Sports Illustrated and The Bee Clear Up The Lake

After reporting that Jamie Patrick was the first person to swim across Clear Lake in a May 18th article (17.68 miles in 7 hours and 34 minutes in a wetsuit), The Daily News of Open Water Swimming learned that Scott Hadley should be credited with the first swim across Clear Lake with his 11 hour and 53 minute swim in 1970.

In the days prior to FINA and USA Swimming, the Amateur Athletic Union was the sport’s governing body and the old A.A.U. had an observer on one of Scott’s boats to certify his crossing according to the traditional rules of open water swimming (i.e., no use of wetsuits). Both the Sacramento Bee and the September 7, 1970 issue of Sports Illustrated reported on Scott’s precocious 19-mile swim at the age of 15.

According to accounts of his swim many years ago, Scott recalled, “I told myself, ‘Wow, this is harder than I thought.’ At the halfway point, I told my dad I wanted to get out of the water. My dad was in the boat and he said, ‘We didn’t train this hard for you to quit.'”

He most certainly did not.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones