The Colonies Are Casually Profound

The Colonies Are Casually Profound

While the annual banquet for the English Channel swimmers is elegant and black-tie, the annual Catalina Channel Swimming Federation is casual held with the Pacific Ocean looming just offshore.

At this year’s banquet, as usual, there was laughter, tears and heartfelt acknowledgements by the swimmers that frequently touched upon family ties. David Hartmire (11:52) explained, “My 14-year-old daughter kayaked for me, during the swim and all throughout training. Those were special moments we shared together.”

Kimberly Shales (11:01) echoed David’s sentiments. “My dad kayaked for me the entire way across the channel. The whole way. But he also kayaked for me during training. It was special being out there all those hours with my dad.”

Before Mike Vovk (12:35) was forced from his first attempt due to a small craft advisory and wicked winds, he recalled being escorted by his son. “It was great out there with my son. When it got really bad, he said, ‘Dad, I am not leaving you.’ He became a man out there that day.”

Catalina stalwart Forrest Nelson, who became the first person to cross the Catalina Channel in December, recalled the conversations he had with his escort boat pilot, especially when he started to slow down towards the end of his 23:01 double-crossing. “I told him that I wanted to be able to see the bow and the stern. He told me, ‘Well, you would have been between the bow and stern if you would swim faster.'”

Before his double-attempt in December, Forrest asked his father if he were crazy to do these swims. “Maybe it is time to accept yourself as being crazy,” came the answer while the entire audience nodded in general agreement.

Dr. Steve Green (11:31) reiterated that perspective about focus and commitment. “With this group of people, if you say it is crazy, that is what is exciting to us.”

Hank Wise (8:07, shown above) also brought up the fact that “the records are held by women in the channel – Penny Dean one way and Karen Burton the other way. The guys have to step it up here.”

Which was exactly what Chris Dahowski (11:29) vowed, “We’ll see you back here next year.”

The official finishers included the following:

David Smith, 9:22:24
Suzie Dods, 18:36:28
David Barra, 15:37:11
Sarah Thomas, 9:06:28
Samantha Simon, 9:22:54
Steve Green, 11:31:00
Cliff Crozier, 10:41:32
Jeff Magouirk, 10:41:32
Kathrin Raymond, 10:41:32
Jim Barber, 8:43:33
Victoria Rian, 8:43:33
Mallory Mead, 8:36:32
Forrest Nelson, 23:01:06 (double crossing)
Barbara Held, 9:36:53
Morgan Filler, 10:49:31
Walter Bean Scott, 10:53:18
Penny Palfrey, 10:36:16
Daniel Fung, 13:23:12
Ray Melvedt, 15:25:40
Natalie Merrow, 13:50:35
Greg O’Connor, 9:26:38
Jason Lassen, 15:59:50 (breaststroke)
R. Brooks Richardson, 11:26:45
Hank Wise, 8:07:03
David Hartmire, 11:52:10
Jennifer Schumacher, 11:05:32
Chris Dahowski, 11:29:52
Kimberly Shales, 11:53:36
Mike Vovk, 12:35:21
Relay of Sasha Westberg, Natalie Malicki, Kellie Fecarotta, Danny Miller, Derek Young and Tanner Cridland, 8:09:12
Relay of Christie Ciraulo, Jenny L. Cook, Karen L. Einsidler, Tracy Grilli, Lisa Bennett and Nancy Steadman-Martin, 9:19:44
Relay of Lynn Kubasek, John Caughlin, Susie Croke, Suave Bean, Merci Jensen and Julie Flanagan, 11:23:01
Relay of Patsee Ober, Mike Mitchell, Joel Swartz, Benoit Pelczar, Ray Meltvedt and Lynn Kubasek, 11:23:01
Relay of John Mathews, Vito Bialla, Dave Ogden, Amanda Boyd, Gordon Clute and David Holscher, 10:23:09

Copyright © 2010 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones