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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sing Their Praises. Team Is Defined By FTD

Even Morrison of the Marathon Swimmers Forum reported on the unprecedented and successful 6-way crossing of the Catalina Channel by Team FTD.

For 61 hours 7 minutes, the team of Tina Neill, Kent Nicholas, Emily Evans, Forrest Nelson, Becky Jackman-Beeler, and Mike Mitchell took advantage of the relatively pleasant swimming conditions from Wednesday evening to Saturday morning this week.

6 swimmers, 61 hours, 6 legs.

Incredible. Unprecedented. Courageous.

And their support team was equally strong, committed, and relentless. The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation observers were Carol Sing, Don Van Cleve, and Adam Moine. Not merely observing Team FTD, but doing everything possible to help achieve this unimaginable feat, the trio went above and beyond the call of observer duty. Day and night, morning and afternoon, hour by hour, the observers were non-stop busy sleeping in shifts in order to maintain their sanity and appropriate levels of safety. Food preparation, safety lookouts, drink mixers, condition documentarists, strategists, motivators, the observer team was the epitome of support.

All in the comfort of the Team FTD escort boat, the Outrider captained by John Pittman. "The team started at Cabrillo Beach on the California mainland, traversed the Catalina Channel to Moonstone Beach on Catalina Island, then to Royal Palms on the mainland, back to Empire Landing on Catalina, then to Portuguese Bend on the mainland and to Doctor's Cove on Catalina and finally to Terranea Cove on the mainland," reported Nelson.

"The team is essentially a reunion of the relay which swam last summer from San Clemente Island to the mainland, though Becky was the newest edition."

The relay's success was never guaranteed despite the pedigree of the swimmers. It required teamwork that was epitomized by everyone involved. "It was a great adventure. [There was] a lot of heart, thought, and energy from every person on the boat," described Neill of Team FTD.

Note: Photo above is of the Outrider on a separate Catalina Channel crossing.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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