Butter, Back, Breast And Free In The Open Water

Butter, Back, Breast And Free In The Open Water

Freestyle is not the only way to go in the open water.

Julia Bradshaw swam butterfly across the English Channel in 14 hours and 18 minutes. Tina Neil swam backstroke across the Catalina Channel and the English Channel (13:22). Fredrik Jacques swam breaststroke across the English Channel in 13 hours and 31 minutes.

From Chicago to the Netherlands, individuals are doing butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke on their open water swims of all distances.

But it was Tom Keller, Michael Chase and Jon Ennis from the Dolphin Club who put it all together – as in swimming an individual medley in the open water by doing the Golden Gate Medley Swim on August 3rd.

We completed first Golden Gate Medley Swim underneath the bridge, doing a span of the bridge – about one mile of each stroke. Three of us made it in times around 2 hours and 20 minutes.”

We did butterfly to Lime Rock that was awesome. 29 minutes, it was super fast,” explained Tom to the San Francisco Examiner. “When we turned around and started doing backstroke, we realized that we were going against a bit of a northerly current for Baker Beach. And then a tanker came through and we had to stop. So we just paused, treading water while it went through. The backstroke took a long time, it took about 45 minutes to get back to touch the seawall of Fort Point.”

“Breaststroke was considerably faster than backstroke, ironically. Freestyle was a welcome rest from the other strokes as it is the easiest.

After completing the English Channel in 2005, Tom wanted to do “something new and different, local and cheap. I hurt my shoulder and after healing it, was finally able to put closure on a five year goal. Plus, after swimming way too much open water freestyle, I brainstormed ways to mix it up and came up with the Golden Gate Medley Swim.”

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones
Steven Munatones