SAN PEDRO ( — A group of teenagers are attempting to become the youngest swimmers to relay from Catalina Island to Rancho Palos Verdes.

The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation’s relay was set to begin at midnight.

The team, consisting of 14 and 15-year olds from San Diego, Arizona, and Texas left San Pedro en route to Catalina Island around 10:00 p.m. on Monday to attempt the overnight swim.

If successful, the team would become the youngest to cross the 21-mile channel.

“I’m happy and excited,” swimmer Benjamin Bleichwehl said. “I’m happy to be part of something big.”

In addition, the team will be attempting to break the current record of seven hours and 36 minutes.

“I’m driven to set a record on top of just being there for my team” swimmer Lael Proffitt said.

Dan Simonelli, of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation, will be keeping time, and says the swim will consist of taking turns in the water.

“They’ll be able to swim their hour, and then we do a rotation, a transition for the new swimmer to be able to come in behind them, they high-five each other, and then they continue on with the relay with the kayak and the boat on either side,” Simonelli said.

The team is expecting to reach the California mainland sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m.



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