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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Kathy Batts Culminates With Her Own Achievement

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach.

Kathy Batts has done a lot in the open water swimming world: swimmer, crew member, administrator, volunteer, coach, member of the Half Century Club, and inspirational icon.

She added one more accomplishment to her long career this week; she is the most recent swimmer to achieve the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

After 18 hours 28 minutes, she completed a crossing of the Catalina Channel at the age of 57 that adds to her 22 hour 31 minute English Channel crossing in 2013 at the age of 53 and her circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island in 2015 in 9 hours 36 minutes.

Since the age of 15, Batts has completed 16 English Channel relays and completed a 34.8 km crossing of Loch Lomond in 18 hours 7 minutes.

She also serves as the Treasurer of the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation and previously served on the Channel Swimming Association committee. She currently coaches together with Kevin Murphy and Ian Muir at The Kings Swimmers' Swim Camps.

While Batts has been a frequent participant in English Channel relays, it is clear that channel swimming is in her blood.

Spurred on by English Channel swimming legend Kevin Murphy, Batts turned down numerous opportunities to attempt solo crossings of the English Channel throughout the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and during the early part of the 21st century. But time was on her side.

As she matured from a teenager to a woman in her 50's, Batts was always there for others. With all her years of service and dedication to the sport, her focus was instead on the success and support of other swimmers whose dreams she helped realize. But at the age of 53 in 2013, her children were getting older. "My children were now 22 and 17 years old," she recalled. "One finished university and one was starting [in 2014] so this was the time I could afford the time to train and financially afford [a solo crossing]. Kevin has been a close friend for 38 years and he finally convinced me to try it."

Once she knocked off the English Channel, it was only a matter of time before she also attempted a swim around Manhattan Island and a crossing of the Catalina Channel.

Now the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming is in her rear view mirror.

Photos above are courtesy of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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