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Sharkfest 2014 – Golden Gate Bridge


Author
First, there are no sharks in the San Francisco Bay. Sure, someone will post something to prove me wrong, but as far as I am concerned, there are no sharks anywhere and especially near where I was swimming this past weekend. On Saturday morning, I and several industry compadres (Steve Riches – Laguna Displays, Tom McAndrews – Grapevine Exhibits, and Alex Hill – Visual Merchandising) hopped on a ferry along with 350 other swimmers, jumped into the bay underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and swam back to Sausalito in time for breakfast.

The swim was scheduled to be 1.6 miles, but due to large swells and 30 mph winds, the race was shortened and we started just east of the bridge. I have to say that on the boat ride from Sausalito, I really questioned myself and asked what the heck am I thinking – the boat was rolling way more than I cared for and when the doors opened to jump in, we were met with howling winds and a taste of ocean spray. I suddenly had a newfound respect for the Deadliest Catch guys – I had to hang on to the rafter to stay steady.

AuthorAfter a few minutes the curiosity of wondering what it would feel like to swim under the bridge kicked and next thing you know I was midair heading in to the drink. The great news is that the water was 62 – it sounds cold, but for the bay that was really warm – I was planning on 55-56 degrees and since I was competing in the 24/7 division (that is the no wet suit division) the added 6-7 degrees was fantastic. So, the gang all met up in the water and we treaded water while waiting for the gun to go off to start the race.

Crazy thing I have noticed from watching the video (I wore my Go Pro camera on my head) afterwards is that within 5 minutes we had drifted 1,000+ yards from the boat and I now realize how fast the current / tide moves in that water. Bad news was that it was pushing us out to sea and once the gun went off – we had to swim about 10 minutes through the heavy current and most aggressive waves. When I hit the 10 minute mark the tide switched direction and suddenly the waves were pushing me forward and man-o-man I was flying. I covered the total 1.5 miles in 32:09 which included some moments where I just had to stop and enjoy the view. Check out the video that I shot with my GoPro and congrats to my fellow swimmers – I look forward to the next time!

About the Author

Dave Brown is the Vice President of Sales at Optima™.
He has been in the Trade Show industry since the early 90s.

  1. June 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Very Cool Dave, Steve & Tom – Thanks for sharing! Way to challenge yourselves.

  2. June 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Us local residents wouldn’t do the swim. You need to go to the Mid West to find these people:-) Great job Dave!

    • June 27, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      Thanks and there was even a guy from Australia.

  3. ExhibitEase
    June 27, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    OK ~ I am questioning your sanity, but I have to be impressed. I’ve been there, and there is absolutely NO way I would swim in that water. There is a reason Alcatraz is there 🙂

    • June 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks! My wife has moved past thinking I am nuts and just makes me promise I will not take up mountain climbing.

  4. David Hardbarger
    June 30, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Way to go Dave, Steve & Tom. No wetsuite? Your wife is spot on Dave but good for you.

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