Hank Wise decided to go old-school and surrounded himself by local watermen and water women who escorted him on their prone paddleboards.
Veteran observer Dan Simonelli said, “[They] make it memorable in every way. I was proud and honored to be a part of the journey. And even with the forced plan change in the middle, and perhaps because of it, it motivates and inspires me in so many ways [in swimming and life. Mission accomplished.”
Wise had previously completed 3 fast swims across Catalina – two separate solo crossings in 8:07 and a relay in 6:53, but his fourth crossing was a bit more of a bear [10 hours 56 minutes] with his team of Tom Gallagher, Peter Joseph, Chris Geer, Dan Simonelli, Raquel Dakota, and his brother as his escort pilot.
Gallagher agreed. “[Hank’s crossing required a] phenomenal physical push and mental recalibration to complete the channel. When Mother Nature decides to keep playing with you for an extra 3 hours as she draws you back towards Catalina, shares a few of her marine predators, and gives you a gut check at the end of the swim completion.
[Hank demonstrated] perfect swimming form; he never cracked as we knew there had to be significant pain and inner self-negotiating taking place.”
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