Six endurance swimmers attempting a relay course Thursday from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge didn’t quite make it, as they were plagued by difficult water conditions brought on by mountain snowmelt runoff.
A GPS tracker on their boat shows they were pushed backwards for a time about halfway to the bridge, and attempts to swim against the current were eventually abandoned about 7:30 p.m. The group began the swim at 6:30 a.m. and had planned to arrive at the bridge around 7 p.m.
Swimmer Phil Cutti estimated the team, all Marin county residents and members of the South End Rowing Club, were about 2½ hours from their goal. None of the men was wearing a wetsuit, because apparently, that’s not allowed in endurance swimming culture.
Part of the international Night Train Swimmers organization, the men were raising money for military veteran charities. Cutti said the group is going to try again in about a month.
“We gotta finish it,” he said.
The relay-style feat hasn’t been achieved since 1969 and a solo swim hasn’t been completed since 1967.
“The whole team physically trained for it and it’s a very doable swim,” said Phil Cutti, one of the swimmers. “But we’re learning first hand why it hasn’t been completed in over 40 years.”