Former Cal distance standout and U.S. National Team member Catherine Breed took 45 minutes off the previous women’s record for a round trip swim to Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay Monday morning.
The course begins at San Francisco’s Aquatic Park, and most swimmers go clockwise around the island. The route crosses two major shipping channels (going out and coming back, so really, four times) and is largely cross-current.
Breed completed the 10-mile swim in 4:45:50, well under Erika Shanahan Gliebe‘s 5:30:01 record from just last month (still pending ratification). In 1984, Dave Kenyon became the first swimmer to complete the route, and still holds the men’s record at 4:23.08. In 2013, Cathy Delneo became the first woman to complete the round trip Angel Island swim; Breed is the 24th swimmer in history to do it.
Breed is also the current record-holder, for all genders, for swimming the length of Lake Tahoe (~21.3 miles – 8:56:17). Since starting to do open water swimming in 2017, she’s also swum the English Channel and North Channel.
Breed had been wanting to do the Angel Island swim for three years, she wrote on Instagram Monday. She added that conditions were windy and the current was stronger than expected at the end of the swim.
View this post on Instagram
After 3 years of wanting to do this one, I finally knocked it off and broke the 🏆 women’s record in the process, as well as swimming the second fastest time ever. Dave Kenyon has the record with 4:23, I decided while swimming he is a freaking bada**. 10miles RTAI in 4:45.50. We knew the winds would be an issue but we didn’t expect the current to push us so much at the end, ah the fun of swimming in SF Bay. Had a close call with a stubborn tanker as well, #meanie but like he’s bigger 🤷🏼♀️ . As a team, we all learned lot and are excited to get back out there. I’ve decided that I’m only doing swims in perfect conditions and in my backyard- for a while 😝 #kidding #kindof . Thank you for all the support! Now time for work- no, not training, like actual work… aka calls from bed. #hopemybossdoesntseethis . @honeystinger @jolynclothing @theolympicclub
The Marathon Swimmers Federation posted a video of Breed’s finish:
🚨🚨 The women’s record for San Francisco’s Round-Trip Angel Island has been shattered for the second time in less than a month. Catherine Breed just completed the challenging 10 mile cross-current route in 4 hours, 45 minutes (pending MSF ratification). Catherine was piloted by Dave Holscher, paddler Ricardo Urbina, and observed by Dolphin Club president Diane Walton. Well swum!longswims.com/events/round-trip-angel-island/
Posted by Marathon Swimmers Federation on Monday, July 13, 2020
Breed was a member of the U.S. National Junior Team for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. She made the senior national team after finishing second in the 200m free at 2011 Summer Nationals, which put her on the 2011 Pan American Games roster. At Pan Ams in 2011, she took gold in the 200 free and as a member fo the 800 free relay.
At Cal, Breed was a multi-time individual NCAA scorer.