San Francisco 24 Hour Relay - Feb 2014



  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Very cool report, you guys! It is a testament of how awesome this enterprise was that I was a bit jealous... despite doing long swims at Ala Moana beach, in mid-70s water, all weekend. Tell us more about what it was like to swim in the dark!
  • No idea. how to do that Niek,sorry. it also got tweeted w the hashtag #24hourrelayswim hashtag.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    ...Friedman twitted some...

    twitted. hahahaha. Poor @suziedods, you must be a bit tired!

    Congrats to you all on what sounds like a very successful event! Maybe someday I'll be cold-water tolerant and join you. ;)

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • sylmarinosylmarino San FranciscoMember
    Niek - - although you may need to become my friend (dangerous and I am picky...) to view.

    Suzie did an amazing job of putting this swim on. The real heroes of this event were the kayakers and people working the dock. Kayakers were getting dumped at the beach before getting in and then getting dumped in the middle of Aquatic Park... patrolling the waters in the dark and checking swimmer numbers... rain, rain, rain, wind, rain. The dock workers were pelted by wind and rain. These two groups of people made the swimming look like the easy part. NO EVENT - solo or not - can happen without the people around you.

    As swimmers - never forget to thank the race director who stress tirelessly (Suzie, Greg, Ned, others), volunteers (Evan, Cathy, so many more) and people who choose to unintentionally get wet so that you can stay wet.

  • @ironmike... isn't "twitted" the past tense of tweet?
    I do NOT do either so... and yes, still a bit fuzzy headed.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    @suziedods, the kids say "tweeted"

    I don't do tweeter Twitter either. ;)

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • I also wanted to thank Suzie and everyone else from SERC and DC that helped make this such a cool experience. The food, the support crew, the history of the clubs, etc. etc. - everything was amazing! And I loved getting to know all you crazy characters! Looking into the out-of-town deal for SERC members because I suddenly have about a dozen different swims I want to do in the bay.

    Oh, and the other Greg was 300 was the best! ;)
  • SharkoSharko Tomales BayGuest
    edited February 2014
    It started raining heavy in the evening with pretty good wind gusts!!!


    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

  • @Sharko, that is probably one of the best pictures of the conditions. Now, take that,make it black.... and there you have night ****This next bit is from one of our fab kayakers... Cathy Harrington-I think it sums up alot of it. A few tweaks and we'll do it next year.****
    I really enjoyed being out on the water and watching all the swimmers as they came around the course and the different responses they gave. Even in the early morning hours when the course was shortened everyone I spoke with was upbeat and smiling as they rounded the "flag". I loved watching Jackie Cobell who kept exclaiming how "wonderful the water was" in her charming accent on her second go round during her turn at about 5:00 am. Then there was the guy that did flip turns each time he came to the flag. Sylvia would touch the flag and yell out "TOUCH" each time. Simon would say "Catch ya next time" when he came around. Then there was Fred who would stop and chat even though he stayed in for 45 minutes during his last time in the water. The out of towners were in awe of the views from the opening in the early stages of the swim. I encouraged them to go outside of the opening (escorted of course) so they could have a glimpse of the GGB and the Bay Bridge (when they could see it). And can't forget to mention the very active sea life during the first few hours.

    Even though it rained the entire time and the wind was gusting at times it was still very enjoyable to be out on the water. Please give my sincere thanks to your sister who supplied the rain hat. Mine was left at home (I really can't imagine HOW with all the excess baggage I brought ) it was really a life saver.

    As some of the non-club swimmers were talking to me they said that this was an awesome way to introduce people to both the South End and the Dolphin Club and I know at least 2 who will be joining in the near future as a result of this event. Such comraderie and pulling together by so many people. I can't say enough about what a great event and what a great bunch of people who really really enjoy the sport of open water swimming.

    Thanks again and again!! I feel so honored to be numbered with the people that helped.

    Cathy Harrington
    Proud Army Mom

  • @Niek, yeah, kinda... you need to add blinky lights and a Ghirdelli sign, but a fair approximation.:)
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    @suziedods, tell Cathy thanks for hers and her child's service.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • SharkoSharko Tomales BayGuest

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

  • Awesome stuff and IMHO, you can never have enough nutella!
  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member
    I love the movie! Great work and hats off to Suzie and all the volunteers for making it such a memorable and fun weekend and for sharing your beautiful city and amazing swimming facilities with us out-of-towners. I hope to be able to participate again next year! :-)

    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    edited February 2014
    First weekend in Feb -2015.
    Limited to 75 people
    Teams of 6 or less will be required to be "vetted".
    Cost $50.
    Night night.
    ONE more write up....
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    I don't always skinny dip, but when I do, I swim 1.5mi in the 51degF San Francisco Bay late at night.

    This was an awesome time. Thanks everyone, especially @suziedods!!! for getting us all together and giving me the the chance to eat so. many. breakfasts.

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    Agree that the naked lap was the best. Wish I'd done two!
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber
    We're coming back next year. Friggin loved it- even the nasty cold I picked up. My favorite was the stone cold spaghetti I scarfed at 2 am because I was famished. The pizza was amazing. And there was something magical swimming at night with a giant Ghirardelli sign glowing over your head. It's the start of a very nice fantasy... Truly loved this event- Not enough thanks out there to Suzie for working her butt off to make this so wonderful for so many people.

    I was the one who opened the Nutella. Yum.

    Not sure I'm brave enough for a naked swim. :-)
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Wait a minute! There was nakedness? Dammit. Starting my cold water acclimatization now for next year.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • Coming from Colorado and being a first time swimmer in such cold water, I have to say it was an incredible rush. Thanks to Melissa, Lynn and Suzie for helping me on Friday after my initial test swim and being so disoriented afterwards. It really, really helped my confidence for race day.

    Can't say enough how much I appreciate the volunteers, who had it the toughest being on land in such inclement weather. Swimming in the water, the rain didn't matter. The food was amazing. I met so many interesting people, too, and if I forget you, I apologize, Sharko, Alana, Amanda, Sean, Walter, Fred, Jamie, Christian, "Santa Cruz" John, Jackie, Mark, Andrew, Simon, Lorena, Tom and of course Melissa, Lynn and Suzie. Huge kudos, too, to SERC and Dolphins. And, of course, Sarah and Craig... you two really rock!!

    One story really sums up the whole experience for me. After hanging out in the Dolphins sauna right after my first and only 2-lap leg, shaking like crazy, I was rambling on to the members in the sauna what a wonderful swim I just had. A member, Charlie, noticed my chafing on my shoulders and my 15 year-old neoprene cap. Out of the blue, he said come with me I'll take care of you for your next lap. He then lent me his newer, blue neoprene cap for the next lap saying just leave it on my locker when you're done. That out-of-the-blue kindness coming from a complete stranger, just doesn't happen every day. Thanks Charlie!

    Anyway, as Sarah said earlier, we hope to be back next year with hopefully a stronger Colorado contingent. By the way, my email address ( is accessible, so if any new friends would like to keep in contact, please do. I'd love to hear more about your swimming experiences, or any other fun stuff.
  • FINAL POST from me for this.. but just wanted to note that this event MADE $308.32.
    55 swimmersx$25 minus expenses... $308.32 to the South End Bldg Fund.
    Thanks everyone for playing. See you next year?
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    This is amazing! I thought you'd never break even. I think I are $200 worth of bacon!
    Congrats! I'm still coming down from the trip. Can't wait to go again
  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    edited September 2014
    Sad update- SERC has denied the request for the 2015 relay, stating that " the club was not cleaned up" which is complete BS as I know it was.
    But.. there you have it.
    A once in a lifetime event.
    Sorry all.
    It would have been nice if SERC board had said anything to me , say in FEB, or if they had said that they were voting on it in Sept.
    I was not aware of any "issues" and what this tells me is that there are more rowers on serc board than swimmers.
    I was offered the option of a serc members only swim, but to me the beauty of it was that we had people from all over the world ( thank you Jackie Cobell) coming to participate. If you would like to participate or help, please ping me.

  • They ( whomever THEY are) said "we didn't clean up". Whatever THAT means. Politics.
  • bruckbruck San FranciscoMember
    Suzie, you are a Dolphin Club member, yes? Why not ask them? Right next door. Surely they will say yes if it's such a clean event.
  • I have an email out to Diane.. :)
  • Update- Politics .... If you would like to participate, if you THOUGHT about participating last year... Please chime in. I am getting conflicting information but here is the letter from the SERC Bd Pres. It is not true that "they didn't know non-members would be swimming ". They knew .. and a special waiver was made up for the event. I will hire a cleaning crew to address the bogus "we didn't clean up after ourselves" issue and I am researching insurance through WOWSA.**
    Hi Walter,

    Thanks for getting in touch about Suzie's proposal for a swim. We all love Suzie and respect her accomplishments as a swimmer. I think the issue for us is the South End by design does one and only one swim for the general public each year. We use our Invitational swim as our major fundraiser and limit public use of the club to the terms of our lease after that. I believe as a Board we were not fully aware that Suzie's event last year would include the public. But in any case I still believe the Boards intention would be to limit our public swims to the Invitational and not allow additional public events. Suzie is more than welcome to attend our October 8th Board meeting and present her case to us again, but I doubt our decision would be any different. The vote on the matter when presented by our Swim Commissioner, Jeff Everett, was 12 no, 1 abstaining, 1 vote yes.


    Bill Wygant

  • JustSwimJustSwim Senior Member
    The 24-Hour Relay was one of my favorite events and it would be a shame if it was not able to continue. If there is a convenant in the lease with the city that would proclude this event there may be little that you can do. If not then would the SERC be open to the non-members paying a 1-day membership fee? There is a $6.50 guest fee in place so there is precedence.
  • @Just Swim.. there is a day use fee of $10 ( it just went up in July). I know that there is a public access requirement, that is shared by both DC and SERC. I am mostly just baffled by the whole thing really. There is no "covenant" that I am aware of. There are non-members using the club year round. The safety issue is rather moot in my view.. we are in the cove the entire time, much safer than 850 swimmers coming from Alcatraz... the red herring of "not cleaning up"? the red herring of "not being aware non members were participating? Complete hogwash.
    As I said on my fb page for the swim, I had always characterized SERC as being more welcoming and open about these things.. ( birthday suit swims, jumping off the pier etc) but this just has it acting like the Dolphin Club.... which is actually becoming MORE welcoming and open.
    SERC has a website with contacts for the BOD if you would like to chime in. Email is also an easier way to communicate w me for more info.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited September 2014
    suziedods wrote:
    the red herring of "not cleaning up"? the red herring of "not being aware non members were participating? Complete hogwash.
    Suzie, if it's not about opening the club to the public, and it's not about the cleaning, then what do you think it is about?
  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    edited September 2014
    @evmo.. I am completely baffled. I don't know what it's about. Insight? Thoughts?
    I am not angry, I am sad. Open to thoughts options.
    Maybe we had too much fun, they are jealous they can't make it ?
    I have already thought of changing the date to December. Then people would pay to be a member for one month at a cost of $136. They would all then be members and it would go. The only downside is December is a very busy crazy month for a lot of people, but it is an option. I just truly do not understand the thought process.
  • @suziedods: I know nothing of the personalities involved, and little of the event. It sounds to me, from the reproduced communication from Bill Wygant, that SERC is protecting the brand. Maybe last year the board/permitting body thought it would be a one-time event, and was unclear on who would swim.

    Can you talk with the board in person? Presenting (a) all swimmers will become members (if that is permitted--maybe it isn't), and (b) you will hire a cleaning crew, perhaps even use a board-approved cleaning crew.

    But it sounds as though they are uncomfortable with the whole idea, so perhaps working with another body, or skipping a year, could be considered.
  • @ Niek, I agree that going from $25 to $136 is a bit much but I do have to say that everyone involved said that $25 was too little. Personally, I think $136 is not too much for a 24 hour swim w food!
    @ Vivebene-- it appears to be COMPLETELY board related. I hope to present to the BOD in October. The sticking issue appears to be "use of club by non-members" BUT.. how does that mesh with the fact that SERC has handball tournaments that host non-members, even folks under 18? how does that mesh with SERC hosting rowing regattas with non members participating? How does this all mesh with the professed desire of SERC to be known as a premier OWS venue? How does a BOD vote and take action on a subject that was not on the agenda? This is all getting very interesting and sticky.

    This is getting off topic, so if you have any questions please email me directly at

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    suziedods wrote:
    I am completely baffled. I don't know what it's about. Insight? Thoughts?
    I'm not on the board, nor am I privy to their deliberations, so I'm afraid I have no special insight.

    That being said, I know Bill Wygant, I know him to be generally quite supportive of the club's marathon swimmers, and I generally have confidence in his intelligence and leadership.

    The vote of 12-1 against (with one abstention) is... striking. Seems to indicate there was a clear-cut reason. So if that reason is being concealed from you, that seems strange.

    I do wonder about the club's legal liability in sponsoring an event such as this.
  • The legal liability, as far as I was told , was mitigated by the special waiver. As far as "sponsoring" I am not clear on that ... the club did nothing except provide a venue. If they are concerned about being perceived as "sponsoring" I'd be happy to take the $389 back that was donated to the building fund. In fact, that particular weekend ALL the men ,SERC , DC and the 8 non members used DC facility as the men's locker was being worked on.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited September 2014
    After hearing some additional details on this, I have to agree, it's a very odd situation. You'd think the board would at least give you a chance to present the proposal in person. Sounds like Jeff E didn't do you any favors. And if the underlying reason is liability, I don't know why they can't say that directly.

    Suzie, I hope you're able to find a suitable venue. If all else fails, maybe next year's board will think differently.
  • Stay tuned. Speaking w DC pres after this weekend. She said' we'll figure it out'!! THAT'S what I like to hear.
  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    edited October 2014
    We got a little press this past Sat and things seem to be moving forward...
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