There have been multiple attempts to swim from the Farallon Islands, but to date only a few have accomplished this incredible feat.
1. Lt Colonel Stuart Evans
The first successful swim was by Lt Colonel Stuart Evans in August of 1967. He landed by Bolinas after swimming 13:44:52 seconds, covering 18 nautical miles. He wore a neoprene cap from looking at his picture and greased himself up fairly well. He also landed on shore and walked on the beach under his own power in accordance with English Channel rules.
Stuart is now deceased and no communication is available.
2. Ted Erickson
The second attempt completed was by Ted Erickson. On his first attempt in 1966 he went completely hypothermic and was reported “dead”. He was revived, started life anew and failed again on his second attempt. He said he waited a year this time, brought the man upstairs along, and success.
Ted completed his swim on September 17th 1967 in 14:38 minutes by swimming under the Golden Gate Bridge, covering 26.4 nautical miles. This is now the official start and finish line according to the FISF.
Ted is very much alive living in Chicago and his website is http://www.sdogv.com/swim.html. He is a little hard of hearing so emails are much preferred and he is most open and cordial in sharing so much wonderful information.
For more information on the Farallones and other swims check out Daily News Open Water Swimming.
The members of the Dolphin Club and the South End Rowing Club challenged each other to a race from the Farallones to the Club house each living side by side at Aquatic Park. They did the race in Sept or Oct of 1969. The records are being pieced together as we speak and this may be updated from time to time.
The Dolphin Club relay swam to the shores of Aquatic Park in 14 hours and defeated the South End Rowing Club, who got swept south then made it under the Golden Gate Bridge in 16 hours, but was forced to quit after encountering the beginning of the ebb.
The names of all the teams are being verified but two noteworthy people are Bob Roper, who swam for the South End Rowing Club – still swimming daily at age 70.
Also a 50m sprinter, triathlete, motorcycle racer and now world famous winery owner Bill Harlan, who swam for the Dolphin Club. Bill is 70 and has built one of the most famous wineries in the world Harlan Estates, scoring routine 100 ratings from Robert Parker.
All the people I spoke with confirmed proper relay rules, no sharks, but everyone was scared – they were all honest. Water temperature ranged from 55 to 62 depending on who you talk to and they started the race at 11pm.”
4. Night Train Swimmers
Completed swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands. May 20, 2011, covering 26.4 nautical miles. Time finished: 14:45:08. The team members were Phil Cutti, Darin Connolly, Dave Holscher, Vito Bialla, John Mathews and Kim Chambers.
5. Night Train Swimmers
Completed swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands. June 4, 2011, covering 26.4 nautical miles. Time finished: 16:29:08. The team members were Kim Chambers, Laura Vartain Horn, Cathy Delneo, Melissa King, Patti Bauernfeind and Lynn Kubasek.
6. Craig Lenning
Craig Lenning completes 30-mile swim from Farallon Islands to Muir Beach, April 8, 2014 with a time of 15:47:22.
7. Joe Locke
On July 12, 2014, Joe swam from South Farallon Islands to the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is a straight-line distance of 29.7 statute miles. The official time is 13 hours, 58 minutes, 28 seconds
8. Kim Chambers, Patti Bauernfeind, Simon Dominguez, Ashley Horne, Emily Kreger, and David Holscher
On April 25th 2015, Kim Chambers, Patti Bauernfeind, Simon Dominguez, Ashley Horne, Emily Kreger, and David Holscher swam in the worst conditions to the Farallon Islands yet. Escort swimmers were Kate Webber and Vito Bialla. Water Temp was 51.5 , wind 20 plus and waves to 8 feet. Total time was 14:10:13. The attempt to do a round trip relay was aborted due to weather and safety. Swimmers are not able to board a boat at night in conditions like these.
9. Team Nadadores Locos
On July 30-31, 2015, Amy Appelhans Gubser, Kirk McKinney, Les Mangold, John Sims, Jeff Everett, and Andrew McLaughlin completed the round-trip from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Northeast Buoy in Fisherman’s Bay of Southeast Farallon Island, and returning to the east of the Golden Gate Bridge. The relay was completed n 34:54:15.