Kayakers for Swimmers...

Kayaks accompany swimmers on an eight mile ocean swim…
Great video…

This is a great way for kayakers to help! Often can find local triathalons looking for kayakers to support the swim stage.

Wow. Lovely video - I envy the ability of those swimmers. Nice event; looks like lots of safety boats nearby as well as the paddlers.

Thanks for sharing.
Maybe we should have one in South Sound from the beach down to "Shark Flats"and back

I do kayak duty most every year for the local triathlon. You’d be surprised at the number of folks who compete that can barely swim. This year the last person out of the water was an 80 year old woman. You go, girl!

There are two different swim supports. Safety boat and escort boat.

Safety …boat keeps them on course and assists if required.

Escort…boat accompanies a specific swimmer. SOTs are good for this. Long distance swimmers, like the around Key West swim want the escort to carry their support, water, energy drinks, etc. Relative too the swimmers are slow. Many of our paddlers have had to back paddle to stay even with the paddle.

There is a swim around Charleston harbor every year that always requests kayak support.

San Fransisco is loaded with the swims - pretty much one or more every weekend year round. Alcatraz to SF is most common, but there are others (crossing parallel to Golden Gate Bridge, swimming from one bridge to another, etc.). So common that most swim organizers pay kayakers to do it (not enough volunteers).

If the swim participants are open water swimmers (the folks training for Channel crossing and the like), they pretty much always do great. If they are triathletes, then there will be a high percentage who will freak out in the cold/dark/wavy water,wont swim in a straight line, won’t have listed to the talk about tidal currents and how they can’t aim straight at where they will get out, and the like.

Here is a blog post from way back when that California Kayaker Magazine put out on what to expect and is expected from the large triathlon swims (Escape from Alctatraz, Alcatraz Challenge, etc.), which occur on strong ebb tides.