Courtesy of WOWSA, Raccoon Strait, San Francisco Bay, California.

Ferry Weertman caught an international flight from his home in the Netherlands and flew across the Atlantic Ocean and continental United States to land late Saturday night in San Francisco, California.

Groggy and jet lagged, he had to wake up early this morning to compete in the RCP Tiburon Mile. As he was walking to the registration desk, he learned that full-body tech suits were not allowed as per FINA rules. He had left home without jammers, so he settled to race the 1 nautical mile course in briefs.

Today was the first time the 2016 Olympic marathon swimming champion and reigning 10 km world champion and European champion had been in California – and he had zero knowledge of the race course or conditions in San Francisco Bay that he would soon face.

Weerten was not only unfamiliar with the water temperature, currents and course in the Raccoon Strait course, but he had no idea that the Golden Gate Bridge stood off in the distance as it was shrouded in fog and overcast skies.

Despite these distinct disadvantages relative to his competition, Weertman was the most experienced competitive open water swimmer in the race. In a race with plenty of small turbulent waves, he used his high navigational IQ, uncanny situational awareness, and tremendous ability to kick to the finish like no one else on the planet to an impressive victory.

Weertman’s trademark closing speed with 25 meters to go put a quick end to anyone’s hope for an upset. He created separation like few others can do and added a close win over David Heron to his increasingly decorated career.

Men’s Top 10 Results:
1. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands) 21:49.65
2. David Heron (USA) 21:50.70
3. Ricardo Vargas (USA) 21:51.60
4. Zane Grothe (USA) 21:55.60
5. Alex Meyer (USA) 23:25.90
6. Akira Lomvardas (USA) 23:39.60
7. Michael Sheil (Australia) 23:43.85
8. Gavin McGee (USA) 23:50.30
9. Sean Percin (USA) 24:59.65
10. Bobby Yribarren (USA) 25:33.55

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