Brave Swimmers Jump into 2016 With Chilly Alcatraz Swim - NBC Bay Area
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Brave Swimmers Jump into 2016 With Chilly Alcatraz Swim

The swim is a tradition that dates back to the 1960s.

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    Brave Swimmers Jump into 2016 With Chilly Alcatraz Swim
    NBC Bay Area
    Swimmers in the cold Bay waters on Friday, Jan. 1, 2015 participate in the annual New Year’s Alcatraz Swim.

    Nearly 110 men and women braved the cold Bay waters Friday for the annual New Year’s Alcatraz Swim – a 1.4-mile tradition that dates back to the 1960s.

    The event, which was hosted by South End Rowing Club, kicked off with a check in at 8:45 a.m and jumping "feet first" into the water at 11 a.m., according to the itinerary.

    Unlike competitive meets, the annual swim focuses on camaraderie between swimmers and the relaxing – and chilly – venture into the choppy Bay waters. This year, participants swam in temperatures as low as 53 degrees. 

    Swimmers were advised to take their time in the water and be aware of their body temperatures. Some participants were seen doing backstrokes, while others laughed and chatted with fellow swimmers along the way. 

    The conditions were "pretty much perfect," according to Lisa Newman-Wise, a recorder for the South End. The swimmers didn't face much tidal change, and the usually choppy waters were calmer than normal. 

    Last year, participants swam almost 2 miles due to fierce winds pushing them east towards the Bay Bridge. 

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