Most Notable/Noteworthy/Amazing/Inspiring Swims This Year

emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member
edited September 2013 in Cheering Section
Given that there's been so much media attention focused on a single swim this year, I wanted to start a list of the OTHER great swims you've witnessed or heard about this season that might not make the news. These don't need to be big or long or new or record-setting swims (they certainly can be, but they don't have to be). They don't have to be "successful" swims either, just extraordinary demonstrations of grit, determination, strength, and the joy of open water swimming. This list is meant to be simply a celebration of accomplishments in 2013. (I'm focusing on the ladies, but feel free to add men's swims to the list, too!) I'll start with a handful of swims that inspired me and will always remind me of 2013:

1. Bethany Bosch's joyful 25-mile crossing of Lake Memphremagog
2. Sarah Thomas' unflinching 50-mile double crossing of Lake Memphremagog
3. Jen Dutton's magical crossing of Lake Tahoe
4. Lynn Kubasek's unexpected Anacapa to Santa Cruz, a change of plans that panned out well
5. Pat Gallant-Charett's gutsy near-finish in the North Channel

And so on. I know I'm only scratching the surface, so fill in the blanks. Let's see how long we can make this list and really celebrate the quiet accomplishments of our fellow swimmers in a way the rest of the world can't.

Stop me if you've heard this one...
A grasshopper walks into a bar...


  • RonCollinsRonCollins Clearwater, Florida, USAMember
    Darren Miller!!!

    Ron Collins
    Clearwater, Florida

  • ForeverSwimForeverSwim Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaCharter Member
    edited September 2013
    1. @usslenning and @ssthomas double-Tahoe completion (first ever);
    2. @roncollins redemption of Catalina for the Triple Crown;
    3. (2nd mention) Pat Gallant-Charett's amazing North Channel attempt;
    4. Fergal's June North Channel completion in sub-50 water;
    5. Mo Seigel's Apache Lake conquest!
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber
    I want to add Bethany Bosch's five mile swim across Lake Willougby- with her dog! That's just the coolest, most fun thing I've ever heard of.

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    edited September 2013
    ssthomas wrote:
    I want to add Bethany Bosch's five mile swim across Lake Willougby- with her dog!
    Having adopted a couple of dogs earlier this year, I really enjoyed reading that. I can imagine one of my dogs doing that. Maybe the other one, too, but she's pickier about what she will do around water.

  • *Ahem* The dog is wearing a life jacket...that's an assisted swim! ;)
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    Michelle Macy
  • Anyone who swims for fun, fitness,friends, frivolity, food.... I just ran out of :F's, without the FANFARE of a......
    Web team, a PR team, a handler.....
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
  • smithsmith Huntsville, AlabamaSenior Member
    Question: In OWS history, has anyone completed a 40+ mile high altitude marathon swim, and then turned around and completed a 50 miler in rough conditions around 6 weeks later?

    Keep moving forward.

  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    I assume you're about to tell us
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited September 2013
    I assume you're about to tell us
    Hint: the answer's already in the thread! :)

    @emkhowley, thanks for starting this.
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    Haven't got time :)
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    59 year old Jane Petkov! An assisted swim, but none the less.
  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    Wendy Trehiou's Two Way English Channel swim on 20th-21st August in a time of 39 hours 9 minutes.

    The first leg took 17 hours 8 minutes and the return swim took 22 hours 1 minutes. Wendy is a breast cancer survivor and I find her story so inspirational.
  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member
    These are great, all! Keep 'em coming. I might also mention Marcy's recent double EC. How many is that for her now?

    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    emkhowley wrote:
    These are great, all! Keep 'em coming. I might also mention Marcy's recent double EC. How many is that for her now?

    Numbers 13 and 14!! Wow. (*)

    Here's my entry. I did 14 events at a Masters meet in June which lasted 4.5 hours and didn't get any disqualifications!! Came pretty much last in everything, but managed a legal 100m Butterfly in the middle. :)) :))
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Marcy Macdonald's 13th and 14th EC swims HER THIRD DOUBLE (worth mentioning again)
    Michele Macy, Anna Carin Nordin, Darren Miller..... Oceans seven
    Ned Dennison... false bay
    Mo Siegal.... Cape cod bay P2P

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • SuirThingSuirThing Carrick-on-Suir, IrelandMember
    edited September 2013
    ssthomas wrote:
    I want to add Bethany Bosch's five mile swim across Lake Willougby- with her dog! That's just the coolest, most fun thing I've ever heard of.
    Isn't there something about that being 35 miles in "dog years" ????

    I think this is probably the best story/link that I've read about any swim

    When will there be pups available????

    I tried to convince myself, but, orange flavour electrolyte, mixed with hot chocolate,
    tastes nothing like Terry's Chocolate Orange ....

  • FilFil Derby, VTCharter Member
    Can't wait to see Momma Guri taking all the wee pups out for a swim. That's a pic I want to take. Bethany? How 'bout it?
  • A Bulgarian man has swum more than 2km (1.25 miles) tied up in a bag hoping to set a Guinness World record, the organisers of the event have said.

    It took Jane Petkov some two and three-quarter hours to cross the distance in Lake Ohrid in Macedonia, reports say.[img][/img]

    With his arms and legs tied to his body, the 59-year-old swam on his back "like a dolphin", organiser Saso Tockov told the AFP news agency.

    The "amphibian man's" average speed was 0.7km/h, Macedonian media said.

    "I was very cold for the first kilometre but after that it was all fine - no problem whatsoever," Mr Petkov was quoted as saying after completing the swim on Tuesday.

    "Had the water been warmer, I could have 10km or more."

    The event organisers said they had properly documented the swim in order for it to be officially recognised as a Guinness World record.

    However, there was some discrepancy in local reports over the distance that Mr Petkov had swum while the exact time he spent in the water varied from 2 hours 47 minutes to 2 hours 55 minutes.

    Guinness World Records - which registers unusual feats - has so far made no public comment on the issue.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    How dare those people question Jane Petkov's amazing swim!

    Too soon?

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    edited September 2013
    Michelle Macy
    I second.

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

  • SharkoSharko Tomales BayGuest
    edited September 2013
    My Fellow Sharks et al,

    I was "really impressed" with the double Lake Tahoe swim on July 18/19 by Sarah Thomas & Craig Lenning....for me swimming long distance in fresh water is a challenge...but a 40+ mile swim at 6,000 ft elevation is a hell of an accomplishment.

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    And then a 50 mile swim in VT/Canadian waters right after that!
  • MvGMvG MauritiusCharter Member
    Fergal Somerville's North Channel crossing in 9-10 C water stands out for me as the most impressive swim of 2013 in terms of pure mental and physical grit, even if there are several very worthy other contenders as mentioned above whose achievements I greatly admire.
    However, having done the NC myself and having felt pretty miserable in 14 degrees C water, I am deeply in awe for someone who can stand water that is 5(!) degrees colder and maintain a very decent speed over such a long distance (33,7 kms) at the respectable age of 49. It was a unique achievement and will not soon be repeated I think.
  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    I’m sure I won’t be the last person to suggest this one, but the Sylvain Estadieu’s Butterfly English Channel crossing on 22nd-23rd September surely has to be one of the most noteable/inspiring/amazing swims of the year!

    Having been on the boat I was gobsmacked that his butterfly at the end of the 21 mile crossing looked just as good as many of the best Masters swimmers I know at the start of their race!

    To add to all that, I checked the tide charts when I got back. He flew across a massive Spring tide (6.88metres high water at Dover) – one of the biggest tides of the year.

    I’m surprised that there has been little media coverage of this. Let's hope he gets the recognition he deserves from this swim.
  • Thomas Noblets English Channel on 5th attempt. The one person the whole community wanted to get across.

    Agree with Zoe though. Sylvain was just ace.

    I would say this though, I was observer on Sea Leopard and we were very close to Sylvain all the way across. But my swimmer was just an ordinary fella, Christian Espinosa. I have never seen a swimmer give so much heart to get across. I wish I had just a portion of it. We got ashore at the same place as Sylvain about 40 minutes later.
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    John Walker of the South End Rowing Club just completed the English Channel, after already doing Catalina and the length of Tahoe, all in the space of three months!!! That is just crazy... - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    malinaka wrote:
    How dare those people question Jane Petkov's amazing swim!

    Too soon?

    Haters will hate

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member
    Thanks to everyone who responded. I rounded up a list of the ladies here for Athleta:

    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • SharkoSharko Tomales BayGuest
    Steven's World Open Water Swimming Association published the following about Dea Ann....this is nice as Dea Ann does not promote but it is nice to know her perspective on the sport/lifestyle

    TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014
    Dea Ann Joslin, A Master Juggler Of Excellence
    Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

    Dea Ann Joslin has it all - and makes time for it with a disciplined lifestyle. A mother of 5 children, she also spends time coaching swimming in Petaluma, California. The dynamic coach from Westside Aquaducks has crossed the Maui Channel 6 times – with a few more crossings in the planning stages.

    After growing up in Nevada and Colorado, she started open water swimming in California in her 30’s. She explains how she has juggled her channel swims with coaching, teaching, and raising 5 children.

    Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What were your times across the channel?

    Dea Ann Joslin: My first solo crossing was 5 hours 31 minutes. My second solo was around 5 hours. My third solo swim was done to accompany a friend on his first crossing and it was a rough one that we finished in 6 hours 20 minutes. The double crossing was 9 hours 20 minutes; it took about 3 hours 57 minutes across and 5 hours 23 minutes back. My fourth solo swim was 4 hours 30 minutes.

    Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What attracts you to the Maui Channel?

    Dea Ann Joslin: Originally, it was Bob Roper and Tim Spicer. They were friends who got me started in open water swimming and always kept guiding me to more challenging swims. Now, it is the beauty of it and the sense of challenging and conquering myself. And maybe growling at life a bit.

    Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Why was your two-way crossing never ratified?

    Dea Ann Joslin: It will never be important to me to swim for the acknowledgement of anyone else. I do it because it is how I find joy in life. Well, one of the ways.

    Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How were the swims different?

    Dea Ann Joslin: Some crossings were calm. The double crossing was on a really nice day. Some were pretty rugged. I always train so that I can go out and really enjoy the swim. But some days the training allows me to survive the swim. It's all good, but never the same. That's part of what I love about it.

    Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you juggle it all?

    Dea Ann Joslin: I run at 3:40 am, swim from 5:00 to 7:00 am, and then devote the rest of the day to the people I love: my family and the kids I work with. I start early, go hard, and sleep well. What I don't do is anything that will keep me from being able to do what I do. I keep my body clean and healthy: no smoking, no drinking, and no staying out late.

    Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are you doing now?

    Dea Ann Joslin: I still train. This summer I will do the Maui Channel as a relay. I plan to solo next summer. I've had to have 5 surgeries on my hands. It is a long and sad story. And I will growl at those hands with next years' crossing and at the Waikiki Roughwater Swim. I run a swim school and am head coach of the Westside Aquaducks in Petaluma. I have a daughter who will be married on July 5th, so I'm daily stressing over that. I could put together a meet for 500 swimmers with a lot more confidence. My baby is getting ready to drive and finishing her first year of high school. Oh, and I'm trying not to make my husband crazy. He is the sweetest man ever.

    Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Have I done other swims?

    Dea Ann Joslin: Yes, mostly in the Bay area. I have swum from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate a few times and done a bunch of other shorter swims. The water is 47-58ºF usually, so my fly weight won't let me be in as long as I'd like. I've done the Trans Tahoe Relay. Honestly, right now, I train like something big is right in front of me, but my time is spent on other swimmers. I don't race as much as I'd like. The time isn't right yet.

    Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

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