Young Truckee swimmers take on Tiburon Mile Open Water Swim | SierraSun.com

Young Truckee swimmers take on Tiburon Mile Open Water Swim

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

Provided to the SunWith the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, Truckee swimmers Brittany Percin, left, and Cara Silvas look unfazed after competing in the 9th Annual RCP Tiburon Mile Open Water Swim this past Sunday.

Like Tiburon Mile founder Robert C. Placak said, “It’s not often you get a chance to participate with Olympic gold medalists.”

That’s just what Cara Silvas and Brittany Percin did this past Sunday when the young Truckee swimmers braved the San Francisco Bay in the 9th Annual RCP Tiburon Mile Open Water Swim.

The race, which measures one nautical mile (roughly 1.2 miles), draws a field of 800-plus swimmers, including 15 to 20 Olympians and World Champions from 20 countries, Placak said. Eric Vendt, Kalyn Keller and Mark Warkentin are just a few of the big names who competed.

“It was fun,” said Percin, who at 11 years old required special permission from Placak to compete.

“The mass start was sort of unnerving,” Percin continued. “(People) get kicked in the face. One girl got a bloody nose. I got scratched.”

Despite the rough start, Percin finished second in her 12-and-under age group with a time of 29 minutes, 5 seconds. Her goal was 30 minutes.

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Silvas, competing in her second Tiburon Mile at age 15, finished 12th in her 13-18 age group with a time of 26 minutes, 17 seconds. That was after getting a stomach flu the night before the race.

Trent Grimsey of Australia took the top spot overall in 20:31, while Britta Kamrau of Germany posted the best time on the women’s side in 21:48.

The swim starts from Ayala Cove on Angel Island and finishes in downtown Tiburon. The water this time of year averages 63 degrees, Placak said.

Asked how the water temperature compared to Donner Lake, Percin, who swam the 2.7 miles across Donner twice this past summer and fall, said it wasn’t even close.

“Definitely Donner Lake (is colder),” she said. “The Bay felt five degrees warmer.”

Tiburon athletes are offered a choice to raise money for designated charities through pledges, and Percin raised more than $1,000 for the U.S. Paralympics.