Grace van der Byl kicked off the record era in the Catalina Channel last year with her 7 hour 27 minute crossing from Catalina Island to the California mainland. Now the As Seen On TV relay of Barbara Held, Marc Horwitz, Ray Meltvedt, Julian Rusinek, Lynn Kubasek and Roni Hibben set another record across the Catalina Channel.
The sextet of masters swimmers completed the 20.2-mile crossing in in 7 hours 27 minutes and set the record for the Mixed (3 man, 3 women) 50-59 Catalina-to-Mainland Relay at 9 hours 38 minutes and 42 seconds.
Kubasek described their collective effort, “The swim started in the late hours of June 30th and went into July 1st. The water was constantly comfortable 66-68ºF the whole way across. However, the wind, swells and chop created messy swimming conditions with night time white caps that created a challenging event. The vessel – Outrider, with Captains John Pittman, Don’t-video-me-Dave, Chef-Robin and “Hey-You!” escorted the team from Catalina to Point Vincente. There were no significant wildlife observations, however a single dolphin rode our wake into the harbor.”
In this mixed gender category, the other Catalina Channel records are held by Solo Wannabe’s I (Fastest Mixed 3/3 (3 male and 3 female) 30-30) in 12 hours 6 minutes, and by the Mighty Mermaids (Fastest Female 50-59 Catalina-to-Mainland Relay) in 9 hours 19 minutes.
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