Catalina Channel Swimming Federation

Annual CCSF Banquet is November 5th

Solo & Relay Swimmers Honored Along with Volunteers

We request that you set aside the first weekend of November and join the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation in celebrating each of the successful relay and solo swimmers of the season (complete details in an upcoming newsletter). In addition, at the banquet on Saturday November 5th, we’ll be honoring our dedicated volunteers, observers, and kayakers. Behind the scenes, there are dozens of individuals who make this operation run smoothly. Every week through October, nearly 4 swimmers will dive in at Catalina Island from Doctor’s Cove.


Plenty of Successful Swims to Celebrate

Pleasant Water Temperatures Greet July Swimmers

The first group of swimmers who’ll want to make plans for the November 5th banquet are Karen Throsby, Mike Miller, Clara Lee, Tobey-Anne Saracino, W Davis Lee, and Kamil Suran. These swimmers successfully crossed the Catalina Channel in July while starting at the Island.

Karen Throsby spent a little extra time in Southern California acclimating to the water conditions before setting across in 14 hours and 11 minutes (these times are unofficial until final CCSF certification in November). While she was heading toward the mainland, a Blue Whale swam nearby, seemingly on its way toward the Island.

Mike Miller, of North Carolina, spent more than a year preparing for the moment when he’d reach the mainland and celebrate his successful crossing. His final time was 12 hours and 44 minutes. Though, early in the swim, Mike had doubts but told himself “Did you honestly think this was going to come easy to you? So… just keep swimming.” Indeed. Great words of wisdom for any Channel swimmer.

Clara Lee, an LA County Lifeguard, got the sightseeing tour she’d wished for. She requested that her crew alert her to any whales. Twice, Clara had a mammoth companion swimmer underneath her. Also, the LA County Lifeguard Baywatch boat rendezvoused with Clara (11 hours and 22 minutes) to honor one of their own with a shower of the fire nozzle. There’s a long tradition of Ocean Lifeguards completing the Channel.

Tobey-Anne Saracino spent the first part of the month swimming down the Hudson River. She then arrived in Southern California for a quick swim (9 hours and 49 minutes) across the Catalina Channel. Congratulations, Tobey, on a wet & wildly successful July.

Davis Lee has a dream of completing the “Triple Crown” of marathon swimming. He took the second step (or should that be second lap?) last week with a 9 hour and 46 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel. Next up? MIMS.

Endurance guru Kamil Suran got across in 13 hours and 20 minutes. Kamil says the Catalina Channel became the toughest mental challenge he’s ever faced. That’s saying a lot, considering he’s finished dozens of 70.3 Ironmans, double-Ironmans, and several ultramarathon runs, including the high altitude 100-mile Leadville (Colorado) race. Kamil added that he has new-found respect for swimmers and the intensity of open water training. Kamil is the first person from the Czech Republic to complete the Catalina Channel.

We look forward to celebrating these remarkable accomplishments with you in November at the Annual CCSF Banquet.


Abundant Wildlife in Catalina Channel

Salp Feed on Phytoplankton Reducing Amount of Krill

Swimmers have commented on the array of jellyfish in the Catalina Channel. To be sure, there’s plenty of jellies that have been giving swimmers hot prickly stings (that seem to ease within seconds). Also, a planktonic tunicate called salp can be mistaken for jellyfish. It doesn’t have any venom or tentacles. However salp has a gelatinous body, which is why it can easily be mistaken for jellies. The salp bloom around Catalina is especially large this summer. We’ve seen thousands upon thousands floating near the surface, but generally too deep to interfere with a swimmer. Plus, they’re harmless and salp blossom into mesmerizing shapes.


Munatones Prints ‘Open Water Swimming’

New Book is Valuable Resource to Channel Swimmers

Any serious swimmer with a reading habit will want to get a copy of the newly published book “Open Water Swimming” written by Steven Munatones. More than 30 years of his experience as marathon swimmer, coach, and tireless advocate of open water swimming is squeezed into 250 easy-to-read pages. This up-to-date comprehensive resource is sure to improve your preparation for the Catalina Channel. The 10 chapters cover various open water elements with concise topics. Munatones offers suggestions on the ideal feeding equipment, safety measures, and training preparation for a marathon event. In addition, he provides valuable lessons for improving your performance in every distance of open water racing. It’s a pleasure to read. Our copy is already dog-eared (in particular, page 155).


48-Mile Catalina Island Circumnavigation

Forrest Nelson Follows in Wake of Cindy Cleveland

The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation has elected to sanction swims going completely around Catalina Island. The CCSF immediately certified the previous circumnavigations: Three relays dating back to the 1990s and 2007, in addition to Cindy Cleveland‘s legendary solo accomplishment in 1979.

Under the guidance of the CCSF and Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association, Forrest Nelson completed (during the first week of July) a circumnavigation of the island in 25 hours and 35 minutes. He is the first male solo swimmer, and the only one to take a clockwise path around Catalina Island.



Photo by Dan Ferguson from the Los Angeles Times archives. The caption reads: Cindy Cleveland, 24, of Redondo Beach, is escorted by Dan Slosberg (left) and Rick Garret during her swim around Catalina Island in under 35 hours. She reportedly is first person to make the swim. A crew of 20 took turns on surfboards

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The CCSF continues to strive to improve safety in open water swimming.

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