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!