Cargo Clogs Catalina Creating Chaos – But Catalina Channel Crossings Continue
While the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation is having a banner year of soloists and relay swimmers completing 32.3 km crossings after a year of non-activity, the shipping situation near and in the Catalina Channel is in unprecedented turmoil.
As far as the eye can see from the shoreline in Southern California, there are dozens cargo ships that have been lined up outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for several months – and it seems it will continue for many more months – or years – to come. Many billions of dollars of products are sitting in the cargo holds of these large ships, simply anchored and waiting for the port employees and dockworkers union agree on a new labor contract. The slowdown is negatively impacting thousands of local companies and impacting businesses from shore to shore.
The backlog looks like there is no hope for resolution anytime soon while the combined ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach employ more than 316,000 people locally.
That being said, the swimmers continue challenging themselves and enjoying successful crossings. So far, this season, the following swimmers have succeeded:
September 10th: Malena Hankins of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky swam across in 10 hours 39 minutes 21 seconds with Dan Simonelli, Barb Schumacher, Leann Rossi, Juan Carlos Barahona, Hugo Pallete, and Kenneth Feick and Don Van Cleve as her observers.
September 8th: Kurt Dickson of Kansas swam across in 9 hours 5 minutes 32 second to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with kayakers Barb Schumacher and Alessandro Libenson with Roxanne Hipolito and Patricio Libenson as his observers.
September 7th: Lauren Lesyna of Los Altos Hills, California swam across in 11 hours 40 minutes 30 seconds with her father Michael, sister Jennifer, and uncle David with Claudia Moreira and Mark Miller as her observers.
September 6th: 14-year-old Maya Merhige swam across in 10 hours 48 minutes 21 seconds with Lou Balla, Alyssa Gerontides, Todd Devenish, and Kelly Gentry to become the channel’s youngest female swimmer.
September 3rd: Mexicans Steffie Gomez and Abby Ortega swam tandem to cross in 12 hours 30 minutes 52 seconds in which Steffie completed her Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with Arturo Villafuerte, José Olvera, Esteban Riva Palacio and observers Roxanne Hipolito and Robin Hipolito and Joel Virgel.
September 2nd: Jaime Lomelin of Monterey, Mexico swam across in 9 hours 56 minutes 2 seconds to achieve the Sub-10 Triple Crown with Marieluise von Rheinbaben, Daniel Lomelin von Rheinbaben, Vanessa Lomelin von Rheinaben, Julio Doria, Jamie Lomelin Sr., Claudio Majewski, and Dan Simonelli.
September 1st: Cornelia Bluel-Gohlke swam across in 10 hours 36 minutes 36 seconds with Sue Free, Alison LaBonte, David Mayer, Jess Haas, Bob Day, Christina Kossa, and observers Mark Miller and Angela Lee.
August 31st: Justine Brousseau of Quebec, Canada swam across in 13 hours 36 minutes 18 seconds with observers Don Van Cleve and Joel Virgel, and Christian Martineau, Phillippe Richard, Patricio Libenson, Andreane Voyer, Nicolas Spiess, and Elodie LePape.
August 26th: Brothers Eric Durban and Lars Durban swam a tandem crossing in 13 hours 55 minutes 20 seconds with Jax Cole, Riley Roth, and Mark Longrie, David Sundius, and Don Van Cleve, and Patricio Libenson as observers.
August 25th: 14-year-old Margaret Rivard from New Hampshire swam across in 14 hours 8 minutes 31 seconds with mother Deblois-Rivard, father Kevin Rivard, sister Vera Rivard, Jax Cole, Monica Bender, and observers Forrest Nelson and Rebecca Nevitt.
August 25th: The Phoenix Swim Club Rowdy Mermaids swam across in 12 hours 52 minutes 20 seconds with Susie Paul, Erica Mcclurg, Jennifer Pfeifer, Samantha Kramer, Stephanie Mindlin, Lindsay Herf, and Dana Price and an escort team of Dan Simonelli, Alessandro Libenson, and Marnie Gerber with Kent Nicholas and Roxanne Hipolito as observers.
August 23rd: Thomas Neill from California swam across in 12 hours 59 minutes 31 seconds with Duke Dahlin, Terry Horn, Jon Grunstad, and Julie Ask.
August 23rd: Rocio Mora from Heredia, Costa Rica swam across in 9 hours 16 minutes 42 seconds with Danilo Gonzalez, Catalina Gonzalez, Kurt Niehaus, Carolina Mora, and observers Roxanne Hipolito and Cammie Goodell.
August 20th: Rob Lea from Park City, Utah swam across in 11 hours 14 minutes 28 seconds with Caroline Gleich and observers Cammie Goodell and Don Van Cleve.
August 20th: Juliet Kadlecek from New York swam across in 11 hours 37 minutes 46 seconds with Dan Simonelli, John Blaire, Susanne Blaire, Summer Wesson, Sidney Russel, Ryan Rockenbach, and observers Joel Virgel and Linda Simons.
August 17th: Laughing Dolphins swam across in 10 hours 54 minutes 26 seconds including Maiken Nettie Pardon, Grace O’Connell, Katie Stone, Dylan Davidoff, Melissa Brill, and John York with Krista Anderson, Guy Morgan, Linda Simons and observers Paula Selby and Nancy Greenblat.
August 17th: 17-year-old Vera Rivard from New Hampshire swam across in 14 hours 10 minutes 53 seconds to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with mother Darcie Deblois-Rivard, father Kevin Rivard, and sister Margaret Rivard.
August 17th: Natalie Lang of Watertown, Massachusetts swam across in 13 hours 13 minutes 27 seconds with Eric Dearing, Gordon Lang, and David Sundius with Joel Virgel and Mark Miller as observers.
August 16th: Ajae Clearway swam across in 12 hours 38 minutes 30 seconds with Dan Simonelli, Jess Hass, Summer Wesson, Angela Lee, Mitch Del Monico, and observers Patricio Libenson and Cornelia Bluel-Gohike.
August 13th: 15-year-old Edie Markovich swam across in 11 hours 2 minutes 14 seconds with Maki Markovich, Dan Simonelli, and observers Robin Hipolito and Roxy Hipolito.
August 12th: Daniel Vivero Aguero swam across in 11 hours 19 minutes 41 seconds with Jax Cole, Carolina Vargas, Dan Simonelli, and observers Joel Virgel and Kenneth Feick.
August 10th: Martin McMahon swam across in 12 hours 8 minutes 47 seconds to achieve the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming on his second attempt with John Pier, Doug Comstock, and observers Bob Needham and Don Van Cleve.
August 9th: Patrick Woepse from Northern California swam across in 12 hours 53 minutes 34 seconds with members of his 2015 and 2016 NCAA championship water polo team from UCLA including Paul Reynolds, Daniel Lenhart, Elliot Ordway, Anthony Daboub, Ryder Roberts, Erik Najarian with observers Forrest Nelson and Rebecca Nevitt.
August 6th: Abigail Fairman swim across in 14 hours 41 minutes 36 seconds on her first leg of a two-way attempt where she finished after 27+ hours in the water 5 miles from her finish.
August 4th: Colorado Crew swam across in 9 hours 40 minutes including Karen Burton Reeder, Christian Burton, John Reeder, David Reeder, Scott Reeder, and Aimee Burton with a support team of Cheryl Burton, Dave Sundias, Steve Chase, Rene Burton, and observers Patricio Libenson.
July 29th: Natalia Chuich from Russia swam across in 19 hours 40 minutes to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with Dan Simonelli, Michelle Marquez, Ryland Sutton, Conny Bleul, Steve Sutton with observers Patricio Libenson and Bob Needham.
July 21st: Joe Zemaitis swam two ways (mainland to Catalina to mainland) in 24 hours 28 minutes to become the 12th person to complete a double crossing with his brother John Zemaitis, Stephanie Mindlin. Jess Haas, Angela Lee, Dan Simonelli with Forrest Nelson, Joel Virgel, and Mirek Wolski as observers.
July 19th: Oliver Turner swam across in 13 hours 54 minutes 41 seconds to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming escorted by Captain Dave Harvey and observed by Don Van Cleve and Nancy Greenblatt.
July 9th: Los Charros de Catalina of Mexico swam across in 10 hours 30 minutes 40 seconds including Rene Martinez Saenz, Pedro Manzano, Guillermo Aaron Saenz Valenzuela, Guillermo Rodriguez Arrizabalaga, Lorenza Guzman Hentschel, and Anne de la Parra with coach Nora Toledano, Lorena Rionda, Josune Mondragon, Daniella Rulan with observers Don Van Cleve and Tom Hecker.
July 6th: Carlos Franco from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico swam across in 12 hours, 22 minutes 17 seconds to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with coach Nora Toledano, Steve Chase, Dan Simonelli, and observers Don Van Cleve and Steven Robles.
July 2nd: Stefano Del Papa from Mexico City, Mexico swam across in 12 hours 46 minutes with coach Nora Toledano, Barb Schumacher, Tom Hecker, and observers Patricio Libenson and Angela Lee.
For more information on swimming across the Catalina Channel, visit swimcatalina.org.
View the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation on WOWSA
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