Santa Barbara Channel swims 2012

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited October 2012 in Cheering Section
The Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association is pleased to announce our first successful swim of the 2012 season. The HTC Relay swam from San Clemente Island, around the western edge of Catalina Island, to San Pedro @ Cabrillo Beach (a shortest-line distance of 52 statute miles) in 25 hours, 48 minutes. They are the second relay team to accomplish this feat. The first, "Swim for Hope," completed the crossing in 2002, in 33 hours, 8 minutes.

The HTC Relay is comprised of Tina Neill, Forrest Nelson, Emily Evans, Steve Lowe, Kent Nicholas, and Mike Mitchell. Congrats to all!


Note: The above map shows the shortest-distance course, finishing at Point Vicente. The HTCs chose to swim a bit further, finishing at Cabrillo Beach.


  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    Amazing accomplishment. Looks like it was (or could have been) a lot of fun. Congratulations to the team.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Awesome! I hope to be a part of your Santa Barbara Channel swims 2013 post. ;)

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited August 2012
    Congrats to @Walter and Mike Hird for their successful 12.4-mile tandem crossing from Anacapa Island this morning in 5 hours, 48 minutes (unofficially). SBCSA observer @VanMou reported "perfect" conditions. Of the 25 recorded solo crossings from Anacapa, only four were faster than what Walter & Mike did today. Great job!

    @Walter, feel free to share pics here if you get the chance!
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited August 2012
    A more detailed report from official SBCSA observer @VanMou:
    On Saturday, August 18, 2012, Mike Bird and Walter Bean Scott, both of San Diego, successfully executed a tandem swim from the east end of Anacapa Island to the Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, just south of the Channel Island Harbor. Mike and Walter completed their swim in 5 hours 48 minutes and 9 seconds.

    Water temperatures were a very agreeable 66 degrees throughout the entire swim. There was little swell, chop, wind, or currents. The air temperatures climbed to 72 degrees, making a pleasant day for the swimmers.

    Captain Bob Andrieux of the 42 foot long Tuna Thumper provided the backbone of support for these successful swims. With his deckhand Mike Bewley, he once again safely provided escort for a channel crossing.

    From aboard the Tuna Thumper, Sue Hird and Dan Lawton supported Mike and Walter with feedings and encouragement. There was no paddleboarding or kayaking support for this swim. The observers for this swim were Dave Van Mouwerik of SBCSA and Carol Sing of the Catalina Channel Swim Federation.

    We encountered a very large pod of dolphins about two thirds of the way through the swim—possibly 50-70 dolphins. We also saw several sun fish. And throughout the swim, Mike and Walter swam through very large numbers of small salp, as well as some jelly fish.

    Congratulations to Mike and Walter for their excellent performance today on this channel crossing.
  • WalterWalter Southern CaliforniaMember
    Thanks for the write up, @evmo / @VanMou! Here's hoping others experience similarly great conditions, support and company in the water (see pic) this season!

    I'm not very popular around here; but I've heard that I'm huge in Edinburgh!

  • AquaRobAquaRob Humboldt Bay, CACharter Member
    This weekend I got to crew for Cherie Edborg on her successful Anacapa to Oxnard swim. Conditions were great for about 85% of the swim but did deteriorate towards the end. We saw sea lions, billions of salps, dolphins, rays, a small gang of mola molas and felt but didn't see plenty of jellies.

    I did a long write up over on my website with pictures. It also has some rad videos by @LynnKub including us riding monster boat wake from a speeding container ship!

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited September 2012
    So, remember that big relay swim from San Clemente Island, back in July? The one I started this thread with?

    Well, one member of the relay team - triple-crowner Tina Neill - just did it as a solo swim. This has never been done before.

    No fanfare, no circus. Just enormous quantities of guts and skill. And INDEPENDENT, objective verification by two of the most trusted observers from the CCSF, Don Van Cleve and Carol Sing.

    You won't hear Tina tooting her own horn, but I will: This is the most impressive achievement (EDIT: i.e., in a single swim) of the year in our sport. Congratulations, Tina!
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    Super amazing! Congratulations !!!!!!
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    More details from Tina's crew chief:

    "Tina Neill makes an incredibly challenging marathon swim seem easy: 52-miles from the north tip of San Clemente Island to Terranea Cove on Palos Verdes. Very likely the longest solo swim in Southern California. Certainly the longest swim connecting a Channel Island to the mainland and the very first time for a soloist to make this crossing.

    Conditions were favorable: Tina remained relaxed the first evening with a large south swell and consistent wind (but it never crested above 10knots). Daytime swimming was carefree, as Tina stuck to her feeding plan and had not a single issue with her health or stamina. Her training, sometimes logging 100k of open water swimming in a week, prepared her for any contingency. The only stress Tina showed in 28hours and 41minutes of swimming was facing a detrimental current near the mainland when she could see the lights of Palos Verdes -- only 3 miles away but not getting any closer -- as the water temperature dropped to 61 degrees (from a high of 71). Also, she expressed disbelief that her team captain (cough Forrest cough cough) had not followed her detailed instructions and delivered her chocolate milk at the prescribed time. As a celebratory drink, she poured herself a tall glass of chocolate milk.

    Among her support and observer team was swimming legends David Yudovin and Carol Sing. Also experienced kayakers Neil van der Byl, Tony Chapman, and Beth Yudovin. Don Van Cleve was lead observer aboard Outrider."
  • jcmalickjcmalick Wilmington, DEMember
    Wow, simply amazing! Way to go Tina!
  • LynnkubLynnkub Charter Mem​ber
    That is super awesome!!! We need to have a celebration for Tina!!!
  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaCharter Member
    Tina Neill is one of the most inspiring open water swimmers I've ever met. By sheer luck, over a year ago, she was an observer on my first major swim. She offered me an incredible amount of support and feedback -- both before and after my swim. She really leads by example and is, by choice, so under the radar in this day and age of social media it's refreshing. She is truly an inspiration and a wonderful person to be around. Cheers to Tina!!!
  • TheoTheo Oxnard, CAMember
    I am in awe.....congratulations!
  • MandaiMandai Charter Member
    Is it allowed under the SBCSA rules to swim the Catalina channel together with a second swimmer (not as relay), as a friend and I are contemplating a 2013/14 swim?
    Certainly no drafting etc...
    TX, Tobias
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    Mandai wrote:
    Is it allowed under the SBCSA rules to swim the Catalina channel together with a second swimmer (not as relay), as a friend and I are contemplating a 2013/14 swim?
    Certainly no drafting etc...
    TX, Tobias

    @evmo can answer better than I, of course, but I'm pretty sure tandem swims are legal. There were a couple guys earlier this year, if I recall correctly, who did a tandem swim of one of the channels in California.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    Mandai wrote:
    Is it allowed under the SBCSA rules to swim the Catalina channel together with a second swimmer (not as relay), as a friend and I are contemplating a 2013/14 swim?
    Catalina swims are governed by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation, not the SBCSA. But yes, I believe they do allow tandems.
  • MandaiMandai Charter Member
    Thanks evmo for the clarification.
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber
    I know of a few tandem Catalina swims. I'm sure if you contact the CCSF, they'll let you know any additional requirements.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    This past weekend the SBCSA had three successful solo swims from Anacapa Island to the mainland (12.4 miles).

    EC and CC soloist Jim Neitz crossed the channel in challenging conditions on Saturday in 8:58. This was his fourth successful Anacapa crossing, giving him the unofficial title of "King of Anacapa" (or at least "Mayor").

    Then on Sunday, first-time channel swimmers Nick Vargas (17 years old) and Zach Jirkovsky (31) crossed in much more benign conditions. Nick finished in 4:58, breaking the 4-year old course record by 5 minutes. Zach finished in 5:59.

    Numerous dolphins, mola-molas, and playful sea lions were encountered.

  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    edited February 2013
    For those in the know, what are the thoughts on the best jump time when crossing the Santa Barbara Channel heading due south from Santa Cruz Island? Leaving aside the chance of bad weather weather, do people jump at midnight as is done for Catalina? I'm going to swim from Santa Cruz Island toward Santa Barbara in September. Any thoughts?

    When I swam Catalina, I failed to execute my sleep plan and paid the price through the night. I am a night owl and would have no problem swimming into the night. I have been told that I can jump whenever I want. I have spoken only to the pilot's wife that runs the business with him, and their experience with channel swimmers appear top be crossings from Anacapa. As the swim from Santa Cruz is typically to Oxnard, I don't know how much info is out there.

    Also are their any tidal issues that should be considered which day you swim when swimming from Santa Cruz as there are with Catalina? I am ready to book my date and have the contract in hand. I just want to make sure I have the right time reserved.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited February 2013
    Bob, I know you know how to contact me off-forum, so this is more for the benefit of others who might be interested.

    - For a Santa Cruz swim, you will increase your chances of success by jumping at night. That's because there is a higher probability of high winds & big seas in the afternoon and early evening, compared to late-night and morning. Of course, on any given day there can be crappy conditions at night, or beautiful conditions in the afternoon.

    - If your boat pilot has only escorted Anacapa swims, he may not be familiar with the notion of night-swimming. Anacapa swimmers can afford to leave at first light, because their swims generally finish before the afternoon winds.

    - One difference between swimming due south from Santa Cruz rather than ENE (toward Oxnard) is that the prevailing winds will be coming across you rather than from behind you.

    - If there are tidal considerations for Catalina, then they would be roughly similar for this swim.

    - From personal experience, I don't recommend swimming on a new moon.
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