SAN FRANCISCO, CA, October 5. LYNNE Cox celebrated her day – the San Francisco Board of Supervisors had proclaimed October 2, 2004 as Lynne Cox Day – with 700 close compatriots.
Cox, long time maven of long distance and cold water swimming, was master of ceremonies to her friends in the Ninth Annual South End Rowing Club Alcatraz Invitational Swim on Saturday, race sponsors announced. People crazy enough to brave the cold of San Francisco Bay, in an event where wetsuits are discouraged rather than optional, had a great time swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco. Lynne, famous for record-breaking cold water swims such as in Antarctica, was recently featured on CBS 60 Minutes II, The David Letterman Show and the Discovery Channel.
This San Francisco tradition allowed spectators to watch from yachts as six hundred or more swimmers dove into the icy-cold murky water on Saturday, October 2, at 8:30 am with an award ceremony at 11 am. This year, swimmers with experience ranging from past Olympians to South End old-timers who swim regularly in the 50 degree bay waters, participated. To accommodate the swimmers with wetsuits and those in red bikinis or those that don’t bother wearing anything, the event has created two different divisions: skins and suits.
For the first time, the event allowed spectators to board one of two yachts, affording them frontal views of the race start and a scenic cruise back to pier 9 for a fee of twenty five dollars (including lunch). Press was invited to join Lynn Cox on the elite swimmer yacht or brave the center of action in our official race zodiac to get full sports and cultural coverage of this unforgettable san Francisco event.
The South End Alcatraz Invitational Swim is sponsored by Pacific Union Real Estate, Mack’s Earplugs, Labatt’s and West Marine.