Team Mission Wealth Management of Santa Barbara with members Felipe Rivera, Cindy Braden, Corey Chan, Jerry Mahoney, Scott Reed and captain Seth Streeter won the 26-mile Santa Barbara Channel Swim 6x6 Relay Race today.
The relay began at 1:35 am on Saturday morning from a cove on Santa Cruz Island in 66ºC (18.8ºF) water. Without the light of the moon, the swimmers strapped glow sticks on themselves, their kayakers and escort boats. Each team had their own color to distinguish themselves in the dark. After fighting through some heavy swells, the teams faced mostly good conditions until swimming through some wind and chop as they arrived in Santa Barbara at East Beach. Along the way, the swimmers saw a large pod of dolphins and a few seals.
The six members of the Mission Wealth Management each did two legs of 35 minutes, then one leg of 30 minutes and a final leg of 20 minutes before all swimming in together to finish in 11 hours and 27 minutes.
Next year, the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association will increase the number of teams in the event, allowing additional teams to be formed by any individuals who express an interest.
Photo of Emilio Casanueva from the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association during the early morning hours.