Group embarks on 10-mile swim from Coney Island to Red Hook

07-25-2020 – 10 mile swim from Coney to Red Hook. Photos by Erica Price
Four swimmers set out on a 10-mile swim from Coney Island to Red Hook on July 25.
Photo by Erica Price

A small group of swimmers set out on a 10-mile swim from Coney Island to Red Hook on July 25 — carving out a path along Brooklyn’s western shore.

It was great! It was a wonderful swim,” said Juliet Kadlecek, a member of the Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers (CIBBOWS), a group that holds races and swim meets in Brooklyn’s open waters. 

Kadlecek and three other swimmers set out on the expedition on Saturday morning, taking off from Coney Island at 9:30 am, and arriving at Red Hook’s Valentino Pier about four hours later. The swim aimed to test the route’s viability for a larger CIBBOWS outing — and the group gave the path the thumbs-up, Kadlecek said. 

It will be something that a bunch of swimmers do together,” she said. “[We] might try to make it bigger even with more swimmers.”

Juliet Kadlecek was the first swimmer to reach the beach by Valentino Pier in Red Hook.Photo by Erica Price

To ensure the swimmers’ safety, a small vessel accompanied the group to alert boat traffic of the swimmers’ whereabouts and to come to the swimmers’ aid if something went wrong.

Aside from a brief encounter with a pile of trash underneath the Verrazzano Bridge, the day went swimmingly, Kadlecek said.

Unfortunately, there was a little garbage when we came out underneath the Verrazzano,” she said. “But when there wasn’t, it was a beautiful swim.”

A safety crew accompanied the swimmers on a boat to communicate with nearby boat traffic and come to the swimmers’ aid if they needed it.Photo by Erica Price

Kadlecek, a California native who now lives in Manhattan, says she travels to Brighton Beach almost every day to swim before work. Most of CIBBOWS’s racing and swimming events have been canceled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she enjoys the smaller swimming events that the group still hosts, she said. 

“This season’s a little odd because usually they have many more events, and they do host races but none of those could happen this season because of COVID,” Kadlecek said, adding that the Saturday outing was a nice way for the swimmers to come together. “It was great.”  

A boat accompanies the swimmers as they reached Red Hook on July 25.Photo by Erica Price