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Monday, December 16, 2013

Doubly Tough, Doubly Rough, Doubly Fun

The 32nd edition of the Possibly Annual Hawaiian Christmas Looong Distance Invitational Rough-H2O Swim was this Sunday, December 15th.

The event was typically enjoyable despite (or because of) the deteriorating weather that started 45 minutes after the start on Kaimana Beach at the foot of the Diamond Head volcano on Oahu. “The changing water conditions and currents added interest and challenge to the swim,” said race found and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honouree Jim Anderson. “But the escorts had a somewhat more difficult time with the weather, but they were unanimous that it was a fun event.”

But the flash flood warning on the south shores of Oahu lived up to its expectations. It resulted in the cancellation of the awards ceremony. “Everyone had had enough time in or on the water and they just wanted to go home,” quipped Anderson.

The winner Ryan Saunders, a 21-year-old Punahou School graduate currently attending American University in Washington D.C. arrived home for the holidays yesterday. After resting from his 7,272 km journey from the East Coast to Hawaii, he improved upon his second-place finish from 2012 to finish first this year. But the legendary Rick Heltzel, who has swum more miles off the shores of Oahu than anyone in history, pushed him and finished a close second.

The 56-year-old Heltzel has won the 'Double Roughwater' competition a total of 12 times and finished second several times more.

University of the Pacific coach Bobby Yribarren and his swimmer Brandan Chandler were visiting Oahu on their school’s Christmas training camp. The 28-year-old coach and 20-year-old swimmer finished fifth and sixth respectively.

We both discovered that the ocean waters in Hawaii are different than the pools and lakes of northern California,” commented Coach Yribarren. “This race was a real education for us.”

Taylor Ritenberg, a 20-year-old, finished fifth overall and was the first woman. Gene Grounds, a 77-year-old dynamo, was the oldest swimmer to finish the 7 km swim along the shores of Waikiki Beach.

1. Ryan Saunders (21) 1:35:41
2. Rick Heltzel (56) 1:41:40
3. Steve Allnutt (24) 1:42:30
4. Bill Goding (60) 1:44:29
5. Taylor Ritenberg (22) 1:44:32
6. Bobby Yribarren (28) 1:46:04
7. Brandon Chandler (20) 1:48:00
8. Stefan Reinke (55) 1:48:35
9. Ryan Leong (42) 1:49:53
10. Nalani Kaun (32) 1:50:52
11. Victoria West (32) 1:52:33
12. Miki David (43) 1:54:29
13. Liz Hunter (27) 1:55:52
14. Hudson Slay (46) 1:58:40
15. Steven Minaglia (40) 2:00:31
16. Bruce Sloan (65) 2:03:46
17. Michelle Simmons (39) 2:04:16
18. Brendan Inglis (32) 2:05:22
19. Mark Heckman (58) 2:06:05
20. Robin Lyon (42) 2:06:11
21. Drew Robb (26) 2:07:29
22. Marcail McLean (22) 2:07:38
23. Jim Merchant (67) 2:08:13
24. Michael Carroll (38) 2:09:39
25. Greg Gerber (61) 2:10:03
26. Quinn Riordan (48) 2:11:24
27. Uli Klinke (69) 2:11:35
28. Jane Stites (56) 2:11:37
29. Jim Budde (68) 2:12:13
30. Joe Marenda (47) 2:12:29
31. Van Cornwell (43) 2:14:39
32. Sara Jane Larkin (45) 2:24:47
33. Christopher Ma (20) 2:26:05
34. Chuck Tanner (56) 2:26:27
35. Jimmy Weir (47) 2:26:52
36. Denise Webb (52) 2:28:52
37. Diana Corn (54) 2:29:51
38. Laurie Foster (57) 2:32:33
39. Anson Chu (27) 2:35:22
40. Amy Connors (47) 2:38:01
41. Charles Kim (53) 2:39:20
42. Wade Garlin (36) 2:46:04
43. Gene Grounds (77) 2:49:23
44. Kelly Quin (38) 2:58:25

The average age was 44.05 years with an average time of 2:09:57.

Photos courtesy of Brent Imonen.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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