Scott Zornig - Around Coronado Island

11.5 miles (18.3 km)

4 hours, 31 minutes on April 16, 2016

Observed and documented by Cherié Edborg


  • Name: Scott Zornig
  • Age on swim date: 56
  • Nationality: United States
  • Resides: Coto de Caza, California
  • LongSwimsDB profile

Support Personnel

  • Escort Boat: The Great Escape (Cabrillo Marina).
  • Pilot: Capt. Mark
  • Observer: Cherié Edborg
  • Crew: John Blair, Lynn Kubasek (videographer), Susanne Simpson (support swimmer), Rachelle Petrucci (support swimmer).

Swim Parameters

Route Definition

Starting at Glorietta Bay Park inside San Diego Harbor, proceeding counter-clockwise around Coronado Island and the southern terminus of Zuniga Shoal, and finishing on the beach in front of Hotel Del Coronado.

The route follows the inside channel markers around the north and west parts of the island to avoid three unswimmable obstacles: (1) the boat anchorage area just north of the Coronado Bridge, (2) the security zone and netting around the Naval Air Station North Island port, and (3) the security zone around the large Naval fuel dock on the far west side of the island. This slightly wider route adds approximately 0.4 statute miles (650m) to a traditional “close hugging” route.

Refer to NOAA Nautical Chart 18733 for higher-resolution detail.

Note: The purple line shows the alternative route followed by Tiffany McQueen.

Waypoint Detail

  • From Glorietta Bay Park (32.675060, -117.167979), straight line to northeast corner of “special anchorage area” noted on NOAA chart (32.690795, -117.159569). It is not feasible to swim through the densely moored boats, and the water is too shallow between the anchorage and the base of the bridge.
  • Straight line to south channel marker NE of the terminus of 1st St (32.698765, -117.165063).
  • Straight line to the northernmost part of the security zone (and netting) around the NAS port (32.716317, -117.191528).
  • Following the inside channel markers (as documented in the NOAA chart) around the north and west parts of the island, moving slightly into the channel to avoid the security zone around the fuel dock.
  • From the fuel dock, straight line to end of Zuniga Shoal (32.666671, -117.223078).
  • Straight line to beach in front of Hotel Del Coronado (32.679461, -117.180186).

Certified Route Distance: 11.5 statute miles (18.5 km). Note: This route is slightly shorter than the route subsequently established as the standard route, which finishes at Gator Beach, an additional 1/3-mile beyond the Hotel del Coronado.

Swimmer’s Commentary on Route

The swim started on the sand (dry feet) at Glorietta Bay Park in Glorietta Bay. The swim followed the inner coast line of Coronado Island in Coronado, CA, with the exception of certain off-limit areas including military land, naval docks, an aircraft carrier and a fueling dock which had to be navigated. Please note some of these obstacles were not off-limits during the original 12-mile swim conducted between 1992 and 1996, as the event was pre-9/11. Furthermore, it is impossible to closely “hug” the coastline due to shallow water in certain areas. In keeping with the tradition of the original Coronado island 12-mile swim, the route went along the side the Zuniga jetty which extends approximately 2500 yards in to the ocean from Zuniga point. The swim went around the southern tip of the jetty and then took a straight line to the Hotel Del Coronado and finished on the sand (dry feet). Please note that the original swim finished at the Naval Amphibious Base which the race directors had permission to utilize. Without the same permission, we finished 3000 feet north at the Coronado Hotel, reducing the length of the course by approximately 0.3 statute miles.

Historical Background

The Coronado Island 12-mile circumnavigation marathon swim was started by Dave Lamont and Bill Early in 1989. It started as a 4-person relay swim, but a solo division was added in 1992. There were 112 successful solo swims between 1992 and 1996. The swim was discontinued in 1996 and moved to a new location in 1997 due to some challenges with the bay. This solo swim would have been the 113th provided no swims took place between 1996 and 2016.

  • 1992 – 17 Solo Swimmers (1 women, 16 men)
  • 1993 – 19 Solo Swimmers (5 women, 14 men)
  • 1994 – 22 Solo Swimmers (6 women, 16 men)
  • 1995 – 33 Solo Swimmers (11 women, 22 men)
  • 1996 – 21 Solo Swimmers (7 women, 14 men)

Swim Data

  • Start: April 16, 2016, 07:00 (Pacific Daylight Time).
  • Finish: April 16, 2016, 11:31:59.
  • Elapsed: 4 hours, 31 minutes, 59 seconds.

Summary of Conditions

  • Sea Temp: 63-67F.
  • Air Temp: 56-68F.
  • Wind Speed: calm.

Observer Log


by Lynn Kubasek