Tomorrow, June 23, 2012 is the 36th Annual Swim Around Key West. This is a 12.5 mile swim, clockwise around the island. Generally the waters are about 85 degrees and relatively shallow.
Started in 1977 by Anna Fugina who began swimming to help her recover from injuries obtained in a car accident, this event has grown into a huge competition. There are three categories that you can enter: solo swimmer, two-person relay, and three-person relay. Winners from each category will receive a prize. The current record time for a solo swimmer is 3:31:28; any swimmer to beat this record receives $750.
Safety is a huge issue with this event, and so a safety plan approved by the USCG is in place. Part of that plans includes each team to have a support vessel, typically a kayak, in the case of a swimmer in distress, to keep swimmers hydrated, and to ferry out members of the relay teams. There is an eight-hour time limit for the swim; at 6:00PM any swimmer not completed with the course will be picked up and escorted by boat to the finish line.
It has been reported that this year, Baywatch actress and real life EMT Alexandra Paul will be competing in the competition.
If you are boating around Key West on Saturday, please be mindful of these swimmers. We wish them all luck!
Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge