A Dream Open Water Swimming Job

A Dream Open Water Swimming Job

There are professional escort pilots in the sport. There are professional swimmers in the sport. There are professional event promoters in the sport. There are professional agents in the sport. There are professional coaches in the sport.

So professional kayakers makes sense.

As any sport develops and emerges from a niche sport to an activity that is understood and enjoyed by the general public, it is natural that the sport professionalizes itself and increases its level of safety.

Beth Barnes, a 53-year-old mother of two teenage daughters, is one such individual who takes safety and support of open water swimmers seriously – extremely seriously with a maternalistic view of keeping swimmers safe. During 2010, Beth, Beth has quickly established herself as the go-to kayaker among Catalina Channel community as she kayaked for 12 swimmers this year. She experienced everything from fast swims and successes to pods of dolphins and swimmers halted by hypothermia – and calls continue to pour in from other marathon swimmers around the world, for marathon swims around the world “Next year is going to be so busy,” smiled the tireless, slender woman. “This year has been incredible being so close to endurance athletes who I can help keep safe.”

In a dream come true, Beth picked up Cobra Kayaks as a sponsor and is now become a professional kayaker for marathon and channel swimmers. “I use the Cobra Escape which is light enough so I can handle it myself. It’s very steady especially when I need to get through the surf to launch and it’s easy to maneuver so my swimmers always know I am here, but never in the way.”

Some people in the community may argue that volunteers have always been the backbone of the sport. This is certainly true – and will continue to be the case. But it is also refreshing to know that there are some kayakers out there who focus exclusively on their chosen profession – people motivated to learn all they can about the sport and sit down with its enthusiasts and practice with marathon swimmers before the swim. Kayakers – like escort boat pilots – with an abundance of knowledge, passion and experience with a laser-focus on the individual athlete are well worth the additional expense.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones
Steven Munatones