The Triple Crown Of Prison Escapes

The Triple Crown Of Prison Escapes

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California. Ned Denison has not only Swum His Age, but he is also on his way to complete a unique Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

While the traditional Triple Crown consists of the English Channel, Catalina Channel and Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, Denison is on a path of prison escape.


Denison is headed down to Cape Town for the Cadiz Freedom Swim in May. While the thrill of swimming from Robben Island – the prison home of Nelson Mandella and others – and the strong competitive fields are big draws, Ned also wants to complete the Triple Crown of Prison Island Swims.

Currently three fellow swimmers from Cork, Ireland are the only other members of this club – Steven Black, Joe Donnelly and Mike Harris. The trio have all completed the swims from some of the world’s most famous island prisons: Alcatraz, Robben and Spike.

A 7.5 km cold-water swim from Robben Island, the swim is the longest of its sister prison swims including the 1.5-mile Alcatraz Island Swim in San Francisco and the 2 km Spike Island Swim (Irish: Inis Píc) in Cobh Harbour, Ireland.

Robben Island, Alcatraz Island and Spike Island, all once well-guarded isolated prison islands with infamous inmates in the 20th century are now 21st century sites better known for challenging cold-water swims with tricky currents.

So the convicts have given way to open water traditionalists and wetsuit-clad swimmers…with Denison hoping to join Black, Donnelly and Harris in their Triple Break.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association