Brewer is first to shore in Boat to Beach swim

Ben Brewer capped an incredible summer of ocean swimming by winning the Boat to Beach Swim at the Reef and Run  season finale Thursday at East Beach.

Ben Brewer was the first to shore in the Reef and Rim's Boat to Beach swim.

Ben Brewer was the first to shore in the Reef and Run”s Boat to Beach swim. (Randy Weiss photo)

Brewer, who was honored as the Semana Nautica Male Swimmer of the Year after winning three ocean swims during the summer sports festival, edged out Santa Barbara High teammate Cuyler Gabriel in a sprint finish for the victory. Brewer was timed in 16 minutes, 45 seconds and Gabriel was clocked in 16:49.

“It was more fun because you get to go with the swells,” said Brewer, 16, of swimming from the boat that dropped swimmers a mile off shore.

He also enjoyed racing against Gabriel, his teammate at the high school and at the Santa Barbara Swim Club. “That makes it fun, too. We were going shoulder to shoulder, next to each other the whole time. It’s not fun being alone way out there.”

Vicki Mills was the women’s winner, finishing 10th overall in 18:15.

She agreed with Brewer that swimming into shore was a cool event.

“We’re all ocean people,” said Mills, a county fire captain and a Reef and Run regular. “Safety in numbers; we’re all together. It’s fun, it’s not that creepy.”

Her strategy?

“There was a real good push west, so we all kind of lined ourselves up so we wouldn’t have to be fighting it on the way in. And, I lined up behind the fast swim club kids and got lucky,” she said with a big laugh.

There were 117 finishers. The last swimmer in was 73-year-old Monica Jones, who covered the distance in 45:56.

Women's winner Vicki Mills hugs fellow county firefighter Jon Ford.

Women’s winner Vicki Mills gets a hug from fellow county firefighter Jon Ford. (Randy Weiss photo)

Jane Cairns, the Reef and Run director, expressed her excitement at how the weekly swims have gained in popularity since she started the event six years ago.

“I’m so presently surprised and so pleased on how far we’ve come,” she said. “From our first beginnings, standing on the beach with about 40 people, and now every week we have 160 to 200 swimmers.”

Cairns is especially impressed how the event has brought out families and young kids. She said the swimmers range from 7 to 75.

“I’ve been ocean swimming for 20 years now, and I hoped there would be a lot of swimmers. I’m just real excited about all the kids that are coming out. Just more and more kids are swimming.”

2014 RnR Boat to Beach Swim

Overall Place Name Time

 1 Ben Brewer 16.45
2 Cuyler Gabriel 16.49
3 Christopher Robinson 17.31
4 Taylor Steffen 17.37
5 Arjun McAvoy 18.00
6 Stewart Reid 18.14
7 Kelly Brewer 18.18
8 Jon Ford 18.30
9 Gregory Robinson 18.35
10 Vicki Mills 18.37
11 Matt Trost 19.36
12 Stuart Sato 19.41
13 Matt Struckmeyer 19.45
14 Carina Schipper 19.54
15 Sean Hopkins 19.56
16 Peter Valente 19.58
17 Olivia Smith 20.12
18 Rick Hubbard 20.21
19 Ryan Wenger 20.3
20 Michael Acton 20.32
21 Marcie Kjoller 20.37
22 Michael Crandell 20.42
23 Andria Cohen 20.45
24 Dana Longo 20.48
25 Maddie Kriz 21.01
26 Piper Smith 21.19
27 Bill Blackwell 21.20
28 Dave Kosmo 21.30
29 Becky Vossler 21.44
30 Dani Castleberg 21.53

31 Chris Latham 21.58

32 Mike Swan 21.58

33 Hilary McAvoy 22.13

34 Adrienne Smith 22.24
35 Todd Boehr 22.26
36 Michael Meluskey 22.34
37 Carly Barnes 22.35
38 Matt Vaughan 22.54
39 Seth Streeter 23.00
40 Kelly Kosmo 23.02
41 Hannah Christman 23.03
42 Eric Cohen 23.04
43 John Gainor 23.04
44 Jake Hammel 23.10
45 Drew Zecher 23.14
46 Anja Green 23.20
47 Kathrine Warren 23.24
48 Lynn Fitzgibbons 23.30
49 Mike Cage 23.40
50 Jason Kelly 23.51
51 Whitney Bruice 24.03

52 Eric Heindl 24.10
53 Andrea Wells 24.41
54 Chris Russo 24.59
55 Peter Neilson 25.01
56 Ryan Kendall 25.02
57 Sabrina Perry 25.05
58 Barrett Reed 25.12
59 Sarah Claus 25.13
60 Emily Case 25.23
61 Carissa Nepstead 25.36
62 Elliott Reese 25.37

63 Holly Serwin 25.40
64 Alison Grube 25.45
65 Rafael Gonzalez 26.17
66 Steve Kulchin 26.19
67 Rick Battles 26.20
68 Caroline Adams 26.22
69 Alanna Kjoller 26.41
70 John Herzog 26.47
71 Sophia Stephens 26.54
72 Olivia Gleser 27.01

73 Michael Kelly 27.01
74 Dan O’Meara 27.08
75 Michael Fauver 27.16
76 Dave Tanner 27.19
77 Renaud Gonthier 27.21
78 Chelsea Jones 27.22
79 Mark Silverberg 27.42
80 Cara Gamberdella 27.52
81 Joe Howell 27.53
82 Jamie Chilton 27.54
83 Jennifer Cano 27.55
84 Kirsten Zecher 28.13
85 Blake Haralson 28.20
86 Roland Takayama 29.02
87 Nancy Clayton 29.25
88 Kris English 29.31
89 Jeff Rohde 29.46
90 Lynn Kingsland 29.53
91 Nicholas Judy 30.39
92 Kelly Knowles 31.20
93 Annie Reese 31.53
94 Teri Malinowski 32.04

95 Irene Owens 32.06
96 Matt Merola 32.08
97 Rosie Thompson 32.12
98 Miki Hammel 32.44
99 Mike Reese 32.46
100 Valentina Castleberg 33.08
101 Paul Castleberg 33.10
102 Shajan Kay 33.24
103 Spencer Hardey 33.28
104 Lauren Anderson 34.11
105 Mac Brown 34.17
106 Diana Morin 34.24
107 Tina Taylor 34.52
108 Karen Weaver 34.59
109 Lisa Foote 35.25
110 Natira Jones 35.26
111 Sylvia Glenn 37.19
112 Jim Wilmoth 37.56
113 Carol Wilson 40.13
114 Lee Carter 41.23
115 Ross Adams 41.28
116 Yvonne Cudney 43.30
117 Monica Jones 45.56

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