Penny Dean At The Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Penny Dean At The Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Penny Lee Dean, one of the most remarkable women in marathon swimming history, is set to speak at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Long Beach, California on June 5th about her remarkable day in July 1978 when she shattered the English Channel record.

To give an idea of what Penny did, it is helpful to understand the incredible progression of the English Channel world records since England’s Captain Matthew Webb first crossed in 1875 (regardless of direction)

Matthew Webb (England) – 21 hours 45 minutes in August 1875 (England-to-France)
Enrico Tiroboschi (Italy) – 16:33 in August 1923 (France-to-England)
Gertrude Ederle (USA) – 14:39 on August 6, 1926 (France-to-England)
Arnst Vierkotter (Germany) – 12:40 on August 30, 1926 (France-to-England)
Georges Michel (France) – 11:05 on September 9, 1926 (France-to-England)
Hassan Abd el Rehim (Egypt) – 10:50 in August 1950 (France-to-England)
Helge Jensen (Denmark) – 10:23 in August 1960 (England-to-France)
Barry Watson (England) – 9:35 in August 1964 (France-to-England)
Lynne Cox (USA) – 9:36 in August 1973 (England-to-France)
Tina Bischoff (USA) – 9:03 on August 5, 1976 (England-to-France)
Wendy Brook (England) – 8:56 on August 31, 1976 (England-to-France)
Nasser el Shazley (Egypt) – 8:45 in August 1977 (England-to-France)
Penny Lee Dean (USA) – 7:40 in July 1978 (England-to-France)
Chad Hundeby (USA) – 7:17 in September 1994 (England-to-France)
Christof Wandratsch (Germany) – 7:03 in August 2005 (England-to-France)
Petar Stoychev (Bulgaria) – 6:57 in August 2007 (England-to-France)

Penny Lee Dean was far ahead of her time. A quick analysis of the all-time English Channel top 10 swimmers shows that she remains among the all-time greats.

1. 6:57 by Petar Stoychev (Bulgaria) in August 2007
2. 7:03 by Christof Wandratsch (Germany) in August 2005
3. 7:05 by Yuri Kudinov (Russia) in August 2007
4. 7:16 by Vitek Rostislav (Czech Republic) in August 2009
5. 7:17 by Chad Hundeby (USA) in 1994
6. 7:20 by Christof Wandratsch (Germany) in 2003
7. 7:21 by Petar Stoychev (Bularia) in 2006
8. 7:22 by David Meca (Spain) in 2005
9. 7:25 by Yvetta Hlavacova (Czech Republic) in 2005
10. 7:40 by Penny Lee Dean (USA) in 1978

Penny trained like few others. She once did a 36,000-meter swim in a 50-meter pool to help her be able to maintain a 3 mile per hour pace. She trained twice a day – sometimes three times a day – in the Pacific Ocean off Southern California. She did interval training under some of the toughest pool swimming coaches in America during her era.

Her presentation at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference will be something not to miss.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones