Six swimmers will complete 228-mile relay from Point Conception to San Diego to benefit the Navy SEAL Foundation
SAN FRANCISCO, California – August 7, 2013 - Night Train Swimmers, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises funds through open-water swimming events, announced today its team of six swimmers that will attempt to break the world record by swimming from Point Conception to San Diego. The 228-mile distance swim is anticipated to begin on August 23, 2013, and aims to eclipse the existing world record by more than 20 miles.
Keeping with its tradition of partnering with other non-profit organizations for its marquee swims, Night Train has partnered this time with the Navy SEAL Foundation, which provides comprehensive, ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.
“Night Train has a long history of raising money for deserving organizations. We are proud to partner with the Navy SEAL Foundation for this swim and to finish at the San Diego Yacht Club, near their headquarters at Coronado Island,” said Vito Bialla, captain of the swim and a decorated Vietnam veteran. “Supporting our Navy SEALs and their families is a great honor.”
The co-ed relay team consists of six world-class swimmers, all of whom hail from California: Phil Cutti, David Holscher, Zach Jirkovsky, Luane Rowe, Blair Cannon, and Grace van der Byl. Members of the group have completed hundreds of open water swims, most notably the English Channel and Farallon Islands relay. Two Medal of Honor recipients will accompany the swimmers in the water to the finish line at Coronado Island: Mike Thornton, the most decorated Navy SEAL ever; and Bob Kerrey, former Governor of Nebraska and United States Senator.
Van der Byl, whose father was also a Vietnam veteran, said, “To be a part of this relay, for this cause, is the greatest honor I could have as a swimmer and a daughter.” Van der Byl recently broke the world record for the 21-mile Catalina Channel swim in seven hours 27 minutes.
Also, world-class runner Mike Trevino will complete a solo run of more than 300 miles from Point Conception to San Diego to greet the swimmers when they land on shore. Trevino has won the prestigious 135-mile Badwater Race through Death Valley.
Additional information and donation opportunities can be found at Night Train’s website at nighttrainswimmers.org.
About Navy SEAL Foundation
The Navy SEAL Foundation serves one noble purpose; to provide immediate, ongoing and unwavering support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families. The Foundation coordinates closely with NSW commands to support the critical needs of active-duty operators while also providing resources for NSW veterans. The Foundation’s work is focused on five key areas: warrior support and family services; educational opportunities; legacy preservation programs; tragedy assistance and survivor support. To learn more, visit navySEALfoundation.org or facebook.com/navySEALfoundation.
About Night Train Swimmers
Night Train Swimmers is a non-profit organization that raises money for charitable causes through open water swimming events. Since 2008, Night Train has raised over $1.3 million dollars for its non-profit partners and at-risk youth swim program by completing events such as: the English Channel, world-record Lake Powell relay, and swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands. For more information, please visit nighttrainswimmers.org.