"The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination." Peaceful Warrior/Dan Millman

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Follow below a fantastic write up by Cathy Delneo about the Bay to Breakers 2010 Swim that happened on May 31st of 2010. Enjoy it!
Yesterday 19 swimmers entered the water at the Bay Bridge and began their swim toward Ocean Beach accompanied by zodiacs and the Dauntless. The slowest swimmers jumped at 5:45, the second group at 5:50, the third at 5:55, and the fastest swimmers jumped at 6:00.

Everybody on board the DAUNTLESS

Captain Dave Santos

Things seemed easy enough at the beginning. The sun was rising, the water was calm and smooth. Race Director Bill Wygant directed the pilots to keep the swimmers close along the waterfront - no trips to Alcatraz on his watch! The swimmers swam in four pods until they reached Aquatic Park and met up with their individual pilots, who accompanied them for the rest of their journey. This was the first time we'd tried this new approach to the swim, which Bill Wygant developed. Bill pondered some of the logistical hangups we'd had in the past with B2B and did a great job of rethinking how to handle the swim. It was great to see all of the kayakers and wooden boat pilots when we got abeam Aquatic Park!

Once we'd paired up with our individual pilots, the wind seemed to pick up and with it, the chop. It was a bit tough to find a nice rhythm between Aquatic Park and the Golden Gate Bridge, but the swimmers and pilots soldiered on.

We passed beneath the Golden Gate about a quarter of the way between the two towers. Then, sighting on Mile Rock, the athletes made their way along the course. Most swimmers went to the right of Mile Rock as originally directed. You'll have to ask others how they navigated Mile Rock, but I followed my pilot's direction and rather than get smacked into the structure, went inside Mile Rock and a small rock that was jutting out of the water to its left. It has been said that once you get to the Gate, the B2B swim begins. I've decided that once you get to Mile Rock, the B2B swim begins. I've been there before and thought I had the beach in the bag only to find myself shut out by poor course, rip currents, and waves. I knew better than to think that it'd be smooth sailing.

After passing Mile Rock, we sighted on Seal Rocks. This was where the course people took seemed to make a big difference. Those who aimed straight at Seal Rocks were able to come in tight and swing right around it then land on the beach. Those who sighted just to the right of Seal Rocks got swung wider and moved further from the finish than they expected by the current. There's a theory that if you turn perpendicular to shore at Mile Rock you'd actually be in the best position - anyone want to test it next year?

Upon getting to Kelly's Cove, most swimmers felt the waves were a little easier to navigate than they were for our OB test swim on Saturday. The waves were certainly smaller - but they were also disorganized. There wasn't really any way to body surf in, there was a lot of swirling and "voodoo currents". Yet many swimmers did successfully navigate that last challenging bit of the course! While the swimmers headed toward Sharko's warm embrace, the kayakers headed back to the mother ship.

The swimmer-pilot pairs who made it to Ocean Beach were:
1. Jim Sweeney - Randy Brown
2. Michelle Deasy - Holden Hardcastle
3. Hank Stern - Barry Naughton
4. John Walker - Tom Wilhelm
5. Mike Tzortzis - Alan Owings
6. John Flahavan - Patty Norman
7. Hendrik Meerman - Elizabeth Glass
8. Cathy Delneo - Bryce Goeking
9. Jim Cooney - Cy Lo
10. Tina Voight (w) - Jim Bock
11. Anne Schonauer - Kristin Hutchins
12. Kristine Buckley - Joe Bracco
13. Lisa Serebin - Paul Springer

The following swimmer-pilot pairs made it to Seal Rock but went back in the big boat:
Anne Turtle (w) - Julian
Sylvia Marino (f) - Darren Leva
Jay Ligda - Joe Butler

Dianna Shuster (piloted by Jeff Brown), James McLoughlin (piloted by Rafe) and Eddison Peinado (piloted by Alison Saylor) got out earlier. (Strangely, Eddie jumped back into the water for the final swim to the beach and then ran back to the club. Seriously? Eddie! You're a madman!)

Special thanks to the two Dolphin Club members who aided us in the swim! Marcus, a Dolphin rower, joined us for the entire course. And Barry Christiansen came to our aid upon hearing about the recent troubles the black zodiac has been having. He took out one of the Dolphin Club's boats with Bill James along as a co-pilot.

South End zodiac pilots Paul Saab, JJ Crawford, and Barry Maguire zipped about the course, finding the best places for the swimmers and pilots to go. They were aided by co-pilots Zina Deretsky, and Susan Petro.

On the big boat we had a super crew - Dave Santos, Steve Zielinski, and Scotty - and great volunteers, too - Jeany Duncan, Mary Leigh Burke, and Lynn Sywolski. Photographer Geoff Strum came along to document the event, as well! (Can't wait to see those pictures!)

We also had wonderful volunteers in the surf: El Sharko served as the beach captain and his crew included John Hathaway, and Marie Watson.

Many friends and family gathered on the beach to shower swimmers with warm water and ferry cold swimmers back to the warmth of the South End saunas. (Did I see Jane Koegel, bearer of warm water there on the beach? Or was that just a mirage?)

The swim was a great success, with so many swimmers getting all the way to Seal Rock and a big number making it safely to Ocean Beach. Many thanks to everyone who assisted with planning this event including Bryce Goeking, kayak wrangler! Special thanks to the non-South Enders, who gave up part of the weekend to help us do this dream swim! And most especially, thanks to Bill Wygant for all the hard work and planning that he dedicated to putting on a safe, fun swim!


p.s. I'm confident I'm forgetting to thank someone....
p.p.s. Please forward this on to anyone involved in the swim who's not on the google and yahoo groups. Thanks!

No comments:

Post a Comment