July Swim Successes

Posted by SBCSA, 27 July 2011

July was a very busy month for the Santa Barbara Channel Swim Association. There were 4 swim attempts and 4 successes. There have been 5 attempts thus far this season and all 5 swimmers have been successful in their endeavors:

Forrest Nelson Circumnavigates Catalina Island

Forrest started things off by swimming around Catalina Island. He started his swim very late on Tuesday night (July 5th) and finished shortly after midnight on Thursday (July 7th). His final time was 25 hours and 35 minutes establishing a new record. This is only the second time this swim has been done and the first time by a male. Legendary, Cindy Cleveland, was the first person and to complete this 49 mile loop. She did her swim in 1979.

Forrest’s strategy was different in that Cindy Cleveland and the 4 relays that followed her all opted to do the swim counter clockwise. Forrest was convinced by John Pittman, captain of the outrider, to do his swim clockwise. This proved to be a wise move as Forrest used the favorable currents coupled with his excellent conditioning, to set a time record which may stand for another 32 years or even longer.

This swim was sanctioned by the SBCSA, but recently the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (CCSF) made the decision to start recognizing swims around Catalina Island. Therefore, this swim will be recognized by the CCSF and reflected on their website under “Swim Successes”.

Tina Neill swims from Santa Cruz Island to Oxnard

Tina Neill became the first person since 2007 to even attempt a swim off of Santa Cruz Island. Tina started off the southeastern end of Santa Cruz Island (San Pedro Point) at 6:30am (Friday, July 15) and finished, the 19.0 statute mile swim, 10 hours and 33 minutes later on Ventura’s Silver Strand Beach.

Tina battled tough currents and sloppy seas all day long and still narrowly missed a new time record by only 6 minutes. She did establish a new time record for women while becoming the third female to successfully complete a Santa Cruz Island swim. Rendy Lynn Opdycke was the first female to make the swim (choosing a longer course in 2007). Ned Dennison holds the fastest time from Santa Cruz to mainland when he completed the course in 10:27 in 2006. In 1983, David Yudovin became the first person to swim off of the island.

Tina has become the 8th person to complete a solo swim off of Santa Cruz Island. There have also been 8 successful relay swims off the island.

Marcia Cleveland and Chris Layton Tandem-Swim from Anacapa Island to Oxnard

Chris Layton and Marcia Cleveland – Chris and Marcia (of Dover Solo fame) became the 21st and 22nd swimmers to successfully swim from Anacapa Island to Oxnard. They also became the first tandem to do a swim off a Southern California Channel island besides Catalina.

The duo started at 6:11am on July 23 and finished at 12:11. They swam stroke for stroke in 61 degree water and both finished with a time of 6 hours and 8 seconds. Nick Caine has the fastest time off Anacapa for a male with a 5:03. Cara Silvas is the fastest female on record with a time of 5:31.

Carol Sing and Dave Van Mouwerik were the official observers for this historic swim. Chris, Marcia as well as Tina Neill were all piloted by Captain Bob Andrieux of the Tina Thumper. Bob has a record of his own going in that he has never had a swimmer enter the water and not finish a swim. This is almost unheard of in Marathon swimming.


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