The Southern California Eight

Posted by Scott Zornig, 3 February 2014

As of this writing, The Ocean’s Seven has been completed by at least 4 swimmers. However, The Southern California Eight, which may have even bigger bragging rights once completed, is still up for grabs. Southern California is one of the world’s best marathon swimming destinations with warm summer weather, moderate water temperature and Catalina Island as its centerpiece. Many marathon swimmers don’t realize that Catalina is only one of 8 California Channel Islands and is actually one of the easier Channel Islands to swim. Yes, Catalina has 7 sister islands which also provide marathon swimming opportunities ranging from 12 miles up to almost 70 miles.

jim david penny tina

The Southern California Eight was created to call attention to all of the California Channel islands while providing marathon swimmers an opportunity to do something challenging, unique and very special in the United States without the costs of global travel. The Southern California Eight series consists of solo swims from each of the “Eight,” Channel Islands to mainland. These islands are Anacapa (12.4 miles), Santa Cruz (19.0 miles), Catalina (20.4 miles), San Miguel (25.9 miles), Santa Rosa (27.5 miles), Santa Barbara (37.7 miles), San Clemente (54.4 miles), and San Nicolas Island, 61.2 – 69.3 miles depending on course. To date, only 4 people have completed island/mainland swims from 3 different islands. They are Jim McConica, David Yudovin, Penny Palfrey and Tina Neill.

channel islands

If you are interested in attempting to swim all 8 islands or just want to see how many you can personally conquer, please contact us to learn more about this exciting series of marathon swims. Please note that two of the eight Channel Islands require permission from the U.S. Navy before attempting (San Clemente and San Nicolas). If you are interested in either of these islands, please contact us so we can work with you in securing proper permission.

The eight Southern California Channel Islands - swimming opportunities for everyone!

Our On-going Effort to be Green

green globe “Green” is not a word often associated with marathon swimming – but we all need to do our part. The SBCSA is committed to leading marathon swim organizations in environmental responsibility and is taking actions to shape an environmentally sustainable future for our sport. From our pledge to identify boats with modern fuel efficient motors, to our stringent “no trash gets left behind” rule, to our encouragement of tandem swimming, to our efforts to become a paperless organization, The SBCSA has made “going green” a priority.

Marathon swimming cannot take precedence over the health of our surroundings. By focusing on being a good steward of the environment, the SBCSA is proving that we all can find ways to be green.

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