2011 SF Tri at Alcatraz

Young dark horse Tommy Zaferes earned a breakthrough victory, Becky Lavelle was back atop the podium 14 months after the birth of daughter Caitlin, troublesome currents made the swim nature's version of an Endless Pool, and a good time was had by all at Tri-California's second San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz.

All photographs Timothy Carlson

High hopes were fulfilled as Brian and Becky Lavelle enter the California Hornblower ferry boat in pre dawn darkness. At the end of the race, Brian took 7th and wife Becky Lavelle was 1st.

Marisa Muller of San Francisco smiles on the voyage to the start.

Kiwi pro Bryan Rhodes helps actor David Duchovny zip up his wetsuit.

Young guns ready for the Alcatraz swim.

Elites stretch and warm up on the way to the start.

Sometimes the swim start goes like a choreographed Busby Berkeley musical number. Other times the horn is less definitive - and uncertain swimmers fall in the bay like dominos.

Diving into liquid.

Brian Fleischmann surged into the lead on the bike.

John Kenny of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania took 3rd, 1:24 back of winner Tommy Zaferes.

Robyn Anderson won women's 35-39 and was 9th amateur woman overall with a time of 3:25:18.

Efren Martinez of Modesto, California charged hard and finished 18th in men's 40-44 despite wearing his helmet backwards.

Bryan Rhodes used his 9th place finish as a final tune-up for Ironman Canada.

Erik Edmonds of Santa Cruz won the Physically Challenged Wheelchair Male in 5:32: 09. Think of the power it takes to negotiate the sand ladder!

While in the lead, Brian Fleischmann took a wrong turn and lost 20 seconds exploring the wrong sand ladder. Tommy Zaferes caught him two miles later.

Tommy Zaferes during his race-best 43:17 run that propelled him past Brian Fleischmann and brought him to his biggest victory.

Number 7 Kyle Leto of Walnut Creek finished 5th.

Ethan Brown of Lowell, Massachusetts finished 6th.

Peer-Timo Bremer of Livermore California hydrates on his way to a 3:23:28 - 10th in 35-39.

Becky Lavelle soaks in the cheers in the finish chute.

Altadena, California's Hanna Rae Finchamp and her mother. Just 16, Hannah showed future star promise with her 3:12:18 finish -- 4th amateur woman overall.