Courtesy of WOWSA, Catalina Channel, California.

After his sixth Catalina Channel crossing, Hank Wise was honored for his open water swimming achievement by the Aquatics Capital of America earlier this year.

The Long Beach native completed a 10 hour 1 minute crossing to share the title of King of the Catalina Channel with another local John York and Sam Neri of Mexico. Together with Tina Neill, the Queen of the Catalina Channel, Wise has crossed the Catalina Channel six times in his late-blooming channel career.

I don’t have to fly around the world to face the challenge of a channel swim,” he said.

Wise did not attempt his first channel crossing until the age of 45, although he has been a renowned collegiate swimmer and ocean swimmer in Southern California in her younger days. “We have the beautiful Catalina Channel in our backyard here in California.”

Tomorrow night, Wise will aim for crossing #007. If successful, he will have earned the King of the Catalina Channel title.

Wise will swim from early Monday morning (1-2 am) into mid-morning on October 15th.

He discussed his potential record-making swim, “It’s an adventure swim – it always is, the ocean is a wild place. In the midst of the vast ocean and all the elements, all we have is our sense of purpose, our teamwork, our goal, our mission, and the calm sense of quiet dedication to finishing this swim with dignity, as a team.”

His team will include Captain Darren Rosenberg and his father and first mate, Catalina Channel Swimming Federation observers Chris Geer and Dan Simonelli, and escort kayaker and feeder Sean Lieppman.

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