Thursday, September 19, 2013

Catalina Channel Do-Over To Achieve The Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming

Finished in 10 hours, 5 minutes on September 10, 2013 

Swimmers who complete three famous marathon swims are added to a list for completing the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. Believe it or not, it's become wildly popular to swim the 21 miles (33.7 km) across the English Channel between England and France, the 20.2 miles (33 km) across the Catalina Channel in Southern California, USA, and the 28.5 miles (45.8 km) around Manhattan Island in New York, USA.

The list has almost doubled since I came within 2 miles of becoming the 40th person to complete the three swims of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. Hypothermia ended that September 2010 swim after enduring about 9 hours of unseasonably cold water in the Catalina Channel. I've lived in Florida for more than 1/2 of my 51 years, so things went wrong when the 60F temperatures were too much to handle. On September 10th, 2013, I encountered warmer waters and had added 15% to my body weight to provide insulation. I didn't even visit the barber shop for over a year, just in case the extra hair may provide more warmth underneath my swim cap. The most difficult challenge for a swimmer based in Florida, is the acclimatization to the chilly waters of the three Triple Crown marathon swims. I feel very humbled, and fortunate that, on September 10th, 2013, the Catalina Channel allowed me to add myself to the list of swimmers who have achieved the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.
I can only begin to thank everyone involved in making this dream a reality. My crew was amazing, and the whole operation worked like a Swiss watch. But many others that were not on the water that day were very much involved, including my previous crew from 2010, my training friends at home, my wife, and especially all of the other marathon swimmers from all over the world. Many of you, I've never met in person, but I still consider you to be some of my closest friends.