10 Top Women on a Hot Streak in Open Water Swimming - October 2022

10 Top Women on a Hot Streak in Open Water Swimming – October 2022

(Note: Every month we will feature 10 swimmers to inspire the open water swimming community)

The following open water swimmer’s accomplishments are noteworthy by virtue of being influential, inspirational and important in the sport. They include women who are:

  • Fast and Victorious: Competitive elite swimmers who win major races
  • Bold and Adventurous: Pioneering swimmers who attempt or complete unprecedented swims
  • Long and Lengthy: Endurers who swim non-stop over extreme distances
  • Historic and Extraordinary: Record-setters who break records in the open water
  • Cold and Hardened: Ice swimmers who reframe what is possible in the cold
  • Voluntary Support: Coaches, pilots, escort crew members, administrators who make things happen

The Ten

(in random order)

  1. Catherine Breed (Pioneer, USA)
  2. Ana Marcela Cunha (Champion, Brazil)
  3. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Champion, Netherlands)
  4. Sarah Thomas (Extreme Swimmer, USA)
  5. Bettina Fabian (Champion, USA)
  6. Ellery McGowan (Extreme Swimmer, New Zealand)
  7. Alisa Fatum (Extreme Swimmer, Germany)
  8. Susan McKay (Record Channel Swimmer, Canada)
  9. Jessica Kieras (Channel Swimmer, USA)
  10. Katie Grimes (Champion, USA)

Catherine Breed (Pioneer, USA)

29-year-old Catherine Breed pioneered a 43.4 km coastal ocean swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to Half Moon Bay in 12 hours 9 minutes in Northern California, nearly won the 3.86 km Waikiki Roughwater Swim in Honolulu, participated on a successful English Channel relay and the 55.56 km Rosé for the Bay Relay.

Ana Marcela Cunha (Champion, Brazil)

30-year-old Ana Marcela Cunha won the 5 km and 25 km races, and finished 3rd in the 10 km at the 25 km race at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Hungary, finished 3rd in the 10 km FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Lac Mégantic, Canada, won the 10 km FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Paris, France, and won the 10 km FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Setubal, Portugal.

Sharon van Rouwendaal (Champion, Netherlands)

28-year-old Sharon van Rouwendaal won the 10 km, finished 3rd in the 25 km, and finished 10th in the 5 km at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Hungary, won the 10 km FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Lac Mégantic, Canada, finished 2nd in the 10 km FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Paris, France, and finished 2nd in the 10 km FINA Marathon Swim World Series in Setubal, Portugal.

Sarah Thomas (Extreme Swimmer, USA)

39-year-old Sarah Thomas completed an unprecedented two-way crossing of the 35 km North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland in 21 hours 48 minutes. She did a 6-hour training swim in San Francisco Bay in 11-12°C (51-52°F) water and won the 16 km Swim the Suck in 3 hours 29 minutes.

Bettina Fabian (Champion, USA)

17-year-old Bettina Fabian won the 10 km and was part of the gold medal 4x1500m relay in at the 2022 FINA World Junior Open Water Championships in the Seychelles and finished 10th in the 10 km LEN Open Water Cup in Eilat, Israel.

Ellery McGowan (Extreme Swimmer, New Zealand)

75-year-old Ellery McGowan completed a 400m swim at the Svalbard Ice Swimming Adventures, held in Norway within the Arctic Circle in -1.00°C water and 0.00°C air in 9:00.52 and competed in the 500m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke, and 50m backstroke at the IISA 4th World Championship in Poland in 3.00°C water and 1.5°C air.

Alisa Fatum (Extreme Swimmer, Germany)

27-year-old Alisa Fatum won the Ice Kilometer, won the 500m freestyle in record time, won the 100m freestyle, won the 100m individual medley in record time, finished 2nd in the 250m freestyle, finished 5th in the 50m butterfly, finished 5th in the 50m freestyle, finished 2nd in the 50m backstroke, and finished 2nd in the 4x250m relay at the IISA 4th World Championships in 3.0°C water and 1.5°C air, and won the Hallstättersee Ice Swimming Ice Kilometer.

Susan McKay (Record Channel Swimmer, Canada)

43-year-old Susan McKay set a Canadian record across the 32.3 km Catalina Channel in 8 hours 9 minutes from Catalina Island to the Southern California mainland.

Jessica Kieras (Channel Swimmer, USA)

38-year-old Jessica Kieras completed a 64 km crossing from Santa Barbara Island to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California in 24 hours in October, a 10 hour 21 minute crossing of the 33.5 km English Channel in August, and swam across Cultus LakeLittle Cultus Lake, and Deer Lake in Oregon, all in one day in July.

Katie Grimes (Champion, USA)

16-year-old Katie Grimes won the 7.5 km and was part of the gold medal 4x1500m relay at the FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in Seychelles, finished 5th in the 10 km, 2nd in the 400m individual medley and 2nd in the 1500m freestyle at the FINA World Championships in Hungary.

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