ION San Pedro | The public is welcome to participate in the 67th annual Polar Bear Swim and Polar Be(h)ar Beach Volleyball Tournament in San Pedro providing hundreds of residents and visitors a jump on 2019 with a 11:30 am crowning on New Years Day at Cabrillo Beach on the Los Angeles Waterfront.
Crowning of the 2019 Polar Bear King and Queen, Minh Nguyen-Vo and Malia Wakinekona-Carlsen, is first, who will then lead the crowds into the water. Some will do a quick toe dip and others, an ambitious swim to “the buoy”.
Air and water temperatures are expected in the low 60s – when it’s jump in time at high noon. Swimmers and toe-dippers will be treated with hot cocoa and participation certificates, while the Polar Behar Tournament on the Inner Beach, promises volleyball players and swimmers hot tea.
UCLA graduate Nguyen-Vo grew up and learned to swim in South Vietnam. With an aeronautical engineering scholarship in France, he studied applied physics at UCLA earning a Ph.D. in Acoustics, later specializing in Quantum Electronics and Filmmaking.
Wakinekona-Carlsen, married to Steve Carlsen, with three grown children, is a San Pedro native and Girl Scout leader. She graduated from San Pedro High School and then Cal State Long Beach in 1980, and retired early from court reporting.
The Cabrillo Beach Polar Bears, which originated in 1953 by the late John Olguin (a former neighbor of ION Founder Dave Behar) and Jack Cheney, the Club members themselves actively swim year round, while the youth, high school and college beach volleyball players have been enjoying “Sand Pedro™” on the Inner Beach for the past five years on the Behar funded and maintained beach volleyball courts – free and open to the public.
The “Polar Be(h)ar” is a four person Family tournament that can be entered by just showing up at 9:30am. Prizes and Digster American Volleyball League (AVL) Beach Volleyballs will be provided. Players from Peninsula, Harbor and Long Beach area schools practice and play year round at the Inner Beach, with beautiful Harbor, Coastal and mountain views.