2008.  Palfrey, 45, from Townsville, Queensland, Australia, completed the 24 mile race in 7 hours, 51 minutes, 24 seconds to break the women's record that was held by Gail Rice of Miami, Florida.  In 1999, Rice swam the course in 8 hours, 34 minutes, 24 seconds in a solo effort that featured a pod of dolphin that shadowed her during the final 3 hours of her swim.  The race course covers the entire length of Tampa Bay and is held each year to celebrate Earth Day and the revitalization of Florida's largest estuary.

Jose Serra, 34, from Guatemala was the men's champion, finishing in 8 hours, 9 minutes, 15 seconds.   All day long, Serra jockeyed for position against the top three relay teams while trying to chase down Penny Palfrey .  North Baltimore Aquatic Club swam the bay in 8 hours, 2 minutes, 29 seconds to repeat as relay champions.  They were followed by teams from Ft. Lauderdale and St. Petersburg who finished in a virtual dead heat with only 6 seconds separating the two relays when they crossed the finish line at Ben T. Davis Beach. 

Weather conditions generally favored the swimmers, aided by an incoming tide and a 10 knot tail wind that persisted all day.    A light,  1 to 2 foot chop pushed the competitors towards the finish line as they enjoyed extremely fast times for the event.

Shortly after 11:00am, Support Boat Cordinator / Communications Director Marv Siple held a brief moment of radio silence to remember Dave Parcells, the swimmer who succumbed to cardiac failure after completing the first 9 miles of last year's race.   Also in tribute, the paramedic that patrolled the course carried a "Parcells Pack" which included a first aid kit and AED. 
Penny Palfrey has become one of the world's best known marathon swimmers.  In 2007, she was the overall winner at the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in New York, NY (28.5 miles), the South Head Roughwater Swim in Sydney, Aus. (11k), the Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim in Canberra, Aus. (8k), and was the women's champion at the Rottnest Channel Swim in Perth, Aus. (20k).  Also in 2007, she received the gold medal for the year's fastest swim across the English Channel (9 hours, 7 minutes), awarded by the Channel Swimming Association.  She is the oldest female to have crossed the Cook Strait in New Zealand, and may plan to attempt a rare double-crossing of the English Channel sometime in the near future.

Since this event was first staged in 1998, it has drawn competitors from across the United States, Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Australia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Germany, India, Canada, and the Cayman Islands. Fourty swimmers participated in this year's event, swimming as soloists or as a part of a relay team. Here are the results for the eight solo swimmers and the ten relay teams that competed for honors:

Solo Swimmers - Name, Age/Sex, Hometown
 Penny Palfrey , 45F, Townsville, Queensland, Australia - 7 hours, 51 minutes, 24 seconds
 Jose Serra , 34M, Guatemala City, Guatemala - 8 hours, 9 minutes, 15 seconds
 Chris Palfrey , 50M, Townsville, Queensland, Australia - 8 hours, 49 minutes, 24 seconds
 Samantha Simon , 18F, Janesville, WI, USA - 8 hours, 59 minutes, 12 seconds
 Dan Richards , 51M, Arlington, TN, USA - 9 hours, 11 minutes, 12 seconds
 Paolo Chiarino , 41M, Cremella, Italy - 10 hours, 16 minutes, 19 seconds
 Kim Plewa , 25F, Rahway, NJ, USA - withdrew near the St. Petersburg Pier
 Flavia Zappa , 41F, Bradenton, FL, USA - withdrew near the St. Petersburg Pier

Relay Teams

North Baltimore Aquatic Club - 8 hours, 2 minutes, 29 seconds - Gil Mandel, 41M, Baltimore, MD; Suzanne Gedney, 39F, Lutherville, MD; Wendy Quitasol,  45F, Baltimore, MD; Todd Hetzer, 36M, New Freedom, PA; Scott Breza, 37M, Phoenix, MD; Polly Surhoff, 43F, Cockeysville, MD

Rip Tide - 8 hours, 11 minutes, 2 seconds - Tim Kennedy, 51M, St. Petersburg, FL; Brian Rimel , 41M, St. Petersburg, FL

Team Hammerhead - 8 hours, 11 minutes, 8 seconds - Bill Korey , 44M, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; David LeClair, 40M, Boca Raton, FL; Larry Caldwell; 43M, Oakland Park, FL; Dan Boyle, 42M, New York, NY; Dale LeClair, 38M, Boca Raton, FL; Andrea Woodburn, 44F, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Team Leisure Suits aka Manhattan Marauders - 8 hours, 45 minutes, 45 seconds - John Humenik, 33M, New York, NY; Erica Moffett, 38F, New York, NY

Tampa Bay Aquatic Club -
8 hours, 50 minutes, 49 seconds - Tom Rawls, 40M, Tampa, FL; Joe Solak, 43M, Tampa, FL; Bart Cobb, 53M, Tampa, FL

Dos Conquistadores de Brooklyn - 9 hours, 27 minutes, 49 seconds- Cristian Vergara, 49M, Brooklyn, NY; Jonathan Farber, 41M, Brooklyn, NY

Team Chum - 9 hours, 41 minutes, 7 seconds - Pat Marzulli, 59M, Indian Rocks Beach, FL; Bob Aldrich, 59M,  St. Petersburg, FL; Chris Burke, 45M, St. Petersburg, FL; David McCord, 59M, Largo, FL; John Cox, 73M, St. Petersburg, FL

Miles to Go - 10 hours, 14 minutes, 27 seconds - Lori Carena , 54F, Brooklyn,  NY; Willy Blumentals, 35M, North Bergen, NJ

The Tortoise and the Hare - 11 hours, 12 seconds - Mike Tschante-Hahn, 40M, Chicago, IL; Abe de la Houssaye , 60M, New York, NY

Team McClusky - 13 hours, 9 minutes, 24 seconds - Orin McCluskey, 57M, New York NY; Mandy Miller , 46F, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

TBMS2008Aldrich.JPG TBMS2008TeamMcCluskie.JPG TBMS2008PatMarzulli.JPG TBMS2008Siples.JPG TBMS2008PaoloChiarino.JPG
TBMS2008Palfreys.JPG TBMS2008FlaviaZappa.JPG TBMS2008SarahSwooch.JPG TBMS2008BrianRimel.JPG TBMS2008LoriCarena.JPG
TBMS2008BillKorey.JPG TBMS2008Hare.JPG TBMS2008EricaMoffett.JPG TBMS2008Simons.JPG TBMS2008Plewas.JPG
TBMS2008PennyPalfrey.JPG TBMS2008PennyPalfreyback.JPG TBMS2008Abe.JPG TBMS2008NBAC.JPG TBMS2008MandyMiller.JPG
TBMS2008Humenik.JPG TBMS2008Serra.JPG TBMS2008Starters.JPG TBMS2008Starters2.JPG TBMS2008ChrisBurke.JPG
TBMS2008LucSemple.JPG TBMS2008TeamChum.JPG TBMS2008RichardsKayak.JPG TBMS2008EricaMoffettswimming.JPG TBMS2008Sempleboat.JPG

Complete information including all results and event history is available at

SOURCE: Distance Matters, Inc.

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