Ernie Polte: Polar Plunge 2006 MVP
This years San Clemente Polar Plunge, held every January 1st at Lausens Beach (Lost Winds to the Locals), emphasized two numbers; 59 & 79. 59° was the temperature of the water and 79 was the age of Ernie Polte who not only plunged, but swam the entire 20 -30 minute swim around seal rock. He was one of the first to enter the water and the last to get out, frolicking a bit in the waves after the swim while others scurried in for their towels and cozy clothes.
Ernie has been swimming the polar plunge in San Clemente for 15 years. He was congratulated with applause and handshakes by all who swam with him as he exited the ocean. He will turn 80 on February 5 of this year.
Michael Brousard, lifeguard supervisor of San Onofre, Doheny, and San Clemente State Beaches, watched from the shore in constant communication by radio to the lifeguard boat in the water. He brought his son, Dominic, to the event who took the daring plunge.
Fewer than 20 people, including my husband (Rib), participated in the swim all the way around the rock and twice as many watched from the shore. A few, including myself and my twins (Dane & Hannah) dipped our toes in, and a few others plunged all the way into the shore break.
All in all, it was a great opportunity to watch our friends swim and to have a morning chit chat with our neighbors.
The Sun Post News in conjunction with the Orange County Register where also covering the story; taking pictures and conducting interviews.
The San Clemente Polar Plunge is not a race so we are not announcing any results. However, San-Clemente-Beaches.com would like to appoint Ernie Polte as the 2006 Polar Plunge MVP for good sportsmanship and one hell of a swim! Congratulations Ernie and many more!
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