Catalina Channel Swimming Federation

CCSF News – November 2011

Two Relay Teams Establish New Records

First Relay to Break 7-Hour Barrier is from Long Beach

At the awards banquet, we’re looking forward to seeing the proud members of two record-setting relays. “Swim Focus” from Long Beach swam from the mainland to Catalina Island in 6 hours and 53 minutes (Official times will be announced at the CCSF Banquet). The relay members are Hank Wise, Ted Bramble, Matt Mitchell, Lyle Nalli, Parks Wesson and Lexie Kelly. (To put this accomplishment into perspective, the first Catalina relay– 85 years ago– spent over 23 hours in the water).

A few days later, six Los Angeles men — between the ages of 50-and-59 — set a new relay record for that age group. The “AquaBoomers” crossed in 8 hours and 8 minutes. They got that 808 Boom. Most of the relay members train with SCAQ. They are Dan Leonard, Tracy Edwards, Brad Magit, Steve Lowe, Bruce Thomas and Bill Ireland.




Swimmers Finally See Calm(er) Conditions

Decent Water Temps and Flat Seas Aid Solo Swimmers

This is the final week of the 2011 Season. There are still a couple more people preparing to jump in the water at Doctor’s Cove. The swimmers in September and early October have been blessed with some wonderful swimming conditions. The observers have remarked at how calm the water’s been for the midnight start. Congratulations to Kent Nicholas, Derrick Wong, Mo Siegel, Bob Needham, Kimberly Rutherford, Kevin Anderson and Patti Bauernfeind.

A full year of hard work paid off for Mesa Arizona resident Kent Nicholas. He prepared with training swims at Lake Tahoe and the Distance Swim Challenge in the South Bay. Kent also made a trek into San Diego to attend David Clark’s kayak escort training session. No wonder Kent made the Catalina Channel look relatively simple in 10 hours and 46 minutes —despite a bout of seasickness on the boat ride out to the Island.

Years of playing water girded 2004 Princeton graduate Derrick Wong for the wind chop the Catalina Channel can whip up. Derrick made one of the fastest crossings of the summer in 8 hours and 35 minutes. Just like when he was competing in college, his father made sure he was on the boat to watch every minute of Derrick’s swim.

mo siegel2Have you ever seen a bigger smile than Mo Siegel’s following his 13-hour crossing of the Catalina Channel? This swim marked the third one in the “Triple Crown”. Congratulations Mo for waiting a few days beyond his 60th birthday to achieve this rare milestone.

Strong currents pulled Bob Needham off-course as he tried to reach Palos Verdes. It didn’t deter him, plus his daughter was in the kayak beside him to cheer Bob to victory (in 13 hours and 10 minutes). He spent a short time celebrating at a remote stretch of beach. Then, he grabbed a rock – the size of an eggplant —and took it home as a souvenir.

Kim Rutherford lives in the Monterey Bay area, which is great training ground for any cold water Channel. In two consecutive years, Kim’s crossed from one of the Channel Islands. Last month it was Catalina. Last year, she swam from Anacapa. We’re anxiously awaiting to see which will be her next island…

How many La Jolla Cove members have crossed the Catalina Channel. It’s probably too many to count—plus one—following Kevin Anderson’s successful swim last week in just under 12 hours. He enjoyed a brilliant sunrise and warm sunny skies while approaching Terranea Cove, where a small welcoming party was waiting to celebrate with him.

Yesterday morning, Patti Bauernfeind placed a beautiful bow on her remarkable open water swimming season. She crossed the Catalina Channel in a little more than 11 hours. She started the season as the lead-off member of the first all-female relay to swim from the Golden Gate Bridge out to the Farallon Islands.

Congratulations to Patti and all the recent crossers. We hope to be able to announce a few more successes. Several swimmers are resting this week in San Pedro and about to take the plunge.




New CCSF Record for the Oldest Woman


Follows in the Wake of ‘Hall of Famers’ Florence, Greta & Carol


At the Banquet we’ll celebrate the inspirational journey of Pat Gallant-Charette, who was escorted to the California mainland by hundreds of dolphins. She called it a “mystical experience”. The 60-year-old swimmer from Portland Maine became the oldest woman to cross the Catalina Channel (in about 14 hours, official times will be announced at the CCSF Banquet). The legacy of this record is a “who’s who” of marathon swimmers from Southern California. At one time San Diego’s Florence Chadwick held the record for being the oldest woman. So did Greta Andersen of Long Beach and La Jolla Cove swimmer Carol Sing. Then last summer, La Jolla teammate Barbara Held claimed the title at age 56. It’s believed that Pat is just the fourth person over the age of 60 to make the Catalina Channel. She’s one of the dozen, or so, swimmers to cross the Catalina and English Channels in the same summer.


On the final day of the CCSF season, Stephen Redmond became the first Irishman to cross the Catalina Channel. He suffered mid-Channel with a bout of nausea, but stayed mentally tough to finish around 12 and a half hours. Afterward, he said this swim was personally the toughest — yet. Among Stephen’s accomplishments are crossings of Gibraltar, English Channel, the North (Irish) Channel and an unprecedented swim out and around Fastnet Lighthouse (the southernmost tip of Ireland). His next adventure, this week, is the 26-mile Molokai Channel between the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai & Oahu.

stephen redmond with grace vanderbyl paddling




2 Relays Swim All The Way Around Catalina

12 Open Water Swimmers Enjoy Weekend Adventure at Island

The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation now sanctions and certifies the 48-mile non-stop swim around Catalina Island. The second weekend of October, two mixed-gender relay teams shared an escort boat and the wild adventure of circling Catalina counter-clockwise. The 12 swimmers were Carol Sing, Claudia Rose, Dan Henry, Bill Crane, Kevin Rosenthal, Becky Jackman-Beeler, Dan Simonelli, Barbara Held, Cindy Walsh, Mark Monticino, Forrest Nelson and Tina Neill. Final time, for both teams who remained side-by-side the entire trip, was 27 hours and 25 minutes. But the group truly measured the trip in thrills, hot showers, and laughs.



Untold Story of Chadwick’s 1952 Crossing

Florence Chadwick Trains in Secret in Santa Monica Pool

The San Diego Hall of Champions has an exhibit dedicated to open water swimming. Also on display there is a large collection of trophies won by San Diego swimming legend Florence Chadwick. She was the first woman to swim both directions of the English Channel, and the second woman across the Catalina Channel. Her first attempt in the summer of 1952 fell short. The second one, in September, was a smashing success. The media coverage she received was extraordinary. But according to Beverly Jackson, who became like a ‘little sister’ to Florence, perhaps the media lights got a bit too hot… Read Beverly’s first-hand account from Chadwick’s Catalina crossing to discover an untold story from the summer of ’52.


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

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