12 September 2021
ISLAMORADAFlorida Keys – Over 460 national and international participants competed in clear ocean waters off the Florida Keys Saturday during the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, an 8-mile open-water challenge.
 
Tampa Bay, Florida, resident Connor Signorin, 29, emerged from the Atlantic Ocean as the top individual swimmer with a time of 3 hours, 5 minutes and 37 seconds.
 
Top female finisher Brooke Bennett, 41, of Clearwater, Florida, completed the race in 3:19:20. 
 
In other divisions, Tampa residents Andrew Lashlee and Robert Skaggs posted the fastest two-person relay time at 4:03:58. 
 
Swimmers Michelle Dalton, Sara McLarty and Misty Bacerra, all of Clermont, Florida, won the three-person class in 4:15:32. 
 
The winning four-person team was a mixed relay of male and female competitors from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Tim Shead, Harold Wagner, Serge Wenzel and Ann Kilpatrick posted a time of 3:34:42. 
 
The top solo division Keys resident was Corley Smith, a 16-year-old junior on the swim team at Coral Shores High School. With a time of 3:30:27, Smith was fifth overall and finished in second in female solo, just behind Bennett.
 
Athletes swam to Alligator Reef Lighthouse off Islamorada, rounded the beacon and came back to the start and finish points at Amara Cay Resort. 
 
Founded by Florida Keys artist “Lighthouse Larry” Herlth, the annual race is staged to raise awareness about the need to preserve the almost 150-year-old Alligator Lighthouse and five other aging lighthouses off the Florida Keys. The event also raises college scholarship funds for Keys students interested in competitive swimming.
 
Race results can be found at: https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/80926#resultSetId-271081;perpage:100
 
Recently, the Islamorada community-based organization that hosts the annual swim was approved to take ownership of the lighthouse under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. Restoring it is likely to take five to seven years and cost up to $9 million, according to organizers. Fundraising efforts have already begun at savealligatorlighthouse.org.
 
Constructed to warn ships away from the Florida Keys reef tract, the lighthouses are no longer maintained, as their function has been replaced by modern Global Positioning System navigation. 

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Story: Over 460 Swimmers Compete in Open-Water Florida Keys Race
Locator Super: Islamorada, Florida Keys
Video: Footage available on the Florida Keys News Bureau's FTP server (download details below). 
Aerial drone footage (no audio on drone), shot by a FAA-licensed and insured operator, as well as water-level imagery.
TRT: 01:35
FTP Filename: KeysOceanSwim.mp4
Video Source: Florida Keys News Bureau

FTP Information
Host:
 ftp://216.194.165.19
UserID: floridakeys@news.fla-keys.com
Password: islands
Folder: News Video
Filename: KeysOceanSwim.mp4
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