Catalina Channel Swimming Federation

Early Success in the 2010 CCSF Season

Catalina Channel Buoy Shows Recent Warming Trend
Two neap tides have passed in the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation season, and we have 4 successful swims to report:
The Mission Viejo Nadadores relay of Derek Young, Sasha Westberg, Tanner Cridland, Danny Miller, Natalie Malicki and Kellie Fecarotta swam June 30th in 8 hours and 9 minutes.
Their fundraising efforts benefit the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. A 20-minute video captures the event and the adventure of nighttime open water swimming with dolphins.

3 Successful CCSF Solo Swimmers
Dave Smith, Suzie Dods, and David Barra
Meanwhile, the first solo swim of the year was accomplished July 7th by Dave Smith of San Diego. His final time was 9 hours and 22 minutes. His wife, son and father were on board as supporters and kayakers. He started on Catalina, while South End Rowing Club member Suzie Dods started on the mainland to take advantage of an atypical summer current. Suzie reached Catalina Island July 19th in 18 hours and 36 minutes. Despite it being her most difficult swim to date, there’s no reward like finishing on the beach with a dozen astonished Boy Scouts there to greet you.
The next day, David Barra started on the Island and reached the mainland in 15 hours and 37 minutes. The current stalled his progress, but his training in 2010 including Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and the Maui Channel proved beneficial.

David Clark’s Paddle Class
A Report from a Grateful and Enthusiastic Paddler
Thanks to David Clark for generously spending Saturday July 10th with paddlers at his annual training session in La Jolla Shores. Here’s how Beth Barnes responded to her day of training: “David is a wealth of knowledge and a great guy for giving his time in the name of making open water swimming/kayaking fun and safe.” We second those sentiments. David’s demonstrated through the years his intense dedication to open water swimming and provided unsurpassed kayak support.

Is Dale Petranech Really 25 Years Older?
His Record-Breaking Swim was August 29th 1985
Looking back in the history of the Catalina Channel, it was 25 years ago when Dale Petranech broke the record for being the oldest person to swim Catalina. In fact, two age records were established the summer of 1985. First it was 49-year-old John Hill who crossed Catalina in about 19 hours.
The very next neap tide (11 days later) Dale Petranech made the Channel as a 50-year-old. His final time was 13 and a half hours.
Every record is made to be broken, but still, Dale felt crushed when in 1987 his record was re-written by Frank Reynolds who was 4 years older and 3 hours faster! Today, the age record is held by Bob West (62 years old) and another La Jolla Cove swimmer, Carol Sing is the women’s record holder. She was 55 years old at the time.

Dale Still Casts a Large Shadow
One anecdote from Dale’s 1985 swim: Like the majority of Catalina swimmers, Dale started at night, and for safety reasons, the escort boat kept a bright spotlight on him. (Remember, 25 years ago, chem glow sticks weren’t readily available) Shortly into this swim, while breathing away from the boat, he suddenly noticed a large dark triangle on the ocean’s surface. He thought, ‘Could that be a dorsal fin?’ But when he looked under the water, there was no fish to be found. He took another breath that direction and the dorsal still lurked beside him. He began to panic for several more strokes until he realized he was frightened by his own shadow. Dale says, “I repeat the story to this day. I finally had to chuckle at myself because the triangle shape was actually a shadow of my ‘high elbow’ recovery.” Dale can blame the spotlight from the escort boat and his perfect stroke technique for spooking him.

2010 CCSF Season is Busiest Ever
Observers Needed for August Solo Swims
The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation has at least 40 applicants for the 2010 season. Paula Selby has been working hard at assigning each swim with observers, but about one-third have gaps to be filled in the observer or paddler positions. With the large number of qualified CCSF observers, we can share the burden by volunteering for 2 or 3 swims. Please reply directly to Paula and tell her where you can commit. There are opportunities to support the CCSF as an Observer, an Assistant Observer, and/or kayaker. Enjoy the adventure of a Catalina crossing, and please help your fellow open water swimmers.

IMPORTANT CCSF CONTACTS: Swimmers apply by writing
To be added-removed from this email distribution list:
Treasurer Carol Sing collects membership fees
Her mailing address is 11487 Oralane Drive, El Cajon CA 92020
The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation Fax line is 866.910.3285
Become a CCSF Facebook Fan at

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

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