SBCSA News

The California Triple Crown

Looking for a great marathon swimming bucket list challenge a little closer to home? Consider the California Triple Crown, consisting of arguably the three most iconic, historic solo marathon swims in California:

California residents can essentially do all three of these swims without ever getting on a plane or obtaining a passport!

Thanks to SBCSA vice president Dave Van Mouwerik's diligent work in compiling data on past Lake Tahoe swims, it's now possible to compile a fairly authoritative list of "California Triple Crown" swimmers.

The first three (and currently only) swimmers to complete this challenge will be well-known to most readers:

  1. Kevin Murphy
    • Lake Tahoe - 13 hours, 56 minutes on July 24, 2003.
    • Catalina Channel - 15 hours, 23 minutes on August 8, 2003.
    • Santa Barbara Channel (Santa Cruz Island to Santa Barbara) - 17 hours, 31 minutes on September 23, 2007.
  2. Dave Van Mouwerik
    • Santa Barbara Channel (Anacapa Island to Oxnard) - 7 hours, 0 minutes on August 7, 2010.
    • Lake Tahoe - 13 hours, 51 minutes on August 14, 2011.
    • Catalina Channel - 12 hours, 9 minutes on August 6, 2012.
  3. Tina Neill
    • Catalina Channel - seven times, 2007-2014, in both directions, including a two-way, using both freestyle and backstroke.
    • Santa Barbara Channel (Santa Cruz Island to Oxnard) - 10 hours, 33 minutes on July 15, 2011.
    • Lake Tahoe - 11 hours, 18 minutes on August 31, 2015.

However, the list is likely to expand significantly in the coming years, with 46 individuals who have completed 2 out of the 3 swims.

30 swimmers have completed the Catalina and Santa Barbara Channels, but not yet Lake Tahoe:

  • Thomas Ball
  • John Chung
  • Cindy Cleveland
  • Marcia Cleveland
  • Ned Denison
  • Carol Schumacher Hayden
  • Peter Hayden
  • Lynn Kubasek
  • Stanley Leventhal
  • Marc Lewis
  • Michelle Macy
  • Anthony McCarley
  • Jim McConica
  • Evan Morrison
  • Jim Neitz
  • Forrest Nelson
  • Rendy Lynn Opdycke
  • Penny Palfrey
  • Kelley Prebil
  • Suzanne Riedinger
  • Claudia Rose
  • Kimberly Rutherford
  • Walter Bean Scott
  • Tamie Stewart
  • Scott Tapley
  • Peter Urrea
  • Kathleen Wilson
  • Hank Wise
  • David Yudovin
  • Scott Zornig

16 swimmers have completed Catalina and Lake Tahoe, but not yet the Santa Barbara Channel:

  • Asha Allen
  • Patti Bauernfeind
  • Kimberley Chambers
  • Cliff Crozier
  • Jim Fitzpatrick
  • Michael Goble
  • Amy Gubser
  • Tom Hecker
  • Ernie Hoftyzer
  • Scott Kaloust
  • Karl Kingery
  • Elaine Kornbau Howley
  • Craig Lenning
  • Joe Locke
  • Kirk McKinney
  • Sarah Thomas

The California Triple Crown list will be maintained and updated regularly by the Marathon Swimmers Federation, based on official results from the three respective sanctioning organizations.


Originally posted on "Farther, Colder, Rougher"


Posted by Evan Morrison, 3 March 2017

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