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Monday, September 20, 2010

Twice The Pleasure, Double The Trouble

How many people have swum more than a single-crossing in one of the Oceans Seven?

Not many.

A two-way crossing is looking for double trouble.

But there are those who attempt it - and do it.

To date, there have been only seven people who have successfully completed a double-crossing of the Catalina Channel:

1. Greta Andersen in 26:53 in 1958
2. Penny Dean in 20:03 in 1977
3. Cindy Cleveland in 24:30 in 1977
4. Dan Slosberg in 19:32 in 1978
5. John York in 1978 in 16:42
6. Tina Neill in 22:02 in 2008.
7. Forrest Nelson in 23:01 in 2010.

To date, there have been 22 two-way swimmers in the English Channel:

1. Antonio Abertondo (first, longest time) in 1961
2. Alison Streeter in 1983, 1992 and 1995
3. Kevin Murphy in 1970, 1975 and 1987
4. Philip Rush (fastest overall) in 1985
5. Suzie Maroney (fastest woman) in 1991
6. Irene Van Der Laan in 1983
7. Igor De Souza in 1997
8. Cynthia Nichols in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1982
9. Osama Ahmed Momtaz in 1984
10. Paula Townley-Rivett in 1993
11. Jon Erikson in 1975 and 1979
12. Ted Erikson in 1965
13. Nora Toledano in 1994
14. Nick Adams (youngest) in 1995
15. Anne Cleveland (oldest) in 2004
16. Marcella MacDonald in 2001 and 2004
17. David Parcells in 2002
18. David Cech in 2006
19. Lianne Llewellyn in 2009
20. Lisa Cummins in 2009
21. Chloe McCardel in 2010
22. John Van Wisse in 2010

Then there are the renowned three English Channel three-way swimmers:

1. Jon Erikson in 1981
2. Philip Rush in 1987
3. Alison Streeter in 1990

There are also two people who have done a two-way crossing of the Cook Strait:

1. Philip Rush in 1984
2. Meda McKenzie in 1984
3. Philip Rush in 1988

There are also two people who have done a two-way crossing of the Tsugaru Channel in Japan.

1. Steven Munatones in 1990
2. Miyuki Fujita in 2006

There are several individuals who have done two-way crossings of the Strait of Gibraltar:

1. Maria Luisa Cabaneo Sanchez in 1990
2. Gustavo Oriozabala in 1994
3. Pieter Christian Jongeneel in 2005
4. Mateo Pesquer Campos in 2006
5. David Cech in 2008
6. Penny Palfrey in 2010

But there have been no successful two-way crossings of the North (Irish) Channel or the Molokai Channel - which would both be something that would require superhuman mental and physical strength and a healthy dose of luck and great conditions.

In a Hana Hou Magazine article, Forrest Nelson described the Molokai (Kaiwi) Channel as "by far the most challenging channel I have ever been in. My analogy is that the English Channel is a river between two huge land masses. Yes, there are strong currents and the threat of hypothermia. But here, you’re in the middle of the frigging Pacific between two tiny dots."

King of the Channel Kevin Murphy has definitively described the North Channel as the world's most difficult marathon swim bar none with its bone-chilling cold waters, fog and sea of jellyfish. Scary enough to do a one-way, unfathomable to consider a two-way.

These heroes and heroines can't seem to get enough just going one way.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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