Catalina Channel Swimming Federation

Conclusion to 2010 Catalina Season

CCSF Banquet is Saturday November 6th
Annual Celebration of Relay and Solo Swimmers
Friendly reminder: This is the final week to reserve your seats and tables for the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation banquet. All swimmers, supporters, family and friends are invited on Saturday, November 6th to join the brunch-time celebration at the Doubletree Hotel in San Pedro. The social hour starts at 10 in the morning, with the meal and awards ceremony to follow. RSVP is required to reserve your seat, plus tables for larger parties can be arranged. The RSVP is due this Monday, October 25th.

Swimmers from the 2010 Catalina season will be awarded their official certificate and CCSF medallion. Those who can’t make it to the banquet will get their awards in the mail. Either way, swimmers are encouraged right now to send Paula Selby a dozen photos of their event for the year-end slide show presentation. It’s another way the CCSF recognizes these remarkable marathon swims and courageous swimmers.

Pre-Banquet Swim at Cabrillo Beach
Creative Attire Encouraged for Unofficial Event
Swimmers meet on Cabrillo Beach at 8am Saturday November 6th for a fun social swim. Late arrivals are welcome: Join the pod of swimmers which won’t be far from shore. Bring yourself and build an appetite. Invite your open water friends and teammates. All speeds and experiences are welcome, even if you don’t have plans to attend the banquet. Cabrillo Beach Park is just a half-mile south of the DoubleTree Hotel in San Pedro. A short walk from the banquet, or paid parking at a rate of $1 dollar per hour.

Announcing 12 Successful Swimmers
List of Successful Crossings to be Updated at Banquet
Another dozen swimmers are making plans to attend the 2010 annual banquet. Congratulations to these athletes, who overcame the lower water temperatures, a few rough nights where the winds just wouldn’t lay down, and a number of exciting interactions with marine life. The following list is in chronological order of the swimmer’s finish date:
• Daniel Fung (final time of 13:23) crossed one day before his 29th birthday. Daniel is a disciplined and determined swimmer. His younger sister joined him for the final push. She also helped Daniel navigate the thick kelp bed at the finish. He couldn’t reach the Terranea Resort beach due to the stronger winds which pushed him off-course for the shortest possible crossing.
• Ray Melveldt (15:35) and his support team went wild and crazy for a serious cause. Ray established a charity organization which supplies small homes, meals, and school supplies for families in Mexico. His Catalina crossing raised tens of thousands of dollars.
• Natalie Merrow (13:50) spent all summer training for her swim, plus assisting and observing Catalina crossings in preparation for her own attempt. She was up to the challenge: The weather didn’t fully cooperate and she swam mostly in chop from start to finish.
• Greg O’Connor (9:26) crossed the Catalina Channel at least one-hour faster than he anticipated. When not in the Pacific Ocean, Greg is the race director of the Boston Light Swim. His next challenge? He may be on his way to completing the “Triple Crown”.
• Jason Lassen (15:59) established the fastest breaststroke crossing. Plus, Jason really went “old school” and asked to be navigated by compass (not GPS). The first breaststroker  in Catalina was Henry Sullivan in 1927. He swam 2 weeks after George Young.
• R. Brooks Richardson (11:26) is a retired firefighter and converted triathlete. He spent last summer supporting a Catalina swimmer. This summer, he jumped in the water himself. Brooks got complete support by his wife & daughter, plus shortly after sunrise, several large dolphin swam directly underneath him.
• Hank Wise (08:07) nearly grabbed a new men’s Catalina record. As he approached the mainland, knowing full well he was on record pace, he was given two options: Swim additional yards to the “beach” or just go straight into the “sketchy rocks”. With great enthusiasm Hank chose the “sketchy rocks”.
• David Hartmire (11:52) was the lead-off swimmer of the “Swim 22” group. These four individuals planned consecutive solo Catalina crossings with one team member tagging the next to start another solo swim. David began on Palos Verdes in gray and drizzly conditions. By the end, he was swimming in “gnarly swells” which eventually grew to a Small Craft Advisory.
• Jen Schumacher (11:05) made her second Catalina crossing (in two years), as a member of the 4-person “Swim 22” relay. This time around, Jen chose to switch the direction and start from the mainland and swim into Doctor’s Cove on Catalina Island.
• Chris Dahowski (11:29) was the anchor leg of the “Swim 22” relay and the team leader. It was his dream to form a 4-person Catalina Channel effort and his idea to make the event a fundraiser for the Jay Nolan Community Services.
• Kim Shales (11:53) reached Palos Verdes with just one thing on her mind: “It was so hard” was about all she could say while huddled on the beach. It’s not the first time (nor the last) that a successful swimmer was too fatigued to celebrate. Kim’s a Los Angeles County Lifeguard and most of her support crew also work the beaches in South Bay. Though there was one exception: Her 71-year-old father kayaked non-stop from Catalina to the mainland. All the time giving his daughter the thumbs up and broad smiles of support. Kim Shales made her papa very proud.
• Mike Vovk (12:35) returned to Catalina with unfinished business. He was the second swimmer of the “Swim 22” relay. This time around, he was blessed with very calm conditions. His approach to the Channel wasn’t much different than any of his other endurance achievements. Mike focused on the final goal, and perfectly paced himself from start to finish. His first mile was the same speed as his final one.
• Congratulations to all the solo and relay swimmers of 2010. We look forward to celebrating your success at the annual banquet. Plus, the official list of successful Catalina crossings will be updated around the time of the banquet.

Lynne Cox Book Signing in Long Beach
This Saturday, October 23rd at Apostrophe Books
Be sure to bring your copies of “Swimming to Antarctica” and “Grayson”. Lynne Cox will spend a couple of hours signing books and answering your questions about marathon swimming and her experiences in the Catalina Channel. The event is held between 2 and 4pm on Saturday October 23rd. Apostrophe Books is located on 2nd Street in Long Beach (562) 438-7950

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

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