The Dolphin Club provides an ideal training ground for swimmers who are planning long-distance swims. Our members have distinguished themselves in many marathon swim challenges, including:
- Farallon Islands to Mainland (21 miles)
- Lake Tahoe (length) (21 miles)
- Catalina Channel (20 miles)
- Coronado Island (11.7 miles)
- Candlestick Point to Aquatic Park (10 miles)
- Huntington Beach to Seal Beach (8 miles)
- Sausalito to San Francisco (6 miles)
- Capitola Pier to Santa Cruz Pier (6 miles)
- Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge span (5.5 miles)
- Bay Bridge to Golden Gate Bridge (5 miles)
- Manhattan Island (28.5 miles)
- Molokai Channel (26 miles)
- Lake Tahoe (length) (21 miles)
- North Channel (21 miles)
- The English Channel (21 miles)
- Cook Strait, New Zealand (18 Miles)
- Strait of Gibraltar (13 miles)
- Tsugaru Strait (12 miles)
- Maui Channel (11 miles)
Ocean's Seven Challenge
In September of 2014 Dolphin Kim Chambers became the sixth person ever to finish the Ocean’s Seven Challenge when she crossed the North Channel.
She completed the 21 mile crossing in 13 hours and 6 minutes, swimming from Ireland to Scotland. She fought jellyfish and exhaustion but achieved her goal with an amazing support team including her mom Jo, and friends Matt Donahue and Darren Miller.
About the greatest honor a long-distance swimmer can achieve is to be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. These three current and former Dolphin Club members have been so honored:
|1969||Dr. David Smith|
Swimming the English Channel
The English Channel is probably the most well-known long-distance swim. Several Dolphins have successfully completed the swim: Suzanne Heim-Bowen swam the Channel three times, twice in one year; Selmer completed his crossing the year he turned 50; Lebanon-born Toufie Blaik swam the Channel twice, in 1953 and 1955, before joining the Dolphin Club in 1957. See the complete list below.
The English Channel swim is also undertaken as a relay. Several Dolphin teams, including two all-female teams, have completed the Channel relay, which requires each of six participants to swim an hour at a time until the entire distance is covered.
In 2023, a relay team of six Dolphin Club Members, all over the age of 70, swam the English Channel in 15 hours and 10 minutes. With an average age of 73.2 years, “The Old Goats”, Duke Dahlin, Sunny McKee, Thomas Neill, Julian Sapirstein, Joni Beemsterboer, and John Horner, are the oldest American team in history to cross the Channel.
Trailer for the upcoming documentary “21 Miles, 12 Feet, and 439 Years: The Old Goats and the English Channel.” Written and produced by Nancy Friedman; direction and editing by Sharon Wong. The song “Shark Is Watching You,” written by Mark Keller.
English Channel swimming is governed by a rigorous set of rules enforced by the English Channel Swimming Association. Swimmers wear only a standard swimsuit and one latex cap; they are monitored at all times by an official observer in a pilot boat. Swimmers may accept food and beverages, but they are not allowed to touch the support boat at any time during their swim.
|1953||Toufie Blaik||3-Aug-53||16:05||F to E|
|1985||Suzanne Heim||18-Aug-85||10:11||F to E|
|1986||Suzanne Heim||30-Jul-86||10:02||E to F|
|1986||Suzanne Heim||10-Aug-86||10:24||E to F|
|1988||Diana Abele||5-Aug-88||11:20||E to F|
|1990||John Davies||31-Jul-90||10:01||E to F|
|1994||Laura Burtch||30-Jul-94||11:45||E to F|
|1995||John Selmer||10-Aug-95||10:58||E to F|
|1996||Becky Fenson||19-Jul-96||10:12||E to F|
|1996||Steve Walker||19-Jul-96||13:31||E to F|
|1996||Peter Urrea||8-Aug-96||14:38||E to F|
|1999||Heather Royer||6-Aug-99||10:43||E to F|
|2000||Suzie Dods||7-Aug-00||12:37||E to F|
|2003||Phil Scarborough||7-Aug-03||12:08||E to F|
|2003||Duke Dahlin||8-Aug-03||14:37||E to F|
|2004||John Ottersberg||14-Aug-04||14:36||E to F|
|2004||Si Bunting||25-Aug-04||9:44||E to F|
|2005||Neal Rayner||10-Aug-05||13:50||E to F|
|2005||Brian Herrick||11-Aug-05||12:58||E to F|
|2005||Tom Keller||16-Aug-05||11:22||E to F|
|2006||Scott Haskins||16-Aug-06||10:25||E to F|
|2006||Jon Ennis||13-Sep-06||13:01||E to F|
|2007||Amber Rhett||24-Aug-07||13:20||E to F|
|2009||Michael Tschantz-Hahn||31-Jul-09||11:19||E to F|
|2009||Catheryne DiPrete||17-Aug-09||12:12||E to F|
|2009||Laurin Weisenthal||26-Sep-09||8:33||E to F|
|2012||Adam Engelskirchen||8-Aug-12||13:50||E to F|
|2012||Greg Kearney||22-Aug-12||13:39||E to F|
|2013||Kimberley Chambers||12-Sep-13||12:12||E to F|
|2016||Ryan Utsumi||26-Sep-16||11:00||E to F|
|2018||Catherine Breed||26-Jun-18||9:50||E to F|
|2018||Randy Edwards||15-Jul-18||16:45||E to F|
|2018||Yossi Ettinger||19-Jul-18||13:38||E to F|
|2018||Lauren Au Brinkmeyer||20-Jul-18||11:01||E to F|
|2019||Hubert Chaperon||25-Jul-19||14:07||E to F|
|2022||Lauren Lesyna||23-Jun-22||15:00||E to F|
|2022||Luca Pozzi||3-Sep-22||11:52||E to F|
|2023||Katie Soltis||25-Jul-23||12:04||E to F|
Catalina Channel Swim
The Catalina swim is to or from the island, across the San Pedro Channel, 20 miles or more. The first recorded solo crossing was in 1927. In the following years three Dolphin Club members were among the first twenty-two individuals to successfully complete the crossing. To date, twenty current and former Dolphins have swum it as certified by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation:
|1959||Capt. Stewart Evans||20:55||CM|
|2019||Lauren Au Brinkmeyer||10:48:35||CM|
Suzie Dods Catalina Swim July 18-19 2010
Joe Locke’s Catalina Swim September 8-9 2009
Farallons Islands Swim
The swim from the Farallon Islands west of San Francisco is one the toughest in the world. It is a variable distance of 20, 30, or more miles in icy waters and strong currents. By the mid-1960s a dozen top swimmers had attempted it and failed. The first successful solo crossing was in 1967 by Stewart Evans, a Dolphin Club member. Only five marathon swimmers have completed it and three were Dolphins, including the only woman, Kim Chambers.
There was another notable crossing, a relay race in 1968. A Dolphin Club swim team defeated the South End Rowing Club. The winning time was 14 hours 54 minutes and finished on our Aquatic Park beach. The Dolphin team was Ed Duncan, Lew Cook, Conrad Liberty, Stew Evans, Bill Harlan, and Bob Jimenez with George Bay as an alternate.
Col Stewart Evans, Farallon Island Swim 1967
Trailer for the documentary ‘Kim Swims’.
|1967||Lt. Colonel Stewart Evans||13:44:52|