Teamwork Makes The Dream Work: Neptune & Poseidon

Courtesy of Katie Rowe, Catalina Channel, California.

Swim Long Beach will be cheering on two separate tandem relays tonight across the 32.3 km Catalina Channel in Southern California.

Hank Wise explained their strategy, “A tandem relay is tricky because you have to pace, pace, pace instead of race, race, race.

We have done our best to match our SWIM Long Beach Masters swimmers and they have been training together all summer. They’ve paced each other in the pool and in the ocean, in the pre-dawn darkness, in daytime, and at night in Alamitos Bay, Long Beach Breakwater, near the breakwater, Seal Beach, Corona del Mar and Palos Verdes. Our team has dedicated many hours in coordination and training. Our alternates have come in clutch – digging deeper into our team roster – as we had to replace swimmers in the last couple of months.

We will have two relays comprised of six swimmers each. There will be two swimmers in the water at a time, each duo swimming for one hour and then the next duo will dive in – give them a hand tag and off they go, the finishing duo, climbing back aboard the boat
.”

Their escort boat is the Maui Diamond. Wise describe the ship, “It is a 1970’s vintage 62’ vessel driven and crewed by experienced hands. Its a motor sailing vessel with a ferro-cement hull, think heavy, stable, slow and roomy. The vessel was donated to the Long Beach Sea Scouts by the Miller / Satarino Family two years ago and used for teaching and mentoring of seamanship and teamwork through time spent on the water. The Maui Diamond is maintained and directed by Commodore of the Sea Scouts, Albert Guerra. The captain of the vessel for tonight’s relay swim is General Manager of the Sea Scout Base, Chris Macy.”

Rowe has been leading the training approach with a consistent insistence that the swimmers prepare for their relay legs by putting themselves into tough, dark swims in the ocean on a bi-weekly basis. Team Captain Mike Tran has been tireless in communicating with relay swimmers and handling intra-team details. Head Coach Hank Wise has been using his Catalina Channel Swim experience and local knowledge to mentor and guide ocean training swims, secure the vessel, observers and kayak navigator.

Our kayaker, Barb Schumacher is an accomplished and veteran kayaker who has overseen dozens of swims through the years. She will be our path finder as she navigates slowly and steadily, using compass headings, and other GPS tools while foot peddling a Hobie kayak across the mighty night sea for the 20 mile journey.

Chris Geer and Peter Knapp, both from Long Beach, have dedicated so many hours to certifying these swims and they are about to embark upon another 24-26 hours at sea with the team. They have both swum the channel as well.

The 20 people on the escort boat include 12 swimmers, 1 coach, 1 kayaker, 2 Catalina Channel Swim Federation observers, and 4 boat crew. The swimmers for SWIM Long Beach Relay include:

Team Neptune:
* Sam Fandrich
* Mike Tran
* Dave O’Neil
* Devon Beebe
* Fred Gilbert
* Gerry Parker

Team Poseidon
* Jeff Wheeler
* Brian Kelley
* Steve Sanchez
* Tess Parkhouse
* Jose Villa
* Tina Weidenkeller

To track the teams, visit here starting at 10:00 pm local time in California. The expected arrival near Terranea is between 8 am and 10 am on Sunday, September 22nd.

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