So Looong For 2020 – Sun Sets On The Double Roughwater

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

While the open water swimming and channel swimming calendars in Europe and elsewhere around the world are gaining steam after the lockdowns of 2020, the United States is still largely without any established events that have continued for decades.

There have been swims around Manhattan Island (20 Bridges) and small meetups in Washington (Say Yes To Life), but the traditional calendar has been largely cancelled or postponed until 2021.

There was one last major swim scheduled for 2020, the 7 km Looong Swim (Hawaiian Christmas Looong Distance Invitational Rough-H2O Swim, locally known as the Double Roughwater) in December.

But alas…

The Waikiki Roughwater Swim Committee formally cancelled the 2020 edition based on the current restrictions on social gatherings and group events in the City & County of Honolulu, the likelihood of a continuing travel restrictions both to and within the State of Hawaii, and the desire of the committee to encourage safety within the athletic community.

New race director and President of the Ala Moana Beach Swim Club Ryan Leong promises, “The 2021 race will be bigger and better. Even though there is no racing this year, all swimmers should keep training for next season. The Committee encourages Hawaii residents to continue to take advantage of the open water swimming opportunities available around and between the islands. For our friends on the mainland, we can only say, we hope to see you soon and we wish you were here.”

The 2021 Looong Swim is tentatively set for October 16th 2021. The 2021 Waikiki Roughwater will be held on September 6th.

Stefan Reinke, president of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim Committee, says, “It has been a tough year for swim races in Hawaii. Ryan Leong will be taking over as the race’s director. Ryan is the third race director in the history of the event after Jim Anderson and me. For the past three years, Ryan along with other members of the Ala Moana Beach Swim Club (Bill Goding and Hudson Slay) have been instrumental in the success of the event. From a race director’s perspective, the Looong Swim is a truly satisfying event. You not only are able to provide a group of athletes with a chance to test themselves, but you also have the pleasure of greeting and congratulating each swimmer at the finish line.

Let’s hope that 2021 will bring swimming back to some sense of normal. Stay safe and swim a lot.”

For more information, visit www.longdistanceswim.com.

2019 Results:
1. Rick Heltzel (62) 1:47:20
2. Calvin Taetzsch (37) 1:49:53
3. Frank Bird (55) 1:50:36
4. Sandie Easton (50) 1:51:38
5. Tina Neill (53) 1:57:47
6. Rachel Randall (27) 1:59:00
7. Joseph Lileikis (56) 2:03:31
8. Skylar Webb (17) 2:06:32
9. Alex Webb (52) 2:06:36
10. Steven Minaglia (46) 2:07:46
11. Miki David (49) 2:07:50
12. Michelle Simmons (45) 2:11:23
13. Lectie Altman (35) 2:13:04
14. Candes Gentry (42) 2:13:04
15. Alexandra McCarthy (27) 2:13:20
16. Anson Chu (33) 2:14:22
17. Nicole Forelli (56) 2:16:20
18. Naomi Furusawa-Stratton (44) 2:17:08
19. Paul Towers (43) 2:17:44
20. Megan Russell (21) 2:18:37
21. Duane Zitta (38) 2:19:10
22. Shannon Wigent (48) 2:21:41
23. Jerelyn Watanabe (50) 2:22:07
24. Diane Corn (60) 2:26:04
25. Jim Budde (74) 2:32:38
26. Denise Webb (58) 2:33:06
27. Blake Garlin (11) 2:33:46
28. Mike Abbott (60) 2:36:52
29. Ulrich Klinke (75) 2:43:48
30. Kimberly Burnett (43) 2:48:30
31. Terri Dietz (48) 2:48:46
32. Michelle Aitro (47) 2:50:58
33. Jeffrey Dodge (69) 2:51:59
34. Kelly Quin (44) 2:54:02
35. Stephen Royce (62) 2:58:15
36. Raynard Miura (59) 2:59:40
37. Bridget Velasco (53) 3:01:25
38. Alton Motobu (68) 3:01:42
39. Larry Inouye (59) 3:13:28
40. Hillel Katzeff (60) 3:14:41
41. Nikodem Pikor (35) 3:23:27

Looong Distance Invitational Rough-H2O Swim Historical Data between 1981 and 2019 compiled by Alton Motobu:

Overall: Most First Place Finishes
Rick Heltzel 12
John Flanagan 3
Bill Goding 2
Kaili Chun 2
Richard Wells 2

Overall: Women Who Finished First
Phoebe Hines 2018
Haley Chasin 2017
Cherelle Osteringer 2014
Kari Lydersen 1995
Kaili Chun 1982
Kaili Chun 1981

Fastest Winning Times
Greg Streppel, 1990 1:24:44
Richard Wells, 1983 1:25:19
Rick Heltzel, 1989 1:26:55
Richard Wells, 1984 1:29:14
Chris Moore, 1986 1:29:45

Fastest Women’s Times
Phoebe Hines, 2018 1:30:38 (1st overall)
Cherelle Osteringer, 2014 1:30:43 (1st overall)
Kari Lydersen, 1993 1:34:10
Haley Chasin, 2017 1:34:40 (1st overall)
Cherelle Osteringer, 2016 1:35:09

Slowest Winning Times
Paul Herbert, 1996 1:52:15
Rick Heltzel, 2019 1:47:20
Bill Goding, 2001 1:46:59
Rick Heltzel, 2011 1:45:48
Bill Goding, 2006 1:44:13
Dean Walter, 1988 1:43:40

Closest Margin of Victory

Men in 1993: Sergio Chiarandini, 1st in 1:30:03 versus Rick Heltzel, 2nd in 1:30:09
Women in 2009: Kathryn Taylor, 1st in 1:45:25 versus Gail Grabowsky, 2nd in 1:45:42

Women’s Division: Most Firsts
Gail Grabowsky 6
Kaili Chun 3
Cherelle Osteringer 2
Victoria West 2
Nicole Hagi 2
Kari Lydersen 2
Carol Lee-Heltzel 2

Most 1st Place in Age Group
Rick Heltzel 28
Gail Grabowsky 17
Laurie Foster 15
Linda Kaiser 14
Ernie Leskovitz 11
Bill Goding 10
Diane Stowell 9
Ray Taft 8
Andrea Woods 8

Youngest First Overall Finisher
Kaili Chun, 19 in 1981
Dean Walter, 19 in 1988
Paul Herbert, 19 in 1996

Oldest First Overall Finisher
Rick Heltzel, 62 in 2019
Rick Heltzel, 54 in 2011
Bill Goding, 53 in 2006

Youngest Finisher
Boys:
Blake Garlin, 11 in 2019
Ashton Srock, 14 in 2005
Girls:
Nicole Hagi, 13 in 2002
Nicole Jackson, 13 in 1984

Oldest Finisher
Men: Gene Grounds, 81 in 2017
Women: Jane Kirton, 75 in 2018

Top Ten Most Finishes (all-time)
1. Alton Motobu 29
2. Rick Heltzel 28*
3. Jim Anderson 25
4. Laurie Foster 21
5. Uli Klinke 19
6. Linda Kaiser 17
6. Gail Grabowsky 17
8. Carl Kawauchi 12
9. Ernie Leskovitz 11
10. Bill Goding 11
* Rick Heltzel has 28 official finishes in the Looong Distance Swim; in 2006 he swam the same course on the same date as part of the US Olympic 10K Trials Qualifying Event – for a total of 29 swims, although officially he was not included in the results for the Looong Distance Swim in 2006.

Ultra-Endurance (longest swim times)
Men: Michael Wong, 2010 in 3:55:05
Women: Claudia Fujinaga, 1984 in 4:29:10 (the 4-hour time limit was not in place)

Years with Highest Number of Finishers
1984: 86
1986: 69
1990: 67
1985: 66
1995: 64

Years with Lowest Number of Finishers
1997: 23
2008: 25
1999: 27
2001: 27
2006: 28

Years with More Women than Men Finishers
2017: 19 women vs. 18 men
2019: 21 women vs. 20 men

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