Thursday, December 11, 2008

Alaskan Open Water Swimming Adventures

Willie Schultz, founder of the 13.1K (8.2-mile) Pennock Island Challenge in Ketchikan, Alaska is at it again, planning more unique open water swimming adventures in Alaska.

Willie is planning a 10-person relay around Alaska’s Revillagigado Island in late August 2010. A circumnavigation around Revillagigedo, the 12th largest island in the U.S., is about 241K (150 miles) with the water temperature between 11.6-15.5°C (53-60°F). The relay will conform to channel standards (i.e., no wetsuits).

50% of the circumnavigation relay will pass through the Misty Fjords National Monument, known as the 'Yosemite of the North' for its similar geology (shown above).

Willie is also planning another swim adventure in Icy Straits, a bit south of Glacier Bay in Alaska in 2009.

For those who may be less inclined to participate in a 241K relay or swim in Icy Straits, you can simply add to your open water swimming resume by entering the Pennock Island Challenge held annually in August.

In 2008, there was a varied group of swimmers with everyone choosing between the solo no-wetsuit division, solo wetsuit division, 2-person relay, 3-person relay or 4-person relay divisions.

In 2008, swimmers came from all over, including Oregon (English Channel swimmer Michelle Macy), California (Sue Free, Claudio Rose and Mattias Schildwachter), Virginia (Anne Battle), Texas (Jill Vukmanic), New Jersey (Brucker Chase), New York (Thomas Volper and John DePrato), Georgia (Ralph MacIntyre) and Alaska, to brave the 55°(55°F) waters. The swim is a fund-raiser for the American Diabetes Association.

Upper photo of the 2005 Pennock Island Challenge by Lisa Thompson.

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