Jennifer Figge is First Woman to Swim Atlantic

February 8, 2009

Jennifer Figge of Aspen, Colorado is the first woman to ever swim the Atlantic Ocean. Read more about her amazing accomplishment below, see terrific photos, and watch a video.

Jennifer Figge

Jennifer Figge

American Jennifer Figge, age 56 and a mother, has now become the first woman on record to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. Accompanied by Portuguese man-of-war, this accomplishment was done in 24 days, and comes 10 years after French swimmer Benoit Lecomte made the first trans-Atlantic swim from Massachusetts to France in 73. To date, no woman on record has made that crossing.

Jennifer has had the dream to swim the Atlantic since the early 1960’s, when a really bumpy air flight got her thinking she might need to put on a life vest and swim!

Jennifer Figge left the Cape Verde Islands off Africa’s western coast on January 12th, battling waves of up to 30 feet and very strong winds. It seems she had originally planned to swim to the Bahamas, but horrible weather forced her to veer over 1,000 miles off course to Trinidad, where she arrived on February 5th.

She swam in a red cap and wet suit in a shark cage attached to a cataraman. She woke around 7 am and stocked up on pasta and baked potatoes before spending up to eight hours in the water each day. While Jennifer Figge was in the water, her dog Hank was in her mind a lot, as were her family and friends. She saw a pod of pilot whales, several turtles, dozens of dolphins, plenty of Portuguese man-of-war — but thankfully no sharks!

“I was never scared,” Figge said. “Looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can always swim in a pool.”

Congratulations Jennifer!

Jennifer Figge 1Jennifer Figge 2Jennifer Figge 3Jennifer Figge 4Jennifer Figge 5
Jennifer Figge Photos

Jennifer Figge Video
« Previous Next »
Bookmark and Share

2 Responses to “Jennifer Figge is First Woman to Swim Atlantic”

  1. 1
    Mighty Mike O Says:

    Suck it, Mark Spitz.

  2. 2
    Dick Says:

    “I felt that I had to swim the Atlantic while my health was good. I don’t like the idea of getting old. I couldn’t put off swimming the Atlantic any longer.” -Figge

    It turns out she swam about 250 miles in all and rode in the boat for the rest.

    “I never intended to swim the entire distance,” Figge said when asked for a follow-up, which was a few days after the big party and all the glowing news stories, which in turn had been goosed along by a family spokesman.

    Yeah, she didn’t mean to mislead anyone.