Ben Lecomte will swim across the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo, Japan to San Francisco, Ca. as a symbol of motivation, inspiration and endurance in the hopes to inspire others to never give up and to face their fears, and overcome their struggles.any obstacles they face in life.
After a cross Atlantic swim, now the Pacific!
On September 25th 1998, Ben Lecomte became the first man to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. 73 days after he left Hyannis, MA, over 3,700 miles to the East, he stepped on the French shore of Quiberon.
Ben 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 Ben.
During his journey, Ben 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, Ben 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, Ben 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 Ben.
He plans to begin his new journey from Tokyo, Japan in the spring of 2012 and conclude it in San Francisco, California some 6 months and over 5 thousand miles later.
Ben knows what it will take to reach his goal, his Atlantic swim gives him an edge.
He wants to realize his endeavor with some of the same concepts as the ones followed in the Atlantic ocean but yet improve the logistic and do a stage swim (resuming his swim each morning where he stopped the day before).
The Pacific ocean is the largest, it will require a 50 foot long catamaran and a team of 5 on board.
By leaving from the eastern coast of Japan, he positions himself to catch early on the Kuroshio, the warm pacific current that flows from the West to the East.
Ben will follow the same daily routine, swimming approximately 8 hours, with Shark PODs positioned near him to increase his protection against great white sharks.
Also, the support boat will be fully equipped with computers and satellite phone to send and receive data.
This technology will provide the audience direct interaction with Ben and his crew.
Up to the minute print, audio and video information will be uploaded to the web site.
Some of which are: position, weather condition, the team and Ben’s health as well as mental status, and the last encountered ocean lives.
In the same spirit as the Atlantic swim, Ben dedicates his Pacific swim to the memory of his father who died of cancer, and in honor of people around the world that are struggling and in need of inspiration and motivation, whether that struggle is battling a disease, an economic or financial struggle, or something completely different, whatever it is, it’s a challenge in someone’s life and Ben is swimming for them.
His message is that we all share one common bond.
We all have struggled with something at least once in our lives and with determination, courage and the support of others, together, we can conquer anything.
Together, there is hope for the future.