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Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Kings And Queens Of Cabrillo Beach

John Olguin and Jack Cheaney co-founded the Cabrillo Beach Polar Bear Club in Southern California in 1953.

The Cabrillo Beach Polar Bears is a club of open water swimmers who train at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, California near the finish of the Catalina Island channel crossings. The team annually hosts the Cabrillo Beach Polar Bear Swim on January 1st and is dedicated to swimming, fitness and community service. The members meet to swim everyday at noon and various other times of the day.

Many Catalina Channel aspirants come from far and near to train in the waters off the beach, just outside the kelp beds, in order to prepare for the cold upwelling of water that greets the channel swimmers towards the end of the channel swim near Cabrillo Beach. During the afternoon hours almost like clockwork, the winds really kick up and extreme rough water training can be conducted by the channel aspirants.

Ray Falk organized the Cabrillo Beach Polar Bears patterned somewhat after the Dolphin Club in San Francisco. The Polar Bear Club has an administrative staff with a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and Board of Directors. Beginning in 1953, they annually elected a King and Queen of Cabrillo Beach from the many daily beach nthusiasts who gather and swim at Cabrillo Beach.

The King and Queen represents the Club at community functions and are featured in the San Pedro Christmas Parade on the Polar Bear float. They also lead the New Year's Day crowd into the cold ocean water each year.

This is the list of annual honorees:

2012 • Domino SantroMiriam Santro
2011 • Steve SkaleMarisa Solomon
2010 • Mitchell ReiterJeannie Matthews
2009 • Jack SimmonsCarla Esquivel
2008 • Bret E. BoydAnnie Donohue
2007 • George GabricRegina Ryan
2006 • Paul Ryker • Lydia Jewell
2005 • Lou Mannick • Candice Gawne
2004 • Martin Donohue • Bea Smart
2003 • Courtland Cleaves • Ann Cleaves
2002 • Richard Havenick • Kim M. White
2001 • Ned HeatonRebecca Romero (shown on left)
2000 • Bruce Nash • Nancy Jean Utovac
1999 • Marc G. Mendelsohn • Evon Mendelsohn
1998 • George Pugsley • June Smith
1997 • Michael R. Daum • Susan Loftus
1996 • Dennis Trani • Annette McDonald
1995 • Patrick Donahugh • Lisa Kay Marshall
1994 • Clark Faulk, Jr.Barbara A. Cottom (shown on left)
1993 • Alan Shilling • Melissa Shilling
1992 • Peter MirichKathy Mirich (shown on left)
1991 • Tom Guinn • Esther Bond
1990 • Peter Goemans • Delora Bertsch
1989 • Ben DepentgnyKaren Depentgny (shown on left)
1988 • Anton Svilicich • Alice Turner
1987 • Jerry Naughton • Jerri Naughton
1986 • Hervey Yurak • Mary Croft
1985 • David Fox • Phylis Svilicich
1984 • Allan Johnson • Ursla Martozke
1983 • Tony Malley • Julie Melwig
1982 • John Burich • Sandy Burich
1981 • Bill Samaras • Irene Parkinson
1980 • Ray Falk • Ann Falk
1979 • Tom Schmitz • Jo Ann Schmitz
1978 • Forrest Taylor • Marie Eberhardt
1977 • Lionel Bushling • Julia Fontes
1976 • Albert Rea • Mary Bertsch Samaras
1975 • Jack Carr • Anita Dragovich
1974 • Victor Pappas • Margarethe Hamilton
1973 • Mike Lauro • Felisa Harrold
1972 • Gene Hayes • Mary Ranni
1971 • Kreso Grbac • Eva Grbac
1970 • Lee Carver • Tillie Karnes
1969 • David Jones • Margaret Tracy
1968 • John Reiman • Katherina Berger
1967 • John Durante • Bridget O'Gorman
1966 • Wayne Pickens • Helda Berg
1965 • Bob Browning • Odette Browning
1964 • Willi Hoefke • Dyna Bertolotti
1963 • Martin Vliet • Olga Vliet
1962 • Charles Fisher • Irene Person
1961 • Gregory Jilzov • Emily Copp
1960 • Bob Engdal • Maria Pleso
1959 • Marion ChukaTrudie Logan (shown on left)
1958 • Norman Pulver • Josephine Gearin
1957 • Joe Anderson • Maria Wahlers
1956 • Oscar Gunderson • Maria Trutanich
1955 • John Truta • Florench Ferkich
1954 • Bob Heron • Margaret Koch
1953 • Raymond Pearson • Marguerite Gardiner

Photos of the various Kings and Queens of Cabrillo Beach are shown on left (Ned Heaton and Rebecca Romero from 2001, Clark Faulk, Jr. and Barbara A. Cottom from 1994, Peter and Kathy Mirich from 1992, Ben and Karen Depentgny from 1989, and Marion Chuka and Trudie Logan from 1959). A full list of photos is here.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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