The 45th Annual Venice Penguin Swim on New Year’s Day Saturday at Venice Beach drew 64 registered swimmers, aged six to 86 years old.
The New Year’s Day swimmers were greeted by a high surf with five-foot swells and turbulent water that was 59 degrees.
Venice Penguin Club event organizers called conditions for this year’s annual New Year’s Day ocean swim “challenging.”
The club held two races — a 50-yard swim for amateurs and a 200-yard swim for competitors.
An honorary king and queen were selected for their “enthusiasm and joy.”
This year’s New Year’s Day Penguin Swim King is Richard Baier and his Penguin Swim Queen is Rose Marie Larson.
In the competitive event, Steve Johnson completed his 200-yard swim in four minutes, 43 seconds and was named Prince.
Cathy Carlton completed the 200-yard swim in five minutes, 56 seconds and was named Princess.
The first boy to finish was Duke Van Patten and the first girl to finish was Talia Standring.
Both received Norky T-shirts, Polar Balls and mitts from Norky, the club mascot.
Steve Allgeier created Norky and the Polar Ball.
Duke Van Patten is a member of the fourth generation of the Van Patten family to participate in the New Year’s Day Venice Penguin Club event.
His great-grandfather “Van” Van Patten, swam with Venice Penguin Club founder Cecelia Kilger in the 1960s.