Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

20.2 miles (32.5 km) between Santa Catalina Island and the Southern California mainland is a marathon swim achieved 265 times by 227 people since 1927.

From the well-documented Wrigley Ocean Marathon Swim in January 1927 in tough conditions, leaving in mid-day into 54 waters, when only George Young of Canada finished out of 102 swimmers, to the last solo swim achieved by Jaime Caballero of Spain, the waters have been crossed by some of the world’s greatest swimmers and most colorful personalities.

Other facts include:

• There have been 7 double crossings
• The average crossing takes 12 hours 7 minutes
• 32% of the crossings have been done by women who have averaged 11 hours 33 minutes
• 68% of the crossings have been done by men who have averaged 12 hours 17 minutes
• 17% of the swimmers have come from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, France, Greece, Guatemala, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain
• 83% of the swimmers have come from the United States

The fastest 10 crossings have been:

1. Penny Lee Dean (USA) MC 1976 7:15:55
2. Pete Huisveld (USA) MC 1992 7:37:31
3. John York (USA) MC 1978 7:41:14
4. Karen Burton (USA) CM 1994 7:43:06
5. Todd Robinson (USA) CM 2009 8:05:44
6. Hank Wise (USA) CM 2010 8:07:03
7. Chad Hundeby (USA) CM 1993 8:14:46
8. Blair Cannon (USA) CM 2011 8:18:27
9. Gemma Jensen (Australia) CM 2006 8:20:48
10. Jim McConica (USA) CM 1983 8:27:24

The 10 most time-consuming crossings have been:

John W. Hill (USA) CM August 1985 19:15:13
Amy Hiland (USA) CM September1955 20:07:07
Myrtle Huddleston (USA) CM February1927 20:42
Jamshid Khajavi (Iran) CM August 1995 20:47:31
Stewart Evans (USA) CM August 1959 20:55
King Bennie Nawahi (USA) CM September1946 22:20
Henry Sullivan (USA) CM January 1927 22:45
Amy Hiland (USA) CM April 1958 24:00:25
Jose Cortinas (Cuba) CM August 1952 28:55:00
Jose Cortinas (Cuba) MC October 1953 32:10:52
Paul Chotteau (France) CM July 1936 33:50:00

Among the hundreds of people who have completed a Catalina Channel crossing, there are 49 members who are also members of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming:

1. Allison Streeter (UK)
2. Taranath Narayan Shenoy (India)
3. Rick Barthels (USA)
4. Bob West (USA)
5. Peter Urrea (USA)
6. Carol Sing (USA)
7. Antonio Argüelles (Mexico) (twice, in 1999 and 2009)
8. Nick Olmos-Lau (Mexico)
9. T. Scott Coleman (USA)
10. Rebecca Jackman (USA)
11. Kevin Murphy (UK)
12. Kathleen Wilson (USA)
13. Forrest Nelson (USA)
14. Andrew Hewitt (USA)
15. David Blanke (USA)
16. Elizabeth Fry (USA)
17. Marcia Cleveland (USA)
18. Bill Hoehn (USA)
19. Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey Island, UK)
20. James Pittar (Australia)
21. Scott Richards (USA)
22. Andrew ‘Alan’ Voisard (USA)
23. Tina Neil (USA)
24. Rendy Lynn Opdycke (USA)
25. Michelle Davidson (USA)
26. Michelle Macy (USA)
27. Tom Hecker (USA)
28. Erica Moffett (USA)
29. Nancy Steadman-Martin (USA)
30. Michael Miller (USA)
31. Nick Adams (UK)
32. Elaine Kornbau Howley (USA)
33. Stephen Autry (USA)
34. Jeffrey Cleveland (USA)
35. Sakura Hingley (UK)
36. Samantha Simon (USA)
37. Jim Barber (USA)
38. Craig Lenning (USA)
39. Mallory Mead (USA)
40. Dave Barra (USA)
41. Penny Palfrey (Australia)
42. Dan Richards (USA)
43. Tobey Saracino (USA)
44. Yesenia Cabrera (Guatemala)
45. Michael Renford (Australia)
46. Mo Siegel (USA)
47. Anthony Zamora (USA)
48. Brad McVetta (USA)
49. Jaime Caballero (Spain)

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association