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Newkirk Family Veterinarians

Attempt to swim around the Cape planned

Sep, 09-2009 4:54 pm

Staff Writer

AVALON—Jason Malick said that he’s an avid open-water swimmer. In preparation to swim the English Channel in 2012, (“Which they call the Triple Crown of swimming,” he said) Malick plans to do what he believes no other man has done: swim around the island of Cape May.
The artificial island is about 15.8 miles in circumference, Malick said, a distance he has never swam before. So far, the farthest he has gone is about eight miles.
Originally from Wilmington, Del., Malick spent his summers vacationing along the Mullica River until he was about 12, when his family decided to switch its vacation spot to Avalon, where his parents currently live. Now, at 27, he has been practicing for his swim in pools and by swimming around some of the county’s barrier islands and in the bays.
When he’s not swimming, Malick works at a bank in Wilmington. He is also working on getting his private pilot license so he can join the United States Coast Guard, he said.
Two years ago, swimming the English Channel became a goal of his, and that is when his training began. Earlier this year, he attempted to swim across the Potomac River, but did not finish.
Malick’s game plan for the Cape May island swim includes the assistance of three kayakers, only two of whom he has confirmed. Bill MacArthur and Joe Link, both of Villas, will assist with what is called “feeding” as Malick makes his way around the island. However, there will probably not be any chewing.
“Just Gatorade for the most part,” Malick said.
While he doesn’t have anyone training him for the event, Malick has been in touch with Bruckner Chase of Ocean City, who recently completed a 16-mile swim around Strathmere and Sea Isle City. Chase and his wife, Michelle, are the founders of the Ocean City Swim Club. He is a well-known open water swimmer who recently attempted a swim across the Monterey Bay in California, but had to stop due to jellyfish.
Malick expects the entire swim to take about eight hours, with the first four hours spent around the open water part of Cape May.
“But, again, that depends on the current,” he said.
On average, Malick says he swims about two miles per hour, comparing open water swimming to long distance running.
“It’s not about how fast you go for me or for most open water swimmers. It’s just about finishing or giving it your best shot,” Malick said.
And he said he has no fears about the swim. He said his family, however, has a different perspective.
“That I’m crazy mainly, because nobody in my family has ever been an active water swimmer,” Malick said.
Malick hopes to complete the swim on Sunday, Sept. 13. He has notified the US Coast Guard Delaware Bay Sector of his plans. He will begin three hours before low tide, at 6:20 a.m., out of Douglass Memorial Park in Townbank. From there he will follow the current toward the coastline, down Cape May, up into the Delaware Bay and back into Townbank.
And if he doesn’t finish?
“Try again at another point,” Malick said.