Kim Chambers started swimming after a life-changing accident. Just a few years later, she became the first woman to take on a notorious stretch of shark-inhabited waters
Under a black sky in August 2015, Kim Chambers boarded a boat and headed out beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. She took a support team that included her mother, a film crew, and her swimming coach. Their destination was the Farallon Islands, a remote outcrop about 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco.
Once there, Chambers would attempt something no woman had ever done: an unbroken, solo swim from the islands back under the Golden Gate. With the areas icy waters, strong winds, heavy swells and one of the largest concentrations of great white sharks, its been called the toughest swim in the world.
The boat motored out in a little over two hours, arriving at the rocky islands at 11pm. Ten minutes later, Chambers jumped.
It sounds completely nuts, she recalled, but when I went to the Farallones, I prepared not to come back. I did my laundry because I wanted my place to be decent when they came to collect my stuff.
But she did come back, 17 hours and 12 minutes later. It was a triumph that made headlines and prompted Outside Magazine to dub her the worlds most badass swimmer.
Now, a documentary, Kim Swims, chronicles Chambers Farallones swim, and tells the story of how a 38-year-old who had only been swimming seriously for four years became one of the worlds top marathon swimmers.