Bay Area Athletes Attempt the 28-Mile Swim of their lives


Simon Dominguez and Kim Chambers, shown here in a swim to Catalina Island, will attempt the 28-mile swim to the Farallon Islands. Brett Hillyard

Between July 27 and July 30, Simon Dominguez, 49, will be the first person to attempt the 28-mile swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands, home to one of the world’s largest great white shark populations. About two weeks later, his training partner Kim Chambers will try to become the first woman to do it.
The rules? No wetsuit. Swimmers are only allowed to wear a swimsuit, a pair of googles, and a swim cap to face the cold temperature of the Pacific Ocean. But cold waters won’t be the only obstacle the two athletes will have to face: toothy predators, strong currents, huge swells, and stiff winds.

So when people ask Dominguez if he has a death wish, his answer is plain and simple: “Let me put it this way: I have a great family, a great wife and kids, and if I thought that I wasn’t going to come back I wouldn’t do the swim. It’s very much a calculated risk. I’m not swimming during breeding season, I’ve chosen a crew and pilot who are very experienced in marathon swimming, and I’m from Australia. Once you’ve seen a crocodile, you’ll never be scared of a shark again.”

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Anne Courcelle

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