Marathon Swimmer Abby Bergman Completes Crossing of Santa Monica Bay

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Abby Bergman and a support kayak during her crossing of Santa Monica Bay Photo Courtesy: Abby Bergman

Abby Bergman last week completed a rare crossing of Santa Monica bay, a 27-mile swim from Point Dume in Malibu to Rocky Point in Palos Verdes.

Bergman made the swim in 16 hours, 25 minutes and 53 seconds through rough seas that greeted her in the 62-degree waters off Malibu. Headwinds at the start registered 24 knots, so severe that a support kayak had to be lifted from the water. She began the swim just before midnight on Sept. 2 beneath a full moon and completed it the following afternoon.

“I felt so bad I almost didn’t get into the water, but I made a promise to myself that I would at least try,” Bergman said in a press release. “As soon as I hit the water I felt better, and after about an hour of swimming, I was really having fun.”

The crossing is reportedly just the fourth recorded solo crossing of Santa Monica Bay. The swim is awaiting ratification from the Marathon Swimming Federation.

Bergman, 24, swam at Smith College in Massachusetts. The native of Culver City, Calif., last summer completed the “California Triple Crown” by swimming Catalina Channel, Santa Barbara Channel and the length of Lake Tahoe, a total of 53.8 miles of swimming. She also made a successful crossing of the English Channel in 2017. Bergman, who works as a research professional at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, documented her journey via her blog.

(Full disclosure: Bergman served as a Swimming World college intern and has contributed several articles to Swimming World.)

“As much as I was ready to be done when I finished I could have kept swimming for several hours if I had needed to and I’m really really proud of that,” Bergman wrote. “Most of all I’m really proud that as terrible as I was feeling on the boat I still hopped in the water and gave the swim a try. I’m so grateful to my amazing crew (Jax, Dan, Steve, Natalie, and the whole crew of Pacific Star) for keeping me safe and happy to have a successful swim! I am also super grateful for everyone who followed along and cheered me to the finish.”