Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Toshio Tominaga is a 73-year-old Japanese open water swimmer who will soon attempt to swim across the Tsugaru Channel in Japan.

If Tominaga is successful in swimming from Honshu to Hokkaido in northern Japan, he will enter the annals of channel swimming as one of the oldest athletes ever to successfully complete a channel challenge.

The list of the oldest people to swim across the channels of the Oceans Seven is below.

Many of these records were set in the last few years; it is one indication that more and more people in their 50s, 60s and 70s are taking to the open water and attempting these extreme swims,” explains Steven Munatones. “When the Half Century Club was first started, successfully completing a channel swim over the age of 50 was considered an incredible achievement. Nowadays with so many people in the second half of their lives taking to the world’s oceans, it seems that doing a channel in your 50s and 60s is almost an expectation for veterans of the sport.

This is a remarkable mindset transformation that is unparalleled in endurance sports in the early 21st century. But, of course, completing a channel swim after the age of 50 remains a remarkable testament to swimmer’s physical condition, mental fortitude, and passion for adventure, challenge and the open water.

And there is a whole generation of 30-somethings and 40-somethings who fully intend to continue their open water swimming career for decades. I think these current records (see below) will continue to be rewritten for generations to come.”

Cook Strait:
* Male: Toshio Ogawa (Japan) age 60 in 11 hours 51 minutes from south to north in 2015 [shown above]
* Female: Dr. Marilyn Korzekwa (Canada) age 58 in 11 hours 34 minutes from south to north in 2016

English Channel:
* Male: Dr Otto Thaning (South Africa) age 73 years in 12 hours 52 minutes from England to France in 2014
* Female: Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) age 66 in 17 hours 55 minutes from England to France in 2017

Tsugaru Channel:
* Male: Toshio Tominaga (Japan) age 73 in 9 hours 58 minutes from Honshu to Hokkaido in 2016
* Female: Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) age 61 in 19 hours 36 minutes from Honshu to Hokkaido in 2012

Molokai Channel:
* Male: Mike Spalding (USA) age 60 in 15 hours 15 minutes from Molokai to Oahu in 2007
* Female: Linda Kaiser (USA) age 57 in 15 hours 0 minutes from Molokai to Oahu in 2007
* Female: Liz Fry (USA) age 57 in 17 hours 30 minutes from Molokai to Oahu in 2016

North Channel:
* Male: Graeme Lowe (Jersey) age 50 in 12 hours 27 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 2015
* Male: Fergal Somerville (Ireland) age 50 in 12 hours 21 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 2013
* Female: Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) age 65 in 14 hours 22 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 2016

Strait of Gibraltar:
* Male: Dr. Euler Konrad Paul Herbet (Germany) age 74 in 4 hours 9 minutes from Spain to Morocco in 2009
* Female: Carol Sing (USA) age 64 in 5 hours 27 minutes from Spain to Morocco in 2005

Catalina Channel:
* Male: Jim McConica (USA) age 64 in 10 hours 48 minutes from Catalina to the mainland in 2015
* Female: Carol Schumacher Hayden (USA) age 66 in 15 hours 2 minutes from Catalina to the mainland in 2016

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