Wearing bright yellow swim caps, 36 people jumped into the surf together from the Jasmine Street beach access on Amelia Island this morning. They would swim a mile north to Main Beach Park in Fernandina Beach. At another beach access further south, 42 additional racers readied themselves to swim an even more challenging 5K race. It was a beautiful morning for the 2010 Amelia Island Ed Gaw OPEN WATER CHALLENGE, and Fernandina Beach Ocean Rescue lifeguards were on the beach and on the water. (Watch May 29, 2010 Amelia Island Living video of beach scenes around 8:30 am and the swimmers starting the race).
Coast Guard Auxiliary boats and kayaks were in the water, as well as a city jet ski. The second, longer swim started at the Simmons Road beach access, with both races to finish at Main Beach Park.
Kudos to these folks with the conditioning and stamina to swim a mile or more in the Atlantic Ocean. Nice way to start the Memorial Day holiday weekend here on Amelia Island, Florida. Fernandina Beach has hosted this annual event before, open to USMS and USA-Swimming registrants.
See Fernandina Beach, Florida’s city website for more background information about the Ed Gaw Open Water Challenge.