Shivering Swimmers Brave Bay Water For Orca Alcatraz Challenge

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Hundreds of swimmers took a chilly plunge into the San Francisco Bay Monday. About 400 shivering swimmers were on the shore at Crissy Field after taking the 8 a.m. Orca Alcatraz Challenge Swim.

It was a choppy mile and a half journey from the island to the shore, but swimmer Lisa Zinassi said with all the zigzagging, it’s more like two miles.

Another swimmer 14-year-old Abbey Hirst came all the way from Chesterton, Indiana to swim with her brother and father.

“There were some big waves and the current— I didn’t think was that bad. I did have a little trouble sighting where I was supposed to go, so I stopped a lot,” Hirst said.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

The race begins with swimmers jumping off the CA Hornblower yacht near Alcatraz and swimming for shore.

Sidney Harnack from Edmonton, Alberta Canada won her age division with a time of 36 minutes.

“[It was] my first time in the ocean. Oh my god, it’s so much different [than a pool]. The waves were unreal, they were so big,” Harnack said.

She concluded that no one truly ever did escape from the prison island.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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