With so much excitement and anticipation building for the 2009 English Channel race – even before it is formally announced – we thought their counterparts in the Pacific Ocean deserved a little attention, too.
Last January 2008, the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation celebrated the 81st anniversary of the first Catalina Channel crossing with the George Young Memorial Relay.* Davina Walker, Alexia Nalewaik, Diana Corbin, Don Van Cleve, Greg Farrier and David Palomino took to the cold Pacific Ocean and finished in 12 hours and 40 seconds.
Palomino said after, "This is a swim that I will remember for the rest of my life." You can see why in a video taken by Marie Humphrey of Family Kayak. Palomino and escort kayakers Ralph Lufin and Al Barret were escorted by a fin whale part of the way.
* The relay commemorated the first successful Catalina Channel swim on January 15, 1927, when 102 swimmers entered the William Wrigley-sponsored US$25,000-winner-take-all Wrigley Ocean Marathon Swim.