Crossing the Sound
Tyler Roethke & Grant Wentworth to Attempt Swim Across Vineyard Sound to Benefit Nantucket Cottage Hospital
Two accomplished swimmers will attempt to swim across Vineyard Sound this weekend to raise critical funds for cancer care on Nantucket with proceeds benefiting the Swim Across America-Nantucket charity.
Tyler Roethke, who graduated from Nantucket High School this year as an All-American swimmer and 8-time state champion, will join long-distance swimmer and island summer resident Grant Wentworth in the swim from Cape Cod to Martha’s Vineyard.
Roethke and Wentworth have both pledged to attempt the 10k open water swim as a personal challenge while at the same time aiming to raise $50,000 for Nantucket Cottage Hospital and Palliative & Support Care of Nantucket (PASCON) through Swim Across America Nantucket. On August 1, a matching grant in the amount of $10,000 was received to support the two swimmers’ fundraising efforts.
“This is an opportunity to continue to raise awareness for a cause that does not simply disappear because there is no Swim Across America Nantucket event this year,” Roethke said. “The cause doesn’t go away and neither does our fight, so, for me this opportunity was impossible to pass up and I believe it will be an experience of a lifetime out there.”
In 2015, Wentworth became the first and only person to swim from Cape Cod to Nantucket, completing the incredible feat in 12 hours, 1 minute, while raising $153,000 for SAA Nantucket in support of island-based cancer care.
“It has been an extraordinarily difficult year for so many, and we are hopeful we can help close the funding gap for SAA Nantucket,” Wentworth said. “At SAA, we use the term ‘personal challenge.’ Tyler and I are doing one personal challenge that will hopefully resonate with folks, but there are countless other things you can do to get involved and help our hospital and island community.”
Roethke, an incoming freshman swimmer at Boston College, and Wentworth plan to set out from Cape Cod’s Falmouth Beach on the morning slack tide and complete the six-mile swim to Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard. Given the uncertainty of the tides and winds, however, their landing point could be anywhere along the Vineyard’s north shore. Ensuring their safety during the trek across the Sound will be a team of supporters aboard two boats and kayaks who will follow them along the way while also adhering to all COVID-19 precautions. Rather than set an arbitrary date for the swim, Roethke and Wentworth have targeted a three-day window between August 8th and August 10th to make their attempt during the most advantageous conditions.
The marathon swim will be conducted within the spirit of marathon swimming. It will be a non-stop and unassisted swim – as per the guidelines of the “Rules of Marathon Swimming” codified by the Marathon Swimmers Federation.
To donate to the swim, supporters can visit their fundraising pages:
While the annual Swim Across America Nantucket event was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, the local organizers are forging ahead with the Coast to Coast Challenge to support the NCH oncology program and PASCON. Learn more about how to get involved on the SAA-Nantucket web site.