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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Scott Zornig Swimming For Hope

Scott Zornig does a lot for others.

He is a passionate ocean swimmer who founded Master of The Seas and is currently the president of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association.

In a charity swim attempt on behalf of the City of Hope for pediatric cancer research a decade ago, he attempted to swim along the entire 40-mile (63.7 km) coastline of Orange County in Southern California. "The bad news is that I had to get out after 15 miles due to terrible conditions. I picked the worst day of the year to swim. Unfortunately, I was locked into that day because the City of Hope did a major press release.

I had a lot of people showing up for the swim
." Faced with the pressure of the media, donors, crew and supporters, Zornig did not have any alternative but to tempt fate and go out in those conditions which ultimately got the better of him. Although he was disappointed that Mother Nature forced him to prematurely retire, the story of his swim for the City of Hope did not end there. He started a program, along with David Yudovin and their swim friends, called The Swim for Hope that has carried on with a life of its own.

"David hosts an annual crab feed which brings in $30,000 to $40,000 each year. The number continues to grow," Zornig explains. "David is also a cancer survivor. Although we became friends after his cancer, I remember hearing stories about this amazing swimmer who continued training while he was going though his cancer treatments."

Zornig's original solo swim-turned-relay Swim for Hope has raised close to US$500,000 over the last decade. "The actual swim did not turn out the way I had planned, but the event is still a success. I felt like I let everyone down. One year later, thankfully, we did a 60-mile (95.6 km) relay from San Clemente Island to the California mainland taking 33 hours for the Swim for Hope. We brought in about US$80,000 of the US$500,000 so the City of Hope was pretty happy on both counts."

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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