Oceans Seven planning & logistics

musclewhale89musclewhale89 Alberta, CanadaMember
edited February 11 in General Discussion

Hey guys, a huge, long term goal I have is completing the Ocean's 7 Challenge. I'd also like to go after a few Canadian swimming records over the next 10 years. Lets be clear, as of right now I would be considered a beginner but I have a strong will and I am a naturally good swimmer (surprisingly, the longer the swim is.)

My question is 2 parts.

Firstly, I live in Canada and when thinking about which channel to do first, immediately my thought is the Catalina channel because I don't have to go outside of North America and logistically it might be the "easiest" to do. Am I fair in thinking that or would you recommend a different channel first?

Secondly, when planning these swims, is there a registration process? Who do you have to contact? I know some of the swims have a wait list and what not? I just don't know where to find information on the logistics of scheduling the swim and booking a crew.

ANY information would be greatly appreciated!

Tagged:
miklcctSolo

Comments

  • abbygirlroseabbygirlrose Chicago, IL (Los Angeles, CA)Member

    Catalina was my first channel swim and for me it was a good choice! I grew up in the LA area so I was also especially drawn to the channel "in my backyard". I do think that it is easier to get a spot for Catalina compared to some of the others, so that is a consideration too! I can try to answer other questions you may have (though I am not targeting O7).

    musclewhale89evmo
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited February 11

    when planning these swims, is there a registration process? Who do you have to contact? I know some of the swims have a wait list and what not? I just don't know where to find information on the logistics of scheduling the swim and booking a crew.

    Not to be taken as an endorsement of pursuing the O7, or of any of these organizations, but here are some websites:

    BogdanZ
  • musclewhale89musclewhale89 Alberta, CanadaMember

    @evmo said:

    when planning these swims, is there a registration process? Who do you have to contact? I know some of the swims have a wait list and what not? I just don't know where to find information on the logistics of scheduling the swim and booking a crew.

    Not to be taken as an endorsement of pursuing the O7, or of any of these organizations, but here are some websites:

    Thank you Evmo!

    I greatly appreciate all this info! Is there some reason why you wouldn't endorse pursuing the O7?

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited February 11

    @musclewhale89 said: Is there some reason why you wouldn't endorse pursuing the O7?

    Just my opinion, feel free to ignore.

    I think the seven individual swims are each interesting and worthy challenges.

    I also think the existence of the List has inflated demand for the swims far beyond what local resources can support, which in turn has significantly inflated the costs of these swims to (in some cases) unreasonable levels. Some of the swimmers occupying the increasingly scarce windows/slots seem to have little inherent interest in the specific body of water, other than ticking a box on a list. Several of the swims are effectively run by commercial pilots (rather than non-profit, swimmer-run associations), who have little incentive to provide value for the money.

    As a fan and observer of the sport, I am more compelled by marathon swim "career" arcs that develop organically, separate from other people's bucket lists, and by the pursuit of challenges that are personally significant to the swimmer in some way.

    musclewhale89lakesprayJanetIronMikethelittlemerwookieKatieBunCopelj26Kate_AlexanderSoloGuyco111and 8 others.
  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Member

    @evmo said:
    I also think the existence of the List has inflated demand for the swims far beyond what local resources can support, which in turn has significantly inflated the costs of these swims to (in some cases) unreasonable levels. Some of the swimmers occupying the increasingly scarce windows/slots seem to have little inherent interest in the specific body of water, other than ticking a box on a list. Several of the swims are effectively run by commercial pilots (rather than non-profit, swimmer-run associations), who have little incentive to provide value for the money.

    As a fan and observer of the sport, I am more compelled by marathon swim "career" arcs that develop organically, separate from other people's bucket lists, and by the pursuit of challenges that are personally significant to the swimmer in in some way.

    500% agree!!

    I'm more intrigued by the I'd also like to go after a few Canadian swimming records over the next 10 years statement.

    For Gibraltar, allow to book 2 years in advance. You can read this thread for more info https://forum.marathonswimmers.org/discussion/273/guide-to-swimming-the-gibraltar-straits-revised/p1 , there is a link to a useful guide.

    thelittlemerwookieevmoMvG
  • abbygirlroseabbygirlrose Chicago, IL (Los Angeles, CA)Member

    Very well said, @evmo. I was initially very intrigued by the O7, but I have come to realize that I would prefer to pursue swims that I am inherently interested in, rather than following a list that someone else made.

    thelittlemerwookieevmossthomasStLucia_Channel
  • musclewhale89musclewhale89 Alberta, CanadaMember

    I kind of understand where you guys are coming from. Initially it was a great accomplishment, and still is. The story of it being a swimmers equivalent to the seven peaks of mountaineering was what really hooked me when I heard about it. I understand that as its gained popularity that people have monetarily taken advantage but that shouldn't take away from the actual accomplishment should it?

    miklcct
  • @evmo said:

    As a fan and observer of the sport, I am more compelled by marathon swim "career" arcs that develop organically, separate from other people's bucket lists, and by the pursuit of challenges that are personally significant to the swimmer in some way.

    THIS. THIS THIS THIS.

    IronMikeSwimmersuzkejoycerosemarymintphodgeszohoBogdanZJSwimStephenMpol
  • miklcctmiklcct Kowloon, Hong KongMember
    edited February 12

    @evmo said:
    As a fan and observer of the sport, I am more compelled by marathon swim "career" arcs that develop organically

    For me, I am most compelled by a marathon swim "career" that has good places, rankings and medals in multiple 10 km / 25 km races. Therefore in my opinion Bill Thorley is one of the best marathon swimmers in Hong Kong. He has already got to under 2 hours for 10 km and he still has much potential to improve. If he can get into the Olympics one day we will be all proud of him.

    Let's get back to O7. Before I get to this forum, I didn't heard of the other 6 out of O7 yet! Apart from the English Channel, I have heard of HK-Macau, round HK, Qiongzhou Strait but nothing else because of the geographical proximity to where I live and coverage on newspaper about the swims. So the "names" of O7 are not that shining actually. There are many more swims around the world, like Loch Ness, India-Sri Lanka, round Jersey, Jersey-France, etc., each has its own interesting features. For example, in particular, what's special about the North Channel when you can swim the Dál Riata channel instead? The Dál Riata channel connects the same pieces of land, but it is shorter and more challenging instead.

    The O7 cannot be compared to the 7 peaks because the 7 peaks, by definition, are the highest peaks on the continents but the O7 are only 7 arbitrarily chosen channels in the world. The English Channel is special that it is considered the hajj of ultra-swimming, a swim of the lifetime, so it has the inherent name in it, and Gibraltar has the inherent value of separating Europe and Africa, but IMO the act of completing a swim which was considered unswimmable (like the 1st completion of Dál Riata channel) is much more significant than completing the O7. So for me, among the 7:

    • English Channel - I'm working towards it.
    • North Channel - if I want to swim it I will try the Dál Riata channel instead.
    • Gibraltar - if I can get through the qualification requirement (3 kph) and can get a slot in the season, I may insert it as a training swim for longer swims, but if the waiting list is too long I won't do it.
    • The other 4 - I don't have any interest in them. I better save my money to do the round HK swim and more swim races if I have $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
  • I would like to add another THIS THIS THIS to the littlemerwookie's post!!

    evmoKatieBunCopelj26kejoycethelittlemerwookiessthomasIronMikerosemarymintBogdanZ
  • MvGMvG Islamabad, PakistanCharter Member
    edited February 18

    After the EC I did the NC, which seemed one of the hardest O7 swims to me. I then started looking more seriously at O7, especially to become the first Dutchman to achieve it. Catalina was next.
    But that's where it stopped, at least for now. Apart from the cost I profoundly dislike the difficulty of getting a simple reply, be it by email or via Whatsapp, from one pilot in particular who happens not only to be the single accredited pilot for that swim, but also the president of the accrediting body. I am not going to BEG to be allowed to spend a fortune on a swim.
    So probably no O7 for me, unless things change significantly on the governance front.

    Instead I continue to aim for @evmo 's 'organic career arch'😊, hopefully with a few swims from the Toughest Thirteen list, some more swims in out-of-the-way places, and, who knows, a big First Crossing someday somewhere.

    KatieBunColmBreathnachArgentBogdanZIronMikeevmoslknightSoloStephen
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    @MvG said:
    Instead I continue to aim for @evmo 's 'organic career arch'😊, hopefully with a few swims from the Toughest Thirteen list, some more swims in out-of-the-way places, and, who knows, a big First Crossing someday somewhere.

    Issyk Kul (still) awaits you, @MvG! ;)

    MvG

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • MvGMvG Islamabad, PakistanCharter Member

    @IronMike said:

    Issyk Kul (still) awaits you, @MvG! ;)

    Very high on the list @IronMike

    IronMike
  • musclewhale89musclewhale89 Alberta, CanadaMember

    @MvG Ooooo.. that sounds awesome man. What are the toughest 13 list you speak of.. sounds intriguing!!

    MvG
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    @musclewhale89 said:
    @MvG Ooooo.. that sounds awesome man. What are the toughest 13 list you speak of.. sounds intriguing!!

    @musclewhale89, you should check out the MSF main page. (Click on the MSF symbol on the right of the forums.) Lots of other pages there, including the toughest 13 @MvG is talking about.

    musclewhale89MvGBogdanZ

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

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