Vito Bialla

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Vito Bialla, entrepreneur and extreme open water swimmer from the Night Train Swimmers
Phil Cutti, David Holscher, Zach Jirkovsky, Luane Rowe, Blair Cannon, and Grace van der Byl of the Night Train Swimmers walking onshore after a 228-mile non-stop relay down the California coast between 22-26 August 2013, escorted by Vito Bialla, Hal McCormick, and Patrick Horn
Vito Bialla's SEQUEL escort boat
Night Train Swimmers in Sequel, their escort boat starting at Gaviota State Park in their 228-mile non-stop relay swim along the California coast with Grace van der Byl in the water
Vito Bialla is the ultimate American success story of a German immigrant who survived the Vietnam war, founded a highly successful executive headhunting firm Bialla & Associates, sailed on the edge with some of the world's greatest sailors, founded a successful wetsuit company and an award-winning winery in Napa Valley, and found love and satisfaction while meeting the challenge of the greatest Ultra endurance tests on the planet including extreme swims to the Farallon Islands, across Lake Powell, and in the Sea of Cortez.

A self-made business entrepreneur, author and extreme athlete who got into the open water world in his adult years, he is one of the primary drivers of the Night Train Swimmers in the San Francisco Bay area.

Bialla is also one of the founding members of the Farallon Islands Swimming Federation and an experienced pilot for the Farallon Islands Swimming Federation. He also wrote an autobiography Happiness Is A Sharp Chainsaw.

Contents

Happiness Is A Sharp Chainsaw

The autobiography of a German immigrant who survived Vietnam, founded an executive headhunting firm, sailed on the edge, and found love and satisfaction while meeting the challenge of the greatest Ultra endurance tests on the planet. 100% of proceeds donated to Semper Fi Fund.

Escort Pilot

Vito has skillfully escorted swimmers on this 30-mile course, renowned to be one of the two most difficult, coldest, most perilous marathon swims in the world. Water temperatures can range from below 50°F (10°C) to 55.4°F (13°C), but temperatures have been recorded lower on several occasions. The water conditions are usually extremely rough with cresting ocean swells up to 20 feet. Currents and tides often exceed the speed of the fastest swimmers. It is a swim not lightly attempted and expertly guided by Vito in his SEQUEL.

Vito uses his SEQUEL, a Grand Banks East Bay 43, to escort solo and relay swimmers. Photos and videos of swims conducted by Vito are posted on the The Farallons Islands Swimming Federation website. Vito provides real-time GPS tracking of solo and relay swimmers here on the Farallon Islands Swimming Federation website.

Vito escorted Craig Lenning on his 30-mile Farallon Islands crossing on 8 April 2014 in 15 hours 46 minutes.

History of Swims in the Farallon Islands

Relay swimmer for the Night Train Swimmers: Vito was a member of a relay from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands on 20 May 2011, covering 26.4 nautical miles. Time finished: 14:45:08. The team members were Phil Cutti, Darrin Connolly, Dave Holscher, Vito Bialla, John Mathews and Kim Chambers.

Escort pilot for the Night Train Swimmers: Vito guided an all-female team from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands. June 4, 2011, covering 26.4 nautical miles. Time finished: 16:29:08. The team members were Kim Chambers, Laura Vartain Horn, Cathy Delneo, Melissa King, Patti Bauernfeind, and Lynn Kubasek.

Other Marathon Swims

Bialla has participated in marathon relay swims in the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Sea of Cortez (Mexico) and Lake Powell (Arizona-Utah). He has set a world record as part of the Mexican American Unity Swim in Lake Powell for the longest non-stop lake relay record and completed a 5:41 Strait of Gibraltar swim in 2010.

He will also participate in an 88-mile (141.6 km) charity swim and relay across the Sea of Cortez in Mexico together with Richard Ernst, Susan Moody, Mauricio Prieto, Luane Rowe and Antonio Argüelles on 1 June 2014.

SF to SB Relay

Bialla captained the Night Train Swimmers that attempted the world's longest non-stop ocean relay swim attempt (339 miles or 545.4km) in September 2012, raising US$1.2 million for Semper Fi, together with Phil Cutti, Patti Bauernfeind, Dave Holscher, Joe Locke, Kim Chambers and Zack Jirkovsky. It was halted after 6 days due to bloom after bloom of venomous jellyfish.

California Coastal Relay Swim

The California Coastal Relay or the Nighttrain228 is a 6-person relay by the Night Train Swimmers who set the world record for the longest non-stop ocean relay swim in history with its 228-mile (367 km) swim down the California coast from Point Conception to Coronado between 22-26 August 2013. Under the direction of captain Bialla, its relay members include Phil Cutti, David Holscher, Zach Jirkovsky, Luane Rowe, Blair Cannon, and Grace van der Byl.

Sueño 88 team

He is the captain and escort boat pilot for the Sueño 88, 6 open water swimmers who will attempt to swim 88 nautical miles (101 miles of 163 km) across the Sea of Cortez from the Baja California peninsula to the mainland of Mexico including David Ogden, Mauricio Prieto, Luane Rowe, Richard Ernst, Shannon Navarro, and Susan Moody Prieto.

Videos

Night Train Swimmers at the Farallon Islands

Craig Lenning from the Farallon Islands

Sueño 88 Video

Contact

Contact information for Bialla can be found here.

External links

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