SACRAMENTO – On Friday, 39 year old Kim Chambers began her attempt at swimming from Sacramento to Tiburon, a town on the edge of the San Francisco Bay. The goal of the swim was to raise funds and awareness for Warrior Canine Connection. Chambers and her team were not certain how long the 93 mile swim would take because nobody had ever completed it alone.
The diversity of the ocean conditions, temperature variation and tidal shifts made this one of the most difficult and taxing marathons ever. Under Channel Swimming Association regulations, Chambers could not be touched, take breaks or wear anything that offered her thermal protection or buoyancy.
If completed, Chambers’ swim would go down as the longest solo, unassisted swim by a woman. After the first 16 hours of her journey, that goal was still within reach. By the time she had been in the water for 24 hours, the weather was so bad that Chambers could barely get herself through the waves.
Adam Skolnick from The New York Times wrote, “Finally, her crew called her over to the boat and told her the weather forecast showed the winds picking up, rather than relenting. It was time to concede.” Chambers’ 24 hour swim, her longest yet, was brought to an end. Her goal of finishing the the swim on September 11th was no longer possible, further proving that unpredictable weather plays a huge part in open water swimming success.
Chambers isn’t done yet, her second swim of 2016 will take place in the Middle East in November; she will be joining an international team to swim across the Dead Sea. Through failures and successes, Chambers continues to reach for swims that will keep her in the record books for years to come.