# Oldest Triple Crown swimmer - How to determine?

evmo
San FranciscoAdmin

This question emerged recently over beers & burritos with @VanMou and @AquaRob: How do we determine the oldest person to do the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming?

If Joe or Jane Q. Swimmer completes the E.C., Catalina, and Manhattan at ages X, Y, and Z...

Is his/her "Triple Crown age":

If Joe or Jane Q. Swimmer completes the E.C., Catalina, and Manhattan at ages X, Y, and Z...

Is his/her "Triple Crown age":

- The maximum of {X, Y, Z} ? ("oldest to complete")
- The minimum of {X, Y, Z} ? ("oldest to begin")
- The average of {X, Y, Z} ? ("oldest aggregated age")

Tagged:

## Comments

I don't like using the average. You shouldn't have to whip out your calculator to find out if you've achieved a record in an adventure sport.

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completethe Triple Crown.Otherwise it'd have to be the age at which all three were completed

.... but only if the EC is the last of the 3; otherwise, CC - 5years; MIMS - 10 years.

unless all 3 completed in 1 season; + 20 yrs (at least!)

...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

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The point of the question is that there are different ways of measuring the achievement, each interesting in its own way.

Imagine Person A, who completed the three swims at ages 56, 57, and 58.

Now imagine Person B, who completed the three swims at ages 25, 26, and 59.

By @suziedods' preferred method of measuring Triple Crown "age," Person B is "older."

But someone else might reasonably say that Person A was older, given that the average (or median, or minimum) age was much higher.

Just some food for thought.

That said it average age, or aggregate age would be an interesting stat to track. Either of these two ways of measurement would yield the same rankings since the average age is the aggregate age divided by 3. Average age might be more understandable than aggrevate age.

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

Seems to be listed in order of age at completion of all three swims, which makes me 5th oldest...if you list by aggregate age, I'm the third oldest - so I guess I prefer by age at the last swim, 'cause I feel young, again!

So if person A swam the three at 28, 30, and 73, s/he would be considered to have completed the three at age 28?

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Stop me if you've heard this one...

A grasshopper walks into a bar...

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But so what if it was done by your example. Complete swim 1 and 2 again, and the age jumps to 73.

On the other side, Youngest may not be a record to be pursued too hard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatots.

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

@emkhowley, are you accounting for Leap Years?

Just for fun, here's the current ranking of "oldest Triple Crown swimmer," according to each of the three methods suggested in this thread:

## Method 1: Oldest to Complete

Maximum of {ageX, ageY, ageZ}

## Method 2: Oldest Aggregate Age

Average of {ageX, ageY, ageZ}

## Method 3: Oldest on completion of 1st leg

Minimum of {ageX, ageY, ageZ} (@malinaka's favored method)

Personally I still favor method 2 or 3 over the traditional "oldest to complete," due to the hypothetical edge case of someone doing the EC and Catalina in their 20s, and then Manhattan (typically easier) later in life.

Essentially, "oldest to complete" identifies the person who was oldest on any single one of the three swims, even if they were much younger on the other two.

I do find it rather interesting that Pat G-C is now recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest, but Jim Clifford could also reasonably claim this record according to method 3.

(Not to imply that I think Guinness records have any significance whatsoever.)

I agree with method #2. What really impressed me is the fact that 4 of these swimmers didn’t even complete the first leg until they were in their 60s!

To me the oldest to complete the Triple Crown or method #1 makes the most sense. I did Manhattan when I was 32 in 1985, EC two years later and Catalina thirty years later in 2015 when I was 62. For me, still being in the sport 30 years later is important to me although it may not mean anything to anyone else. When people ask me how old I was when I completed the Triple Crown, which incidentally is a recent designation, I say 62, not some average or whatever. When Roger Federer wins his next major will the sports world say he won it at the age of 37 or 38 or will they say that the average age over his 21 major wins is xx?