Six Deep Enders swam from San Nicolas Island to the California mainland this October and was the first crossing from this isolated uninhabited island 112.8 km (70.1 miles) from the California coast.
Coached by Theo Schmeeckle and escorted by Greg Elliot on the Bottom Scratcher, the sextet of 64-year-old Jim McConica, 55-year-old Tom Ball, 45-year-old Dr. John Chung, 34-year-old Zach Jirkovsky, 42-year-old Tamie Stewart, and 59-year-old Stacey Warmuth completed the crossing from San Nicolas Island to the California mainland in 33 hours 37 minutes.
Their kayakers and crew included Allen Ball, Jill Ball, Bob Howell, Patty Howell, Pam Jirkowsky and Carol Lacy together with San Barbara Channel Swimming Association observers Lynn Kubasek and Jax Cole. So the entire team was quite a logistical expedition.
Their efforts were nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year: Far, far offshore from the California coast, an uninhibited island made famous by the 1960 novel Island of the Blue Dolphin rests. Despite the plethora of ocean swimmers around the Pacific Rim, no one had yet attempted to swim the 112.8 km (70.1 miles) between San Nicholas Island and the California mainland. But The Deep Enders, a passionately serious group of masters swimmers in Ventura, took on the challenge. The sextet battled rough conditions and marine life to complete the unprecedented relay in 33 hours 37 minutes.
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