Braxton Bilbrey Swims Around Alcatraz

SAN FRANCISCO, California, July 24. A year ago, 8-year-old Braxton Bilbrey became the youngest individual to swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco. Monday morning, Bilbrey swam around Alcatraz Island, covering the route in just under two hours. Bilbrey handled the route in one hour, 58 minutes, according to a report in the Arizona Republic.

Bilbrey negotiated 61-degree water and handled a distance of 3.5 miles, more than twice what he covered last year going from the former prison to San Francisco. Bilbrey was accompanied by his coach, Joe Zemaitis, and two other adult swimmers. They were followed by a support boat.

During training, Bilbrey would work through 10,000 meters and he has indicated, according to the newspaper, that he plans to swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. That distance is six miles. The swim raised money for the education against drowning.

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July 24, 2007. KUDOS to the 9 year old open water swimmer Braxton Bilbrey and his parents and all those associated with the courageous young man's efforts to raise money to help raise awareness and prevent drowning. The event, although not having pre-publicity (just like last year when he swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco) and, therefore, NOT a publicity STUNT, was well planned; he was escorted by other swimmers and people in a boat; and he is, based on reports, clearly well conditioned enough to handle the swim without any problem. With hope, he'll help save the lives of others through his efforts. academicjoq

July 24, 2007. This is not an age appropriate activity for a developing nine-year-old and there is more to this than having an escort craft. Most racers in a 3.5 mile open water race do not have a personal rescue craft to accompany them, and this is bacause it is generally against the rules–All things being equal, this is not equal and smacks of parents with a lot of money promting a child while providing an uneven field and psoosibly exposing the child to overuse shoulder and other other injuries. Perhaps this child is the exception, and time will tell; but these things should not be encouraged, and everything should happen in its own good time. Islandswims

July 24, 2007. I "hate" that kid, and that silly dog too that swims circles around Alcatraz! (Gosh, Look at me, I sound like the witch in the Wizard of Oz.) These characters make that swim seem Soooo accessible! It's not! In my opinion it is the hardest open water swim under two miles that you will ever do! It's cold and both the ebb tide and the flood tide have to be timed perfectly or you will either end up at Faralon Islands as shark food or somewhere in Oakland dodging freighters. Please note that you must swim doing a slack tide and the tide window is crucial. Tony

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