A wave of swimmers, undeterred by the week's heat wave, hit Compo Beach on Saturday morning for the 35th annual Point-to-Point Swim, sponsored by the Westport Weston Family Y.
Participants took the water in the one-mile swim -- separated into three groups, circling the east beach, which was marked with several large orange floats.
Mark Loftis, 53, of New York City, came in third in 19:28.
"It felt good," said Loftis, who was participating in the race for the first time. "The water was perfect conditions. The water was beautiful."
Rowan Mestecky, 47, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was fourth in 19:44, followed by last year's winner, Gregory Sargent of Fairfield, who was fifth in 20:05.
"It was nice," Sargent said, explaining that since the wind was going west to east, most of the navigating was smooth.
"You had to fight coming home," he added, acknowledging it was a great day for the event, in part because there were "no jellies."
"The water was perfect," said Honrath, who was competing for the second time. "It was super calm ... It's a fun race."
Some swimmers participated for the competition, while others did so for fun.
"I just love swimming in open water," said Jim Francis of Westport, who participated mostly to challenge himself to complete the course.
"I'm going to finish," he said. "That's my goal -- to just have a good time and finish and enjoy the water."
"It's a combination of fun, but a mildly competitive event," said Mark Sedlak, head age-group coach for the Westport Water Rats swim team.
"It brings all ages together, and raises money for a great cause," he said.
Proceeds from the event went to the Family Y's Annual Support Campaign. This year there was also a short Kids' Swim, which had eight participants.
Mike Laux of Westport, who serves on the Y's board of trustees, said turnout was a bit low because another swimming event took place at the same time.
"We only have so many Saturday mornings with high tides," he said.
Laux was one of the people responsible for organizing the Point-to-Point event 35 years ago.
Originally, he said, "We had a cross-harbor swim that went from Cockenoe to Longshore," in the 1960s and early '70s. "But because of boat traffic, we stopped that race."
The Compo setting, however, may have become more popular, with hundreds who regularly turn out to support the swimmers.
Jarret Liotta is a freelance writer