10:15 AM, Coney Island Boardwalk, Saturday, November 6th
Getting ready to launch on Coney Island - how exciting (this famous beach is utterly off-limits to kayakers). Deno's Wonder Wheel, the Astroland Tower, and the Cyclone are in the background, along with the New York Aquarium Education Hall (long mural in front of the Cyclone & the tower.
Steve & Phil bringing Steve's Tahe Marine down to the water.
Commodore Tony, with boats and coffee
Saint Tony of the Wonder Wheel?
Pre-race swimmers' meeting in the aquarium's education hall.
Supporting his favorite branch of the service!
Ready to launch
Swimmers & supporters gather at the starting line. Water temperature mid to high 50's. Brrr.
Rounding the first mark.
The non-human-powered support contingent for this race was served by jetskis, which was great - with hypothermia, which was a major risk in this race, you really need to get a person out of the water fast. May seem weird to see a kayaker say "Jetskis! Great!", but seriously, with these guys there, if you had a swimmer get in trouble, all you had to do was blow your whistle twice. A jetski can come right up to a swimmer, get them on board, speed them back to the starting line & run them right up onto the beach, right into the paramedics' hands. Very nice to have them there!
Swimmers had 3 distances to choose from & the freedom to change their mind on the course - if they'd meant to do the 5K but found that the cold was wearing them down, they could get out earlier; conversely, if they'd meant to do a shorter race but were feeling great as they approached the finish buoy, they could keep going. This was the winner of the 5k at the last mark rounding - he was so fast there wasn't anybody else in sight!
The next few 5k racers were a little closer together.
One of the jetskis retrieves the Brighton Beach end marker after the last swimmers passed it.
Rachel approaching the finish -
Passing the last mark -
And on into shore, swimming strong.
Last swimmer coming in (just below the cluster of jetskis & safety boat).
reach the beach!
And CIBBOWS throws a great post-race luncheon & awards ceremony. We had a great time!