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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Courtney Moates Paulk, Doubly Successful

Courtesy of WOWSA, English Channel.

It has been quite a year for Courtney Moates Paulk.
Professionally and aquatically, she has seen on a successful roll.

Hirschler Fleischer, a leading law firm of 70 attorneys in Virginia, elected Paulk as its president, effective September 24th. Past president James L. Weinberg announced, “This is a logical point in our leadership to pass the baton to the next generation. Having served on the Board for six-and-a-half years and made numerous contributions to the firm throughout her career, Courtney was a natural fit for this leadership role.”

Paulk, the first female to lead the firm, advises public and private owners, developers, contractors and subcontractors on a broad range of business matters.

She said of her promotion, “I am excited to lead the firm in its next chapter by adding depth and breadth to our services, expanding our footprint and continuing to recruit top talent to serve our clients.”

Of the 201 people who have completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, only five swimmers have accomplished it twice, including Paulk:

* Antonio Argüelles (Mexico) in 1999 and 2009
* Tina Neill (U.S.A.) in 2008 and 2012, both backstroke and freestyle
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.) in 2005 and 2016 (Reverse Triple Crown)
* Penny Palfrey (Australia) in 2010 and 2015
* Courtney Moates Paulk (U.S.A.) (twice, both in 2013 and 2018)

In August, Paulk was on her way to complete an unusual and unique type of Triple Crown.

In 2017, she finished second in the inaugural 91.6 km 40 Bridges - Double Manhattan Island Swim in 20 hours 15 minutes 15 seconds (8 hour 55 minute first circumnavigation + 11 hour 20 minute second circumnavigation) and a 64.6 km Catalina Channel two-way crossing between the Southern California mainland and Santa Catalina Island in 33 hours 13 minutes (12 hour 28 minute first leg + 20 hour 45 minute second leg).

Paulk was on her way to become the first person to complete a Double Triple Crown: a solo two-way crossing of the English Channel, a solo two-way crossing of the Catalina Channel, and a solo double circumnavigation swim of Manhattan Island.

She recalled her two-way English Channel crossing, "The forecast was not calling for the conditions to be as bad as they were - and, when I started, the forecast certainly wasn’t calling for Force 7 winds for the return trip. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has been fickle and unpredictable in the English Channel for several weeks. Of course, we made the best decision we could with the information we had at the time I started my swim."

Under the escort of escort boat captain Eddie Spelling, Paulk made it to France in 16 hours 5 minutes. But the return was thwarted by the conditions.

What an absolutely crazy day. I had planned to swim back - but that just wasn’t in the cards. They were calling for a Force 7 headwind on the way back and I was going to have to sprint against the wind and the current to even get out of the bay where I landed. I was looking at a total of 40+ hours.

It just wasn’t the day for a two-way (or really a one way). 10 boats started the journey to France, but I was the only solo to get to France. It was completely brutal from the start and just got worse as the day went on. It was a punishing Force 5 - 6 wind for nearly all of the second half with waves at 3 meters breaking over the bow of the boat.

I saw mostly the bottom of the boat - Anastasia. When the wind waves from the gusts hit my back it felt like I was being punched. I have muscles that hurt that I didn't even know I had from trying to stabilize myself in the water and not get rolled over. I stopped at France after consulting with my crew and the boat captain.

It was the right call for the safety of myself and all of my wonderful crew Anna Maria Mullally, Sarah Tunnicliffe, Amy Frick and of course Matt Paulk. I didn’t quit - I stopped - and that’s what matters. I am very proud that I made it to France in those conditions.

Not the day I had hoped for of course - but I did everything I could with the day I got. It’s not over between me at La Manche

It takes something and someone special to attempt a feat that that no one else in history has accomplished, let alone attempt while also successfully navigating the legal profession and becoming the first female to head a leading law firm in the United States.

Her professional career and her aquatic career are still on the upswing with additional successes forecasted for her future.

Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming List:
1. Alison Streeter (UK)
2. Taranath Narayan Shenoy (India)
3. Rick Barthels (U.S.A.)
4. Dailza Damas Ribeiro (Brazil)
5. Bob West (U.S.A.)
6. Peter Urrea (U.S.A.)
7. Carol Sing (U.S.A.)
8. Antonio Argüelles (Mexico) (twice, in 1999 and 2009)
9. T. Scott Coleman (U.S.A.)
10. Nick Olmos-Lau (Mexico)
11. Kevin Murphy (UK)
12. Rebecca Jackman-Beeler (U.S.A.)
13. Kathleen Wilson (U.S.A.)
14. David Blanke (U.S.A.)
15. Marcia Cleveland (U.S.A.)
16. Andrew Hewitt (U.S.A.)
17. Bill Hoehn (U.S.A.)
18. Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey)
19. James Pittar (Australia)
20. Forrest Nelson (U.S.A.)
21. Scott Richards (U.S.A.)
22. Tina Neill (U.S.A.) (twice in 2008 and 2012, both backstroke and freestyle)
23. Andrew 'Alan' Voisard (U.S.A.)
24. Rendy Lynn Opdycke (U.S.A.)
25. Michelle Davidson (U.S.A.)
26. Nancy Steadman-Martin (U.S.A.)
27. Erica Moffett (U.S.A.)
28. Michael Miller (U.S.A.)
29. Michelle Macy (U.S.A.)
30. Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.) (twice, one standard in 2005 and one Reverse Triple Crown in 2016)
31. Tom Hecker (U.S.A.)
32. Nick Adams (UK)
33. Elaine Kornbau Howley (U.S.A.)
34. Stephen Autry (U.S.A.)
35. Anthony Zamora
36. Sakura Hingley (UK)
37. Jeffrey Cleveland (USA)
38. Samantha Simon (USA)
39. Craig Lenning (U.S.A.)
40. Jim Barber (U.S.A.)
41. Mallory Mead (U.S.A.)
42. David Barra (U.S.A.)
43. Penny Palfrey (Australia) (twice, both in 2010 and 2015)
44. Dan Richards (U.S.A.)
45. Tobey Saracino (U.S.A.)
46. Yesenia Cabrera (Guatemala)
47. Michael Renford (Australia)
48. Mo Siegel (U.S.A.)
49. Brad McVetta (U.S.A.)
50. Jaime Caballero (Spain)
51. James Fitzpatrick (U.S.A.)
52. Darren Miller (U.S.A.)
53. William "Davis" Lee (Bahamas)
54. Miquel Suñer Comalat (Spain)
55. Eddie Irwin (Ireland)
56. Selina Moreno Pasagali (Spain)
57. Katie Benoit (U.S.A./Germany)
58. Hendrik Meerman (U.S.A.)
59. Sarah Thomas (U.S.A.)
60. Dan Boyle (U.S.A.)
61. Dave Smith (U.S.A.)
62. Barbara Held (U.S.A.)
63. Mariel Hawley (Mexico)
64. Cindy Walsh (U.S.A.)
65. Jaimie Monahan (U.S.A.)
66. Ned Denison (U.S.A.)
67. Roger Finch (South Africa)
68. Gabor Molnar (Hungary)
69. Lance Ogren (U.S.A.)
70. Kathleen Dooley (U.S.A.)
71. Marcy MacDonald (USA)
72. Scott Lautman (USA)
73. Thomas W. Kofler (Italy)
74. Kent Nicholas (U.S.A.)
75. Barbara Pellick (Australia)
76. Nial Funchion (U.S.A.)
77. Steven Green (U.S.A.)
78. Jim Neitz (U.S.A.)
79. Karen Throsby (UK)
80. James Penrose (UK)
81. Graeme Lowe (Jersey)
82. Jesus Samuel Neri Gutierrez (Mexico)
83. Javier Gutierrez (Mexico)
84. Ron Collins (U.S.A.)
85. Courtney Moates Paulk (U.S.A.) (twice, both in 2013 and 2018)
86. Ceinwen Roberts (Australia)
87. Lisa Delaurentis (Australia)
88. Gordon Gridley (U.S.A.)
89. David Livengood (U.S.A.)
90. Doug McConnell (U.S.A.)
91. John Walker (U.S.A.)
92. Joelle Beard (U.S.A.)
93. Fionnuala Walsh (Ireland)
94. Marilyn Korzekwa (Canada)
95. Ranie Crowley Pearce (U.S.A.)
96. Ciaran Byrne (Ireland)
97. Anthony McCarley (U.S.A.)
98. Daniel Robinson (U.S.A.)
99. Lachlan Hinds (Australia)
100. Jordan Waxman (Canada)
101. Loretta Cox (UK)
102. Charlotte Samuels (U.S.A.)
103. Timothy Donovan (UK)
104. Miguel Guillermo Campero García (Mexico)
105. Bridgette Hobart Janeczko (U.S.A.)
106. Colleen Blair (Scotland)
107. Helen Beveridge (Scotland)
108. Rohans More (India)
109. Jorge Crivilles Villanueva (Spain)
110. Chris Burke (U.S.A.)
111. Victoria Moore (UK)
112. Suzie Dods (U.S.A.)
113. Daniel Fung (U.S.A.)
114. Thomas Bell (U.S.A.)
115. Pete Tanham (Australia)
116. Frank Levy (U.S.A.)
117. Abhejali Bernardova (Czech Republic)
118. Matthias Kaßner (Germany)
119. Tori Gorman (Australia)
120. Yuta Tsuboi (Japan)
121. James Clifford (U.S.A.)
122. Shubham Dhananjay Vanmali (India)
123. James Tout (U.S.A.)
124. William Shipp (U.S.A.)
125. Patti Bauernfeind (U.S.A.)
126. Dr. Mark Smitherman (U.S.A.)
127. Bryan Avery (Scotland)
128. Michael Johmann (U.S.A.)
129. Kevin Shinnick (USA)
130. Javier Mérida Prieto (Spain)
131. Ernie Hoftyzer (U.S.A.)
132. Marty Filipowski (Australia)
133. Tracy Clark (New Zealand)
134. Patrick McKnight (USA) [within 34 days]
135. Dean Summers (Australia)
136. Michael Hanisch (Australia)
137. Rachael Elkaim (Australia)
138. Nora Toledano Cadena (Mexico)
139. Robert Fernald (USA)
140. Arlene Gonzalez Perez (Mexico)
141. Stephen Junk (Australia)
142. Pieter Christian Jongeneel Anderica (Spain)
143. Kristian Rutford (USA)
144. Samir Barel (Brazil)
145. Daniel Martinez Lobo (Spain)
146. Dan Canta (Romania)
147. Prabhat Koli (India)
148. Benjamin Freeman (Australia)
149. Jeff Everett (USA)
150. Julie Isbill (Australia)
151. Clair Harris (UK)
152. Boguslaw Ogrodnik (Poland)
153. Rebecca Nevitt (USA)
154. Oliver Wilkinson (Australia)
155. Kevin Cassidy (Australia)
156. Ian Down (UK)
157. Christian Ayala Espinosa (Mexico)
158. Shane Moraghan (Ireland)
159. Joe Zemaitis (USA)
160. Carol Cashell (Ireland)
161. Jaime Lomelin Gavaldon (Mexico)
162. Martyn Webster (UK)
163. Ion Lazarenco (Moldavia)
164. Victoria Cox (Australia)
165. Dina Levačić (Croatia)
166. Ryan Utsumi (USA)
167. Kathy Batts (UK)
168. Lynton Mortensen (Australia)
169. Sara Marley (Ireland)
170. Robin Rasmussen Rose (USA)
171. Nathalie Pohl (Germany)
172. Ned Wieland (Australia)
173. Peter Dolnick (Slovakia)
174. Jenny Smith (USA)
175. Melissa Kegler (USA)
176. Kate Robarts (UK)
177. Kamil Resa Alsaran (Turkey)
178. Ragip Vural Tandoğan (Turkey)
179. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA)
180. Nathan Payas (Gibraltar)
181. Eugene Hanrahan (USA)
182. Abigail Bergman (USA)
183. Simon Olliver (New Zealand)
184. William Schulz (USA)
185. Carlos Acosta (Mexico)
186. Guy Batchelor (UK)
187. Julieanne Goode (Australia)
188. James Loreto (USA)
189. Izebel Sierra Arenas (Mexico)
190. Maureen Montgomery (USA)
191. Rene Martínez Saenz (Mexico)
192. Mäx Beer (Austria)
193. Stephanie Hopson (USA)
194. Katie Pumphrey (USA)
195. Diego López Dominguez (Canary Islands)
196. Paul Georgescu (Romania)
197. Andy Ortega García (Spain)
198. Paula Yankauskas (USA)
199. Michael Teys (Australia)
200. Trevor Colman (UK)
201. Kristian O'Donovan (Ireland)

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