The Coney Island Polar Bear Club heads to the water for their weekly winter swim, the day after our giant blizzard (oh yeah, some of 'em even went IN the blizzard - these folks are not easily deterred, and some of them are in training for this weekend's big event!). Photo by Deb Rabinowitz, via Polar Bear Allyson Howard. Thanks Deb and Allyson!
Just a quick lunchtime post to share info about a really amazing event that's happening this coming Saturday (January 30th, 2016). It totally snuck up on me - I meant to post about it late last week, but better late than never. Saturday's forecast says 40 degrees and partly sunny; the Stevens Institute NYHOPS site (I love that site) shows water temperatures at the northern end of Manhattan to be in the mid to low 30's - now doesn't that just sound like the perfect conditions for a swim meet in the Hudson River? Well, it does to the fine folks at the US Winter Swimming Association, who have picked the Hudson River as the location for their 2nd annual US Winter Swimming Championships. Full details at their website. I'm going to go cheer on my friends from the Coney Island Polar Bear Club! Woohoo! Go Capri, Go Cristian, go anybody else who's competing!
Note - Oops, at the time I posted this there was no actual schedule of events on the USWSA website, but when one of my paddling friends pointed that out, Capri (The Polar Bear Princess, who's actually the one who gave me Pedro the Penguin Hat) was able to provide a tentative one:
adjusted tentative schedule for next SAT JAN 30, 2016 - US Winter Swimming Association National Championship 2016 - at La Marina:
SAT JAN 30, 2016
9am – registration begins
10am – 200m free
11am – 25m breast
12noon – 50m free
1pm – 50m breast
2pm – 100m free
3pm – 25m free
5pm – relays
I'm always a bit amazed at these folks who actually swim in water that would stop most of us untrained mortals cold (literally) in minutes -- if you've ever read any of those cold-water safety sites over there in my sidebar, you'll know that off-season boating is something that smart boaters approach with full awareness of the hazards and an expensive (and generally garish) wardrobe of outfits designed to extend your period of functional time should you accidentally end up in the icy drink -- cold water is nothing to be messed with and the folks who actually swim all winter (not just for a New Year's Day caper) are a very special kind of athlete. I'm very excited that the championship is here this year!
For more NYC winter swimming fun/madness, check out the Coney Island Polar Bear Club on Facebook or at Polarbearclub.org.