KCRW commentator Diana Nyad tries Cuba swim again


KCRW-FMLong-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, 62, a sports journalist and regular commentator on KCRW-FM LA, continues her pursuit of a record swim from Havana, Cuba to the Florida Keys.

She’s currently on track to reach Florida Keys by Tuesday or Wednesday — one day before her 63rd birthday. She is swimming without a cage. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing. A little after 8 p.m. ET Sunday, a squall with winds of 14 knots hit the flotilla and stayed “nearly stationary over” Nyad, forcing her to move northwest in order to try to find a way out of the storm.

Despite a bodysuit designed to give her protection from jellyfish, Nyad has already been stung at least four times as she attempts to complete the 103-mile swim.

After the storm, however, “Seas are calm and Diana is swimming strong at 50 strokes per minute and has swum 33.81 statute miles,” Angie Sollinger, part of Nyad’s media team, wrote. “There have been no jellyfish sightings our experts report. Beautiful out!”

Nyad jumped into the water late Saturday night. At a pace of 50 strokes a minute, the swim should take about 60 hours. It is Nyad’s third attempt to complete the swim in less than a year. If she finishes on Wednesday, it will be her 63rd birthday.

Nyad ended her last attempt in September 2011 after more than 40 hours, 67 nautical miles of swimming, and two Portuguese Man-of-War stings. Her first attempt at the record was in 1978.