Valente, Schipper are first to reach the beach

Alex Valente and Carina Schipper were the first to touch dry land at Reef and Run’s season-ending Boat-to-Beach ocean swimming event on Thursday, which celebrated the completion of the local ocean swimming series’ fourth year.

The ocean swimmers were shuttled out to sea from Santa Barbara harbor and left in open water roughly a kilometer offshore. With a water safety crew guiding the way, 102 successfully made their way back to the beach.

Valente’s winning time was 14 minutes and 21 seconds. Walker Bell came in second with a time of 14:49. Ben Brewer, Cuyler Gabriel and Stewart Reid rounded out the top-five overall. Schipper was the fastest female, finishing sixth overall in 16:26.


After the swim, Brewer and Chip Blankenhorn were recognized for being named the Semana Nautica Ocean Swimmer of the Year and Athlete of the Year, respectively. Brewer and Lucy Faust, who was not present, were announced as the first-ever Semana Nautica Ocean Swimmers of the Year.

Brewer is a 15 year old local Santa Barbara Swim Club member who will be a sophomore at Santa Barbara High School. Faust is a 16 year old from the Bay Area.