Other swimmers cross bay to raise assault awareness

Posted: Friday, August 18, 2006

Four Homer swimmers also had a Kachemak Bay crossing scheduled for Aug. 4. With high winds forecast, they chose to wait out the day before risking the swim across Kachemak Bay. According to swim organizer Liz Villarreal, who teaches at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center, winds can come up suddenly, and the foursome — Villarreal, Ingrid Harrald, Kristin Siemann and Brian Stone — decided to see what the day would bring.

At 7 p.m., the swimmers, each in wetsuits, began their 3.75-mile journey from the tip of the Spit to McKoen Flats, finally reaching their destination approximately two hours and 10 minutes later.

No stranger to long-distances, Villarreal swam the four-mile length of Wonder Lake in Denali National Park in 2003.

“I kind of got inspired for this swim,” Villarreal said. “I’d definitely been thinking about it before, but my whole reason behind doing this and organizing everything was that I was hoping to raise awareness about sexual assault against women in Alaska.”

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