Cold water and choppy seas
The water temperature was a chilly 59 degrees Fahrenheit and the seas were choppy for the 1.5 mile Golden Gate Frogman swim held over the weekend to raise money for the Navy Seal Foundation.
The swim course took the 12 participants from the Pacific Ocean, under the Golden Gate Bridge and into the San Francisco Bay for a finish at the historic Fort Baker. Redpoint Vice President Ted Muhlner participated in the swim in the challenging waters.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Evan Sernoffky was there to capture the action and caught up with Muhlner at the finish line:
In the water, the swimmers’ bright-colored caps bobbed up and down as they hurled themselves through the dark, choppy water that’s home to whales, sharks and other marine life.
Fortunately for Sunday’s group, no sharks spoiled the party.
“This is a great reason to be in the water with great people and to think about things that are most important,” said Ted Muhlner, 43, a former SEAL from Menlo Park.
Like the other swimmers, many of whom came from around the country for the event, he took a moment to float on his back and look up at the mighty bridge, while remembering his fellow SEALs lost in combat.
Sunday was a particularly somber day for the SEAL community. It was the sixth anniversary of the day a Chinook CH-47 helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, killing 17 SEALs and 21 other military members onboard — the single worst loss of U.S. forces in the war.”
The goal for each of the swimmers is to raise $2,500 for the Naval Surface Warfare community and their families. Ted serves on the board of the Navy SEAL Foundation. His CrowdRise fundraising page can be found here.
The Frogman Swim began in Tampa Bay, Florida in 2009. The San Francisco edition is the brainchild of Former Navy SEAL, Rory O’Connor and Kurt Ott whose father was a SEAL. O’Connor and Ott run the Tampa Bay Swim and regularly receive requests from seaside cities across the country to host the Frogman Swim. The organizers routinely turn down sunny, warm and flat venues in favor of courses with colder waters and rougher seas, like San Francisco.
The Golden Gate Frogman Swim was organized by Rory O’Connor and Ryan Nelson. Nelson is a member of the San Francisco South End Rowing Club, whose members generously provided critical swimmer support throughout the event. O’Connor and Nelson plan to turn the Golden Gate edition into an annual event.