Shaffer takes out 3-mile in under an hour

Mike Shaffer, right, and Stuart ReidTalk about a power hour. Former East Beach lifeguard Mike Shaffer held it down on his old stomping grounds Sunday morning, pounding out Semana Nautica’s 3-mile open-water swim in 59 minutes and 22 seconds, well ahead of the competition.

“I used to be a lifeguard on the beach here,”  reminisced the 44-year-old Shaffer, noting how happy he was to see his former colors during the race. “I was thanking the guy who was paddling with me because I could see his red shorts. I said, ‘hey, thanks lifeguard.’

“I’m glad the paddler picked me up because I had trouble finding that last buoy,” he said, blaming the sun’s glare that was in the swimmer’s eyes during the eastward leg, which happened to be the longest.

The course had the competitors enter the ocean near the Cabrillo Bath House before taking off towards Stearns Wharf.

The swimmers basically had to swim the entire length of East Beach twice, as the 3-mile circuit stretched nearly to the wharf before turning back towards the Bath House. From the wharf, the route took the pack along the coast past the original entry point all the way to just beyond the end of the East Beach volleyball courts. Once there, the home stretch led everyone back to the Bath House and finish line, which is outside the water on the beach.

“It was nice out there actually, it was kinda glassy for the first mile or so,” said Shaffer, adding that it did get a little choppy later in the race and that the water seemed to get colder near the east end of the course.

Women's winner Sarah DeyoreoFor women’s winner Sarah Deyoreo, who was taking on her first 3-mile open water swim, her body temperature swing was in the opposite direction.

“Getting in was freezing. For the first ten minutes everything was numb but then it got better from there,” said Deyoreo,  a native northern Californian who is in the triathlon club at UC Irvine.

Second-place finisher Stewart Reid, who will be teaming with Shaffer and four others to do the 11.5-mile Trans-Tahoe race in two weeks, clocked in at 1.03:57.

Sarah Murray was the youngest in the top ten, taking first in the U-17 group in 1.12:35.


1. Mike Shaffer, 59.22, 1st M 40-44
2. Stewart Reid, 1.03:57, 1st M 35-39
3. Kurt Baron, 1.05:22, 1st M 45-49
4. Ed Smith, 1.07:05, 1st M 25-34
5. Chip Blankenhorn, 1.07:19, 2nd M 35-39
6. Sara Deyoreo, 1.07:34, 1st W 18-24
7. Jon Clark, 1.09:05, 2nd M 45-49
8. Jeff Cleveland, 1.12:10, 3rd M 35-39
9. Sarah Murray, 1.12:35, 1st W U-17
10. Maureen MacDonald, 1.12:43, 1st W 45-49
11. David Neilan, 1.13:02, 2nd M 40-44
12. Tom Ettinger, 1.13:09, 1st M 60-64
13. Jerry Mahoney, 1.13:32, 3rd M 45-49
14. Don Smith, 1.13:50
15. Karen Schultz, 1.14:01, 1st W 25-34
16. Steven Swift, 1.14:37, 2nd M 25-34
17. Cindy Braden, 1.14:52, 2nd W 45-49
18. Dan O’Meara, 1.14:57, 2nd M 60-64
19. Laura Coombs, 1.16:32, 2nd W 25-34
20. Matt Struckmeyer, 1.18:28
21. Maria Deyoreo, 1.20:22, 2nd W 18-24
22. Hannah Christman, 1.20:40, 3rd W 18-24
23. Isabel Dickinson, 1.22:29
24. Larry Raffaelli, 1.27:51,  1st M 65+
25. Stepan Paul, 1.28:21, 1st M 18-24
26. John Derr, 1.28:56, 3rd M 60-64
27. Joshua Schultz, 1.32:54, DQ – Wetsuit
28. Lynn Kubasek, 1.34:57, 1st W 50-54
29. Kristine Miller, 1.35:09
30. Nipun Noth, 1.37:07  2nd M 18-24
31. Bob Kitson, 1.46:31 1st M 55-59