Distance Matters In Tampa Bay

Distance Matters In Tampa Bay

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Ron Collins of Distance Matters prepared this panoramic view of the mainland finish of a Catalina Channel crossing. When channel swimmers are told, “We can see the shore,” this view is usually what they see.

Collins himself completed the swim on his second attempt as well as completing the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming as well as becoming the first person to swim across Tampa Bay, Florida in 1998. He later founded the 24-mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim that retraces his pioneering swim.

The 18th annual Tampa Bay Marathon Swim will be on April 25th 2015. It is not an easy swim and a good test for channel swimmers and those who challenge themselves to the marathon swims from the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming and the Oceans Seven to the Five Oceans and other tests of endurance from Round Jersey to Rottnest Channel Swim.

Since Collins was first staged the event in 1998, the 24-miler has drawn competitors from across the United States, Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Canada, and the Cayman Islands.

24 solo and relay entries are accepted and are now available at www.DistanceMatters.com. For more information, contact Ron Collins at collins@tampabay.rr.comcollins@tampabay.rr.com.

The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim records are as follows:

* Overall / men’s record: Chris Derks, 2002, 7 hours 41 minutes
* Women’s record: Penny Palfrey in 2008, 7 hours 51 minutes
* Longest time in water: Arnie Bellini in 2014, 16 hours 17 minutes
* First swimmer: Ron Collins in 1998, 9 hours 52 minutes
* First women: Gail Rice in 1998, 8 hours 34 minutes
* Fastest 3-person relay: Team Hammerhead in 2006, 7 hours 53 minutes
* Fastest 6-person relay: The Sharks in 2006, 7 hours 39 minutes
* Oldest male swimmer: 14:21 – Carl Selles in 2014, 14 hours 21 minutes at the age of 67
* Oldest female swimmer: 15:22 – Ann von Spiegelfeld in 2014, 15 hours 22 minutes at the age of 52

Collins on creating the above panoramic view of the California coastline, “It actually took quite an effort to put that picture together, but I was watching one of our swimmers all day, and wanted to put together a visual.”

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones