Swim for Alligator Lighthouse Brings Over 350 Racers to Florida Keys

Photo Courtesy: Bob Care

ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys – Over 350 national and international participants competed in calm, clear waters off the Florida Keys Saturday during the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, an eight-mile open-water challenge.

A portion of a field of more than 350 swimmers begins the "Swim for Alligator Lighthouse Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, off Islamorada, Fla. Entrants, divided into single and group divisions, navigated an 8-mile open water swimming course from the Amara Cay Resort in the Florida Keys to Alligator Reef Lighthouse and back. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Photo Courtesy: Bob Care

Miami resident Yoelvis Pedraza, 31, emerged from the Atlantic Ocean as the top individual swimmer with a time of 2 hours, 55 minutes and 36 seconds.

Top female finisher Chelsea Nauta, 29, of Tampa, completed the race in 3:04:21.

Chelsea Nauta swims during the 8-mile Swim for Alligator Lighthouse Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, off Islamorada, Fla., in the Florida Keys. Nauta's time of 3 hours, 4 minutes and 21 seconds was the fastest among female competitors. The open-water swimming contest attracted more than 350 entrants. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Photo Courtesy: Bob Care

In other divisions, Tampa residents Pam Owens and Connor Signorin finished with the fastest two-person relay time of 3:28:57. Punta Gorda, Florida, residents Danielle Chance and Melissa Varlas teamed up with Laura Hamel and Rick Walker of Sarasota, Florida, in the four-person mixed relay division to place first with 3:33:46.

Athletes swam to Alligator Reef Lighthouse off Islamorada, rounded the beacon and came back to the start and finish points at Amara Cay Resort.

The annual event, conceived to raise awareness of preserving the 145-year-old Alligator Reef Lighthouse and five other aging lighthouses off the Florida Keys, raises college scholarship funds for Keys students interested in competitive swimming.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Andy Newman and fla-keys.com. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.



  1. Marita Mowry

    There’s not one thing they need to improve about this event, it is executed beautifully!!

Author: Diana Pimer

Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is currently an Age Group Coach at AGUA in New York City and has covered major competitions for Swimming World including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 and 2017 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming Nationals and more.

Current Swimming World Issue

Trouble Viewing on Smart Phones, Tablets or iPads? Click Here