The Greatest Open Water Year On Record

The Greatest Open Water Year On Record

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

We cannot believe what is happening around the open water swimming world this year…the sport is EXPLODING with excitement, passion and adventure.

Since 2010, the following swims have been announced and these intrepid swimmers are training hard for these swims of unprecedented nature.

Independently planned, these swims showcase the courage, imagination and abilities of swimmers from all walks of life.

Penny Palfrey’s 72.4-mile solo swim between Kauai and Oahu in Hawaii’s Kaieiewaho Channel in April (shown above). No shark cage, no wetsuit, English Channel rules fighting huge ocean swells in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Lewis Pugh’s 1 km swim in a glacial lake on Mt. Everest in April.

His preparation for another incredible non-wetsuit swim – despite the incredibly high risk of danger – at over 17,400-feet (5,300-meter) is nearly beyond comprehension.

Petar Stoychev, the nine-time world marathon swimming champion, will join other pros at the new Ocean Racing Series World Championship and King of Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in April. Stoychev and the other pros must survive four tough preliminary elimination heats – swum one right after another – to reach the final prize-money heat.

The Night Train’s 6-person 113-mile relay across the Sea of Cortez in Mexico in May.

Captained by Vito Bialla, the team will consist of three American men and three Mexican woman, including Mexican superstar channel swimmer Nora Toledano Cadena, who will follow the English Channel rules in some of the richest aquatic marinelands in the world as they attempt to set the worl’s longest ocean swimming relay record.


Marco Diaz’s Swim across the Continents from May to August where he will attempt to complete five different swims, where he touches five different continents of the world.

His swims will be hard in Indonesia, Djibouti, in the Strait of Gibraltar and across the Bering Strait between Big Diomedes in Russia to Little Diomedes in Alaska.

Dan Martin’s Global Triathlon where he will literally swim, bike and run his way around the globe. The entire Earth.

A complete circumnavigation around the world, starting with a modified English Channel rules swim from New York to France across the Atlantic Ocean.

Martin will swim without a wetsuit for hours on end every day. When Martin gets out of the water in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, his support team will mark the exact point he gets out by GPS. Even if his support boat moves from that point while Martin is resting, sleeping or eating, his boat will drop him off again at the exact point, enabling him to truly say that he swam across the Atlantic Ocean.

Karen Rogers’s 27-mile solo swim from the Farallons Islands to San Francisco’s Aquatic Park in early June in some of the most dangerous waters of the world. No shark cage, no wetsuit, English Channel rules in 50-55°F (10-12.7°C) Great White Shark-infested waters.

The Night Train’s 6-person 27-mile relay from the Farallons Islands to San Francisco’s South End Rowing Club in Aquatic Park in early June in some of the most dangerous waters of the world, again captained by Vito Bialla (shown above). No shark cage, no wetsuit, English Channel rules in 50-55°F (10-12.7°C) Great White Shark-infested waters.

The incredibly competitive 2010 World Open Water Swimming Championships in Lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada in July.

The fastest and among the most experienced open water swimmers from over 40 countries will gather to compete in one of the most famous open water swimming venues in the world.

James Pittar’s solo attempt of the Tsugaru Channel in Japan in July, another step in his attempt to become the first person to successfully complete the Oceans Seven. The only blind swimmer inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Pittar already has crossed the English Channel, Catalina Channel and the Strait of Gibraltar.

Jamie Patrick’s solo 66-mile solo triple-crossing of Lake Tahoe at 6200 feet between California and Nevada in August.

With no wetsuit and in the thin air high up in the mountains of the western United States, Jamie will English Channel rules as he swims the length of a gorgeous lake that sits between California and Nevada.

Anne Cleveland’s double-double in the Catalina Channel in August where she will attempt to be the first person – man or woman, young or not-so-young – in history to complete two separate two-way crossings of both the English Channel and Catalina Channel in August.

A remarkably fast woman, north of the age of 50, swims like she found the fountain of youth.



The Mighty Mermaids, six woman who are also apparently drinking from the same fountain of youth, will attempt to break the world’s relay record in the Catalina Channel in August.

An incredible feat completely within their grasp.


Rob Hutchings and Todd Cameron’s 2,300K swim along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in the longest eco-swim on record.

The two men will swim up to 8 hours a day in a solar-powered shark cage – naturally – for 5 months beginning in November in order to call attention to the fragility of nature’s largest living organism: The Great Barrier Reef.

The newly expanded King of the Sea and Queen of the Sea Challenge in Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in December where the world’s best pro marathon swimmers fight it out for money.

Live in a non-stop two-hour television program.


The energy, the enthusiasm, the audacity of these swimmers, race directors and support crew is beyond imagination.

As Lewis Pugh knows well, these swims are just the tip of the iceberg. The wild, wild wonderful world of open water swimming has so much more from swimmers of every age, ability and background.

It will be a wonderful year, without precedence.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association