Pacific Beach resident leads team to successful swim around Santa Cruz Island
by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
Published - 10/17/17 - 07:25 AM | 2 2 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Selkie and the Sirens” spent nearly 40 hours swimming around Santa Cruz Island on Sept. 26 and 27.
“Selkie and the Sirens” spent nearly 40 hours swimming around Santa Cruz Island on Sept. 26 and 27.
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“Selkie and the Sirens” began swimming on Sept. 26 at 7.20 a.m., and finished in the wee hours of Sept. 27.
“Selkie and the Sirens” began swimming on Sept. 26 at 7.20 a.m., and finished in the wee hours of Sept. 27.
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Claudia Rose, who is a long-time resident of Pacific Beach, captained the record-setting swim team “Selkie and the Sirens” as they spent nearly 40 hours swimming around Santa Cruz Island on Sept. 26 and 27.

“There have been a few other people trying to do it, but they didn’t make it and we wanted a new challenge as a team”, said Rose.

The swim team consisted of six women from both coasts of the United States. Rose, Michelle Premeaux McConica from Ventura, Calif., Diana Corbin from Maryland, Carol Lyn Swol from Maryland, Jeannie Zappe from Pennsylvania and Louise Hyder-Darlington from Pennsylvania.

“Selkie and the Sirens” began swimming on Sept. 26 at 7.20 a.m., and each woman swam for an hour in-turn, once every six hours throughout the day, night, day and then into the wee hours of Sept. 27 before they made it back to their starting point at Willows Anchorage.

“It was very interesting. The first half of our swim the weather and the currents were perfect, but then we came to the front of the island and it was terrible. We had the wind and the currents against us, but we just kept going,” said Rose.

During the swim, the team encountered hundreds of dolphins and sea lions, fog, wind, strong sun and both helpful and adverse currents.

The swim team decided that they wanted to swim around Santa Cruz Island in January, and they have been preparing for the swim ever since. Rose had a special training program made for herself because she broke her elbow in April, and she made a training plan for the rest of the team.

Rose became the team captain because she has been a team captain before and therefore had a lot of experience. Rose has been swimming for almost her whole life and she has been an open water swimmer since 2000. She is known for her pioneering swims in Alaska, however, she began her adventure swimming with a swim from La Jolla Shores to Crystal Pier.

“I think we made it because we really stood together as a team during the hard times of the swim,” Rose said.

The swim was sanctioned by the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association and officially observed by San Diego residents Paula Selby and Ralph Lufkin and Ventura resident Jane Cairns.
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Claudia Selkie
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October 22, 2017
Beautiful article. The photos were taken by Paula Selby of Goldfish Gallery, she was also one of the observers!
Louise Darlington
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October 20, 2017
It was an absolutely honor to be on this team! An amazing group of crew, boat crew, paddlers, and observers who all supported us! Such an adventure and accomplishment is thanks to the highly trained and solid jobs done by everyone involved - and hearty thanks to the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association for sanctioning the swim and the work they do for the care and protection of these beautiful Channel Islands!
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