Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Inaugural Lake Tahoe Relay July 28-29, 2014

The Inaugural 2014 Lake Tahoe Relay was a success!

Sunday before the relay there was the final training swims that were done in Lake Tahoe to verify that each swimmer was comfortable with the water. During the evening the swimmer’s completed the dark swim. They began the swim at twilight and completed the swim chasing fish and crayfish in the dark ,that were attracted to the lights that were being used.  The kids finally left the water 15 minutes after they completed the dark swim.

The swimmers for the relay were Jacee Frivaldo, AJ Tran, Jack Cahill, Bianca Reinisch and Devin Esser. Each of these swimmers had completed many open water swims and training to prepare for the event. These swimmers exceeded the minimum requirements, by several miles, to be considered to participate in the relay for 2014.

The swimmers and their parents (a.k.a. volunteers) loaded the boats at approximately 7:00pm. The first boat took off with three foot chop, as the second boat was then prepared with the kayakers, and followed shortly behind. The swimmers squealed with delight, as the waves crashed into the bow of the boat. The water appeared to be a very deep blue as the cloud cover continued to thicken.

Forty-five minutes into the ride southward a light rain began and each swimmer found a way of protecting his or her self. The light shower lasted a few minutes and then the sun peaked out from the clouds creating a spectacular double rainbow. Shortly, after that the sunset became apparent as the descent of the sun became more breathtaking with each moment until finally it set.

Navigation to the starting point was guided successfully with a GPS and a navigational map. The kayaker paddled into position for the kids to make the jump into the water and make their way to shore. The only guidance was the lights from the shoreline and the lights from the boats guiding the swimmers to shore.

The kayaker radioed in they were ashore and the kids gave a yell as they began the First Youth Relay to Cross Lake Tahoe (South to North). Four of the five swimmers decided to begin the relay. The first swimmer passed the boats and the three other swimmers boarded the boat to prepare for their leg of the relay that would begin as each hour passed.

Jacee began her leg of the relay as the lead swimmer to swim past the boats.  The kayak caught up after making sure the remaining three swimmers were within the safety of the boat.

The clouds reflected the generous light from the shoreline and the lights from the boats. The target was sighted and the kayaker, swimmer and boats headed north toward the lights of Reno. For a very dark night the sky was magnificent with clouds, stars, winds, and light showers on and off.

The first hour of the swim seemed to move swiftly as AJ prepared herself to jump in with her lights aglow she headed to give Jacee a high-five.  Jacee exited the water as AJ and the kayaker continued their journey. AJ’s stroke was relaxed and she seemed to swim at an easy and confident pace.

The hour the AJ swam the wind had picked up and there was a small amount of chop. Jack prepared himself for his leg of the swim and before you know it he was in the water and giving AJ a high five and moved the relay forward as he and the kayaker began the dance of the learning to stroke next to a swimmer. Oh, did I mention, his sister, Molly was one of his kayakers. (Nice Job, Molly!)

Jack swam very well maintaining his rhythm keeping the kayak and boats in sight. Jack appeared to belong in the water with a smooth relax stroke that covered significant amount of water as he pulled through with each stroke. Bianca prepared to enter the water.

Bianca made her jump into the water and she was aglow giving a high-five to Jack. She looked bright and the folks on the North Shore could see her if they would look that way. Bianca got into her swim with excitement and energy that enabled her to reach a goal that enabled her see herself in a new place this night. Her quick stroke enabled her to create a wake as she moved through the water. Her tempo kept her energy moving swiftly throughout her hour.  Devin, gathered himself with his glowing wrists, a glow stick and a flashing light on his cap, as he made his jump and gave Bianca a high-five.

Devin was the youngest swimmer on this relay. In the pool he is a distance swimmer and he loves the open water. He kept his pace throughout the entire hour with little fluctuation on tempo. His excitement, kept the entire team moving throughout the night. Jacee prepared for her second leg during the relay, for this portion she decided to wear her wetsuit to stay warm, knowing she would have a third leg.

Jacee jumped in the water with a quiet hoot, from those on the boat.  One little problem, her glow stick was not affixed to her suit as planned. She had her flasher and that was visible. Jacee kept her long stroke going as she continued the journey to the north shore. Swimming at a more consistent pace, keeping the engine moving during her second hour leg of the relay. The sky was beginning to dawn as AJ prepare for her second leg of the relay.

AJ made her jump and looked great as she headed toward the kayak to give Jacee a high-five transfer of the swimmer. AJ took a moment to adjust her goggles. And the relay was headed north again. AJ liked the opposite side of the kayak as she continued her relay leg. She looked afire with her light and glow sticks. AJ did awesome, as dawn became clearer. Jack prepared for his leg of the relay. It was going to be great the north shore was clearly in sight.

Jack jumped in with his lights and glow sticks and headed to AJ to give her a high-five. After a long night Jack looked great and his pace and the rhythm of the kayaker was a beautiful waltz. Since this was an adventure swim with marathon as the distance. Jack was able to swim for a few extra minutes. The sun had broken the horizon by the time Jacee was preparing to make her third jump.

Jacee gathered herself as she headed to Jack to give the high-five transfer of swimmer. She began reaching for the north shore and drawing it closer with each stroke knowing that she could potentially land the relay. After 41 minutes the shore and landing site was spotted and Bianca and Devin jumped in, to land as part of the final leg team. After a little over an hour Jacee opted out of finalizing the finish and gave Devin the high-five. Bianca and Devin headed to the finish on shore.

It seemed to take forever to land the final leg of the relay but steadily the shoreline drew closer. Devin and Bianca pressed into the landing site with everyone watching anxiously. Moment by moment, stroke, by stroke the finish site grew larger and the kayakers and swimmers were in the water to the finished.

Devin landed the relay 9:22.30 after it began. The celebration continued as the long excitement filled night, was behind us. Devin and Bianca decided to walk to the dock, the kayakers headed to the dock and the boats carefully navigated the boats to the dock. We were met by Scott and his team to pick up the boats. Scott graciously, brought donuts, the much needed snack before breakfast, thank you!

The relay was a phenomenal achievement and each person began the celebration of the morning.

Each person had completed their individual goal. The main focus of the relay was to align the individual goals and create a successful relay of Lake Tahoe.

Many thanks to each person the enabled the success of the relay helping, these five awesome youth reach a goal they set and accomplished in a night.



Xterrawetsuits - donated a wetsuit for each swimmer to use.

Lake Tahoe Boat Rentals – were gracious enough to rent us the boats.

The Parents, awe the parents that withstood the night and days of excitement! Awesome job!

Thank you!







Monday, August 11, 2014

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Thank you to the following sponsors for helping Jacee For Kids send off the Inaugural Lake Tahoe Relay on July 28-29. It was a Great Success!

We would not have made it without these sponsors that really helped out and did not make the t-shirt.

Paseo Water and Ice: Here is their Yelp Review


Chopstick Express:


Help us to make their business a little brighter! Please mention you heard about them from Jacee For Kids.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Channel Cats 2014 Catalina Relay

June 30, came very soon for Jacee. As she traveled to California once again to her second swim from Santa Catalina Island to Palos Verdes, a distance of 21 miles with a mix gender relay of all 14 year olds. We arrived at the La Jolla Cove for Jacee’s swims that would accumulate 6 miles in two days. She had fun seeing all of her La Jolla Cove Swim Club friends. Thank you to everyone who helped Jacee with her daily workouts.

On July 2nd, Jacee traveled to San Pedro for the second time in one year. This would culminate into a second successful crossing of the Catalina Channel in a mix gender relay, as a 14 year old.  The energy filled the environment and the kids and parents prepared taking the necessary steps to avoid seasickness. Gathering at the local Mexican Food Restaurant, and taking the endless pictures for the memories.

Dan and Doug shared their wisdom and advice as they always have in preparing the teenagers for various swims. This swim would seem the same but it has all the new and excited teenagers that would enthrall the hearts of everyone as the set out for their journey.

Each swimmer had their own plans for the swim but each would become part of a successful relay crossing for the first time in their lives. Accept Jacee who has swum the first relay last August 12/13, 2013. The attention was endless and each child was set with their personal preparation for the swim. Of course, the goal was successfully completing the swim as one unit.

Jacee Frivaldo, AZ

Isabella, Back, CA

Carson Gossler, CA
Ethan McVeigh, CA
Cayden Pangelinan, CA
Valerie Chin, CA

Morgan Hartley, CA - Alternate
Colin Grubensky, CA – Alternate

Each swimmer entered the water to do their part as they encountered many jellyfish, currents and waves throughout each leg of the relay. Cayden, had the pleasure of swimming with the dolphins this year and stated, “That he could hear their clicking before he actually saw them.” It was a pod of dolphins the he would swim with most of the leg of his swim.

Jacee’s journey this year was successful because there was no seasickness and she enjoyed her time with the Jellyfish. As she says, “would you let these jellyfish just jump in your house and do what they wanted. Of course, they are going to sting you.” She also stated, “That the jellies that got in her suit were just going to visit their friends as she swam through them and they fell out of the suit.”

Bella, landed the team at 8:42.xx mark unofficially. The overall swim was relatively calm and the finish had a high tide which definitely helped at the end. These awesome swimmers including both alternates Morgan and Colin had the proper preparation and joined together for a successful crossing of the Catalina Channel. Of which only 92 successful relays have been swum since 1926 through 2013.

Congratulations, to our successful Channel Cats!


Special Thanks goes to Julie, Violet, and Jim! Julie and Violet kayaked and Jim was our second observer for the swim. The LA County Fire Rescue Unit attended the finale of the swim. Oh, maybe that is because it was Julie’s Husband. Thanks for the ride back to the boat! It was much warmer than swimming the way back.


Two Mile Champion at the Southern California Cup

Jacee volunteered again this year at the USA Swimming National Open Water Championships. She enjoyed speaking to the all the great swimmers, officials and organizers. Her favorite job is marking the numbers on the swimmers. She also enjoys cutting the chips off the swimmers at the finish line.

The 10k was swum on Friday and the 5k was swum on Sunday. There is a Southern California Cup swum on Saturday where everyone in the National Championship and age group entries are invited. There was a 1-mile swim and a 2-mile swim.  Jacee encouraged the 1 mile swimmers and made friends with many of them. She then swam the 2 mile swim having a great race. In the last 500 meters Jacee, in the middle of the pack, Jacee decided to win the race and went for the finish. She and another female swimmer were working hard to be the first female in the race. In the last 50 yards Jacee commanded the field with a moved enabled her to take the lead and hold onto it, as she out touched the second place swimmer by 3 seconds.  It was a great finish for all of the swimmers.  Congratulations, to Jacee and everyone who swam all of the championship races.

The 10k races were won by Mann, Becca and Gemmell, Andrew.

The 5k races were won by Meyer, Alex and Anderson, Haley.

Congratulations, to our National Champions that will go to represent the USA at the various World Championships this year!

2014 Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge Swims

It was an excellent day for an open water swim and Alcatraz was the swim of the day. Approximately, one hundred swimmers entered the water that beautiful day. The water was moving swiftly and the chop was substantial. The swimmers jumped in one at a time, to promote safety first. The water was a warm 56 degrees that day and wonderful for the swimmers that did the practice swims in the very cold Scottsdale Lake. Each swimmer entered the water with their personal goal in mind.

The swift current from Alcatraz is always an issue but with the professional help of Bob Roper and his pilot Paddy and the awesome crew and staff, the swimmers knew the plan and were ready to tackle the intrepid waters of the San Francisco Bay. The reason for the swim was the Annual Swim from Alcatraz for F.A.S.T.  (The Foundation for Aquatic Safety and Training). To promote drowning prevention each year for many people that still need to learn to swim.

Jacee and Cole Whitener were two swimmers that have come back year after year, swimming this extremely fun and fast swim. The challenge is always at a personal level because there is a first place finisher that does not mean there is only one first place finisher. The main goal is for each person to add to their community. Making a difference in their community becoming and community leader by focusing on helping others  learn to swim, also encouraging a water safety mindset that will and does help save lives.

This year the first place person was Jacee and Ryan was the first place male, her challenger from last year. It was interesting Jacee commented, “The swift choppy water was the toughest in years for Jacee.” She also stated, “This swim was one of the most enjoyable swims, she has encountered.”

One special guest that Jacee was able to befriend was Liz Hunter our official Coast Guard entry. Along with Liz, there are so many individuals that make it a national and international event. It creates a goal for many swimmers to focus on during their daily training. The swimmers will take the experience back to their friends and family to encourage others to focus on swimming and drowning prevention. Enabling each swimmer to swim the “impossible swim”!

The day after the infamous Alcatraz Swim, a wonderful weekend of swimming continued with the Golden Gate Bridge Crossing (GGB).  You ask why? The best answer I can think of and have heard from several swimmers is “Why not”.  Well, yes the current is swifter, yes, you can find yourself swimming in place for several minutes and yes, you never know what to expect out there. Once again Bob Roper, Paddy and crew know how to handle the entire process. There are many safety precautions even in the toughest situations.

This year’s GGB had its stopping point for Jacee. Jacee and Liz Hunter were off and swimming together once they jumped. Starting in the middle of the pack Jacee took off passing the entire field to what looked like a first place finished until the moment came where the destination and current came together to stop the swimmers. Ryan and his friend found the way out of the current and finished the race first. Jacee finally, got to her destination and completed the swim as the first female. This year the focus would be touching the rock. Having fun in these swims is truly the goal and of course, first place is in the heart of each swimmer.

Thank you again for the wonderful event planners and organizers of these annual events!

If this article has piqued your interest here is the link for this swim. The event planners will help you through the process.