Hank Wise

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Hank Wise, Head Coach
Hank Wise, Catalinator
Hank Wise is a waterman extraordinaire from Long Beach, California, U.S.A. He is an accomplished open water swimmer, a talented surfer, and a renowned coach. He sails, dives, paddles, kayaks, rows, body surfs and teaches in and about the waterways of Naples Island. He is among the fastest five Catalina Channel swimmers of all time and has swam and surfed throughout California, Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Fiji, Italy, Greece, Guatamala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Tahiti.

He was instrumental in developing the Killer Bees at the Long Beach Yacht Club, Swim Focus, Rocket Fish, Beach Swim Club Masters and the Sea Monkeys at the local level.

In 1998, the bilingual waterman suffered a detached retina that resulted in his losing the sight in his left eye, but the personable man with a political science degree from Stanford University is typically positive, "I've learned to live with one eye pretty quickly because I never saw that well in the other one anyway."

Wise was part of the Long Beach Swim Focus Catalina Relay in October 2011 that set the overall Catalina Channel record of 6 hours 53 minutes 4 seconds.

He was also the paddler for Craig Dietz, the Limbless Waterman, during the 2012 Swim Across America event in Long Beach, California.



Wise graduated from Long Beach Wilson High School (1990) and Stanford University (2003). He won at the Junior Olympics, CIF (Southern California division), USA Swimming Junior National Championships, U.S. Olympic Committee National Sports Festival and was a USA Swimming Olympic Trials qualifier (1988) as well was a member of the NCAA Championship-winning Stanford Swim Team of 1987.

He also held the record for the fastest person to swim around the Huntington Beach Pier for 21 years and is married to celebrated local artist Kristin Moro.

Fastest Catalina Channel Crossings in History

1. 7:15 by Penny Lee Dean, USA, MC in September 1976
2. 7:27 by Grace van der Byl, USA, CM in October 2012
3. 7:37 by Pete Huisveld, USA, MC in August 1992
4. 7:41 by John York, USA, MC in September 1978 (first leg of a 2-way)
5. 7:43 by Karen Burton, USA, CM in October 1994
6. 8:05 by Todd Robinson, USA, CM in August 2009
7. 8:07 by Hank Wise, USA, CM in October 2010
8. 8:14 by Chad Hundeby, USA, CM in September 1993
9. 8:20 by Gemma Jensen, Australia, CM in August 2006
10. 8:27 by Jim McConica, USA, CM in October 1983
11. 8:28 by Rendy Lynn Opdycke, USA, CM in August 2008
12. 8:31 by John York, USA, MC in October 1977
13. 8:32 by John York, USA, CM in October 2000

Fastest English Channel Crossings in Comparison

1. 6:55 by Trent Grimsey, Australia, E-F in September 2012
2. 6:57 by Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria, E-F in August 2007
3. 7:03 by Christof Wandratsch, Germany, E-F in August 2005
4. 7:05 by Yuri Kudinov, Russia, E-F in August 2007
5. 7:16 by Vitek Rostislav, Czech Republic, E-F in August 2009
6. 7:17 by Chad Hundeby, USA, E-F in September 1994
7. 7:20 by Christof Wandratsch, Germany, E-F in August 2003
8. 7:21 by Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria, E-F in August 2006
9. 7:22 by David Meca, Spain, E-F in August 2005
10. 7:25 by Yvetta Hlavacova, Czech Republic, E-F in August 2006
11. 7:40 by Penny Lee Dean, USA, E-F in July 1978

Hank Wise In Catalina

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