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Wednesday, November 21 , 2018, 2:43 am | Fair 48º

 
 
 
 
Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Swimming

Local Swimmers Withstand Windy Conditions During 6-Mile Ocean Swim

Moby Coquillard wins elusive title; Abigail Bergman is women's winner

Eventual winner Moby Coquillard pushes past a crowd of swimmers during the start of the annual Semana Nautica event on Sunday morning at Goleta Beach.
Eventual winner Moby Coquillard pushes past a crowd of swimmers during the start of the annual Semana Nautica event on Sunday morning at Goleta Beach. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

After five consecutive attempts, the sixth time was finally the charm for Moby Coquillard in the Semana Nautica 6-Mile Ocean Swim on Sunday morning. 

Abigail Bergman sprints toward a first place on Sunday morning at the Semana Nautica 6-Mile Ocean Swim.
Abigail Bergman sprints toward a first place on Sunday morning at the Semana Nautica 6-Mile Ocean Swim. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

In a time of 2 hours and 27 minutes, the Redwood City native claimed his first-ever victory in the annual distance swim from Goleta Beach Pier to Hendry's Beach.

“I’ve wanted this one for a while and it felt great to win today,” Coquillard said. “It was a good swim but a rough one, as the wind really worked on my arms for that first hour.”

Despite rough conditions throughout, the 53-year-old was able to efficiently rotate through the water in order to avoid numerous wind waves. As a result, the former Stanford standout took a large lead after the first mile. 

“You can’t really get into a rhythm with your stoke or rely on your arms when swimming in that type of water,” Coquillard added. "With this in mind, I had to push through the water like a corkscrew as opposed to pulling it.”

Finishing first in the women’s competition and second place overall was Abigail Bergman, who completed the challenging course with a time of 2:31.11. 

Moby Coquillard (left) and Abigail Bergman proudly pose after winning their respective races on Sunday afternoon.
Moby Coquillard (left) and Abigail Bergman proudly pose after winning their respective races on Sunday afternoon. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

“This feels amazing and somewhat unexpected because I’ve been training for longer distances,” commented Bergman. “This is one of my favorite races but today’s race was definitely one the toughest I’ve ever done.”

The Santa Monica native withstood a late push from third-place finisher Tamie Stewart (2:32.19) to take the crown. After falling behind Stewart early on, the junior at Smith College was able to take the lead around the third mile. 

“Tamie definitely kicked me into gear and being able to out sprint her at the end was really exciting,” Bergman added. “She went out harder than me, and I fell behind but was able to catch up in the end.”

Overall, the 6-mile ocean swim had 43 finishers on Sunday morning. 

“The water was warm and the view from the ocean was beautiful, concluded Coquillard. “I’m just grateful to be here and doing this at my age.”

— Noozhawk sports reporter Blake DeVine can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports and @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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