Sanford Travel's Brett Jowett taking on the Alcatraz Swim in San Francisco this August

Our very own Brett Jowett will be flying to San Francisco in August to complete the 2.4km long Alcatraz Swim with a small team from Bondi Icebergs. This swim isn’t for the faint hearted, the bay has strong currents, powerful tides and is notorious for lurking sharks. You might be wondering why anyone would want to swim in such conditions well Brett says “the attraction is that it is a Bucket List item”.  The group is certainly keen! If all goes well on the Saturday they will head out the following day and swim the much tougher Golden Gate Bridge leg.  

Brett Jowett talks on “How the event came about?”

This is an event that has been in place since 2012, when a couple of swimmers from the South End Rowing Club, ,  (A rowing and swimming club) based at Fishermans Wharf (Aquatic Park) San Francisco travelled to Sydney on a holiday.

They stumbled upon the Bondi Icebergs and were welcomed by some of our senior members and invited to swim with the Icebergs.

This chance meeting saw the birth of a sister club relationship where we visit each other every alternate year to swim together as a group. So in 2013 five Bondi Icebergs members travelled to San Francisco to swim from Alcatraz to Fishermans Wharf.

Each year the numbers grow, last year we had 20 SERC members join us in Sydney and this year we have a record 30 registered swimmers travelling to SFO.

Alan Gow, former Icebergs President and four-time Alcatraz veteran started a training regime to build up stamina by swimming laps across Bondi Beach each day all year around. This ensured swimmers could handle the 2.4km crossing from Alcatraz but also acclimatise them to the cold water as San Fran Harbour which is about 15C in their summer, equivalent to our 15C winter water temp. 

The group train at 9:30am on weekdays and 10:00am on weekends and there are all sorts in attendance from fast young guns to the slow and steady oldies and beginners.


Louise Brettell