Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Swim for Life - Can Anyone Top Buddy?

In addition to all the great open water races around the world this weekend, ranging from the European Open Water Swimming Championships in Croatia to the Little Red Lighthouse Swim in New York City, the Swim for Life Foundation 1.5-mile ocean swim will be held in Corona del Mar (Orange County, California).

The Swim for Life event may be small, but its participants include the Who's Who of Swimming - and its mission and message are important.

In addition to former 25K world champion and English Channel record holder Chad Hundeby, Olympic legend Janet Evans, Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Bruce Furniss, Erich Fischer (1992 Olympics), Andrew Strenk (1968 Olympics), recent Olympic hero champion Jason Lezak and John Mykkanen (1984 Olympics) are participating. But the eyes of the open water world will be on the seemingly invincible 74-year-old Buddy Belshe, a long-time Newport Beach lifeguard and masters swimmer.

Open water swimmers are known for being persistent and persevering, but Buddy takes it to a whole new level.

From 1947 to 2006, Buddy did 60 consecutive La Jolla Rough Water Swims. SIXTY!

If anyone has done more than 60 consecutive swims in any pool or open water event, The Daily News of Open Water Swimming wants to know.

Photo of Stella Fergin with Jason Lezak courtesy of the Swim for Life Foundation.

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