Gear Patrol's "In Deep: 10 Most Challenging Open Water Swims"

IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
edited March 2014 in General Discussion
OK, so I did a search under the keywords Gear Patrol, Jeremy Berger, and 10 Most Challenging and got no results, so hopefully this is not a repeat thread.

Somehow this article escaped our collective notice. Not a bad article, and published prior to the shenanigans of everyone's favorite anti-hero, although a later edit included her, saying she "completed [the] swim without a shark cage" (emphasis mine).

Only $3700 for an escort boat for an EC swim? Is that right?

Anyway, here's the link:

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


  • sylmarinosylmarino San FranciscoMember
    A stick can make it from Alcatraz. Sorry, doesn't belong on this list.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited March 2014
    sylmarino wrote:
    A stick can make it from Alcatraz. Sorry, doesn't belong on this list.
    Sure, but if the stick doesn't plan the timing well, it might reach the Farallons before it gets to SF.

    On a slack tide it's pretty straightforward. One morning last summer I decided to do 1.25 miles of sculling.

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    I saw this a while back, cannot for the life remember me where I got the link (would have sworn it was this forum if @ironmike hadn't already searched for it).

    It's actually a quite fun list in that it captures a pretty diverse range of swims, though the title could perhaps be worded differently.

    I think the Alcatraz crossing is a good inclusion in that it is a very popular destination open water swim, if not particularly hard and for many people may be their first taste of "cold water" (even if in a wetsuit). It certainly got me hooked on open water swimming.

    If the EC is the "Everest" of channel swimming, then Alcatraz is like Fuji or Kilimanjaro - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    edited March 2014
    Waikiki and MIMS shouldn't (IMHO) shouldn't be on this list. 1999 USA Open Water Nationals traversed the Waikiki course 3 times. The hardest part of that swim was chasing down a turn buoy that snapped free from its mooring. MIMS has huge current assist for most of the swim. I haven't done Alcatraz, but the sheer numbers of those that do it makes it suspect.

    25k was the recognized marathon distance back in the day, so that's where my cut-off point is. If the race is less than that, it wouldnt be on my list unless there was some kind of extreme consideration that would warrant it being there.

    Every swim 25k and longer is inherently difficult. My toughest swims were:

    1995 Atlantic City 37K (still the toughest one I've done)
    1999 Lac St Jean (Super cold and wavy that year)
    2001 Tampa Bay 42K (the course was the only time it's gone from North to South and was against the tide the entire way. My shoulders still hurt.)
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