Photo courtesy of Habernicht for the Olympic Club, San Francisco, California.

Swimmers representing the Olympic Club began participating in open water swimming competitions in the 1870’s in San Francisco Bay in northern California.

Howard F. Brewer (left) and J. Scott Leary (right) are shown with International Marathon Swimming Hall of Famer Sydney Cavill.

Another outstanding luminary of the Cavill Family, Sydney introduced the Australian crawl to the United States.

Leary was a bronze and silver medalist in the 1904 St. Louis Olympic Games and later became the first American to swim 100 yards in 1 minute. He lost the gold medal in a second race against the Hungarian gold medalist after their first race was ruled a dead heat.

After the 1904 Olympics, Leary was coached by Cavill who replaced his Trudgen stroke for the Australian crawl. Leary became the dominant American sprinter in 1905 and 1906.

Brewer was also considered one of the finest swimmers of his era and traveled throughout the United States to compete and represent the Olympic Club.

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