The always challenging, fiercely competitive, incredibly enjoyable RCP Tiburon Mile announced another world-class field of elite pool and open water swimming stars for its tenth annual event on September 13th in San Francisco Bay.
It will be an amazing race. The field includes:
• Trent Grimsey (Australia, shown on left): winner of the RCP Tiburon Mile, Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 5K and 10K Australian national championships, Oceania 10K championships
• Thomas Lurz (Germany): multi-time world and European 5K and 10K champion, bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics 10K, silver medalist in the 2006 RCP Tiburon Mile after a photo finish with Vladimir Dyatchin, won the 2005 and 2006 World Open Water Swimmer of the Year
• Vladimir Dyatchin (Russia): Swimming World Magazine’s 2007 Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year, winner of the 2006 and 2007 RCP Tiburon Mile, multiple 10K world champion and 2008 10K Olympian
• Evgeni Bezruchenko (Russia): 2001 10K world champion and member of the winning team at the 2007 Maui Channel Swim and 2008 Trans Tahoe Swim
• Brendan Capell (Australia): 2004 25K world champion, 2007 RCP Tiburon Mile silver medalist, multi-time winner of the 25K Australian national championships and highly ranked FINA World Cup and Grand Prix competitor
• Andrew Beato (Australia): silver medalist at the 2008 and 2009 Australian national championships
• Oussama Mellouli (Tunisia): 2008 Olympic 1500-meter gold medalist.
• J.K. Koehler, Jr. (USA): All-American in 1650-yard freestyle from Indiana University, Olympic Trials 1500-meter finalist, member of 2008 RCP Tiburon Milers’ Trans Tahoe Swim winning team
• Chloe Sutton (USA): 2008 Beijing 10K Olympian, 2-time RCP Tiburon Mile champion, 2-time USA national 10K champion, gold medalist in the 2007 Pan American Games 10K, bronze medalist at the 2008 5K world championships and 800-meter freestyle at the 2008 USA Olympic Trials
• Luane Rowe (Australia): winner of the 2008 Waikiki Roughwater Swim and fourth in the 2008 RCP Tiburon Mile
• Eva Fabian (USA): silver medalist in the 2008 USA 10K national championships and member of the USA Swimming Junior National Team
Other swimmers who may compete include Germany's world 25K champion Britta Kamrau, Australia's Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Rice, Russia's Olympic gold medalist Larisa Ilchenko and American 10K world champion Chip Peterson, Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett, world open water swimming world champion Erica Rose (shown on left) and Olympic gold medalist and NCAA champion Dana Volmer.
Who are better race car drivers: NASCAR or Formula One drivers? Who can throw a ball better: quarterbacks or pitchers? Who is better in the water: pool or open water swimmers?
The RCP Tiburon Mile may be the best venue to determine the world's best athlete in the water. The race is not a marathon swim (i.e., over 10K), so the advantage does not go to pure open water swimmers. The race is not in a pool, so the advantage does not go to pool swimmers. Rather the distance and venue is a good compromise between pool and marathon swimming.
But, as many open water swimmers know, there are no lanes no lines, no walls..and no mercy.
The $10,000 winner-take-all cash prize is incentive enough, but the pride of beating Olympic medalists and world champions from 20 different countries may be the bigger honor.
Founded in 1999 by Robert C. Placak, the RCP Tiburon Mile annually attracts a wide range of swimmers between the ages of 13 and 80, but the eyes of the media and thousands of fans who line the banks of San Francisco Bay will be on the elite competitors.
Photo of Trent Grimsey winning the 2008 RCP Tiburon Mile by Elliot Karlan of Elliot Karlan Photography.