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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Crossing The Catalina Channel On The Outrider

The Outrider is taking reservations for the 2011 Catalina Channel swim season.

And everyone is wondering if the conditions will return to normal or if 2011 will be a repeat of 2010. "2010 resulted in unusually tough conditions. In the 30-plus years I have been escorting swimmers, never have I seen such challenging conditions."

"Water temperatures were at times 10°F degrees below normal and the currents were extremely strong, often running in different directions than we normally see during the summer months
," commented Captain John Pittman.

The captain of the Outrider has an enviable track record of success out in the Catalina Channel. Of his 31 bookings for channel swims in 2010, 29 attempts were made. Out of the 29 attempts, 20 swimmers completed their swim. In 2009, Captain Pittman and his crew escorted 18 swimmers under more typical conditions with 19 out of 20 making the crossing. "Judging from the amount of contacts we have already received, 2011 will most likely be our busiest season ever. I hope the conditions return to normal and our 2011 season results in each and every swim being a successful one."

Interested swimmers should email Captain Pittman their first and second choice of dates. Rates are US$2500 for the Outrider (see above) and a crew of four. The Outrider's available swim dates include June 21, 22, 23 and 24, July 6, 7, 20, 21 and 25, August 4, 5, 18, 19, 22, 23 and 24, September 5, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22 and October 3, 13, 17, 18, 19 and 20.

After all these years taking swimmers and their support crew between Catalina Island and the Southern California mainland, Captain Pittman knows his waters and the challenges it brings. "We ask that swimmers limit their support team to 10 people including themselves, their support crew and Catalina Channel Swimming Federation observers. We also offer a galley service that provides the swimmer's support team with hot meals, snacks and drinks. Its convenient and helps to eliminate the clutter of ice chests and bags of food aboard the boat. We also a microwave, small refrigerator, hot water, ten bunks with blankets and pillows, hot showers and 110V electrical outlets for charging electronic equipment onboard."

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones

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