Sunday, November 8, 2009

Celebrating The New Catalina Channel Champions

The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation, led by stalwart member John York (shown on left), honored the successful channel swimmers and their support crews of the 2009 season in a typically Californian laid-back celebration yesterday. 15 solo swimmers and 2 relay teams were successful, including a new men's record set by Todd Robinson (shown below describing his 8:05 crossing).

The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation stars came out to welcome their newest members, including International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame David Clark, Carol Sing (shown below) and Jim McConica (shown with wife Michelle below).

Chris and Penny Palfrey, who were unable to attend, sent a complimentary letter to the Federation.

Their letter which read, in part:

Marathon swimming is a difficult sport and the obstacles only increase when one has to travel to a different part of the world to attempt a crossing. But the fantastic help and support of the CCSF volunteers not only helped ensure our successful crossings, but also left us with great memories of our visit to Southern California.

Our positive experience started with the website which was easy to navigate through, and application procedures, which were straight forward.

Then, we were both contacted three months prior to our crossing dates by our observers, offering advice and assistance. Their help (particularly Anne Cleveland and Claudia Rose) was excellent.

They also obtained kayakers for us, and David Clark’s assistance with this on Penny’s swim, was invaluable. Our entire crew knew what they were doing and were very professional, which allowed us to concentrate on swimming, rather than organisational aspects. The support vessel we used, Outrider, was excellent, and John Pittman and his crew are very competent in piloting swimmers. And finally, our friend Forrest Nelson, not only acted as observer on Penny’s swim, but he crewed for both of us, and did an absolutely superb job.

We are very grateful to all who have assisted us with our swims, including those behind the scenes. The CCSF has obviously worked hard, to put in place a high quality service model, to enhance the experience offered to swimmers. And we can’t think of any other organisation in the world right now, that compares to what the CCSF and its people offer.

Photos courtesy of Anne Cleveland.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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