Ned Denison

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Ned Denison at the 2012 International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies in Long Beach, California
Gabor Molnar, Eddie Irwin and Ned Denison, three Triple Crown swimmers from Ireland
Ned Denison (born 21 November 1957) is an open water swimmer, coach and administrator. He has completed ten marathon swims of 16 miles (25 km) or more. These include the English Channel, the Catalina Channel and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim as a member of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming and the Half Century Club. He also completed the 65.9 km Round Jersey, 26 km Jersey to France crossing, 26.4 km Lake Zurich Marathon Swim, the 19.2 km Rottnest Channel Swim, and was the first to swim around Valentia Island (27 km) and Great (Cobh) Island (26 km) in Ireland. He also swam around Robben Island in Cape Town, South Africa (11 km, Inisbofin (11km), Lake Champlain (13km), Rathlin Island (10 km), Cork City to Cobh (16km km) three times, Blackrock to Cobh (13km), completed the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge of 4 marathon swims in 4 days (62 km), Garryvoe around Ballycotton and into Ballycotton Pier (11 km), Strait of Gibraltar (14.4 km in 3 hours 33 minutes on 24 July 2013) and River Lee Dam to County Hall (12.5 km) twice. In 2006, he crossed the Santa Barbara Channel between Santa Cruz Island and the California mainland in a record time of 10 hours 27 minutes. His 8 km swim around Cape Point tied the record time. He also became the fifth person in history to cross False Bay on 30 December 2012 from Rooi Els to Miller's point in 11 hours 5 minutes under the guidance of pilot Arend Grondman.


Ned Denison is on the selection committee of the 25-mile In Search of Memphre international marathon swim between Vermont, U.S.A. and Magog, Canada and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

Denison’s early aquatic years were spent as a seven-time All-American water polo goalie with teams in New York City, Berkeley, California and London, England.


Ice Swimming

Denison also completed an ice swim in 4.6 degrees C in 2013 in 24 minutes 42 seconds under the auspices of the International Ice Swimming Association.

Triple Break

He coined the term Triple Break or the Triple Crown of Prison Island Swims that includes swim to/from/around Alcatraz Island in the USA, Spike Island in Ireland, and Robben Island in South Africa.


Denison was inducted on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California at the annual International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies as a member of the Class of 2012 as an Honour Administrator. He also received the Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame in the Class of 2013 where was honoured in Cork, Ireland at the annual International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies. He serves on the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

Denison was also one of the recipients of the Poseidon Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame together with Oswald Schmidt, Paschal Horgan, Captain Tom McCarthy, Ciaran O'Connor, and Finbarr Hedderman as part of the Global Open Water Swimming Conference Cork 2013 organisation committee.

In 2010, Denison was nominated for the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award and received the Margaret Smith Award in 2011 (Individual event Organiser) from the ILDSA.

His 9 marathon swims during 2013 were collectively nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year. The collective efforts of the organizing committee for the 2013 Global Open Water Swimming Conference which Denison played a key role, is nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association

A founding member of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association (2006 and on Board until 2012). Commenting on his Santa Barbara Channel swim: "I was absolutely taken in by the city and hosted in fine fashion by the other Board members, kayakers and three Honourees of the IMSHOF: Alison and Freda Streeter and David Yudovin. On the day the sun was fantastic and the playful seals and majestic manta rays were the best aquatic life I have ever seen on a swim."

Cork Distance Week

Denison helps organise several of the longer swim in Ireland and leads the annual Cork Distance Week, which draws more than 50 swimmers. He is an excellent contact ( for American swimmers looking to Europe.

Denison's Cork Distance Week was nominated for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year award. Its World Open Water Swimming Association nomination reads, "A tiny part of the world – Sandycove Island in Ireland – has become a must-do and must-see in the channel swimming world. Sandycove plays host to the Cork Distance Week, the absolutely most brutal, the most unforgiving, the downright dastardly difficult open water swimming camp in the world. Led by a mountain of a man who has pushed himself to the brink, the Cork Distance Week has a tremendous record of channel swimming success. Offered for an unbelievable reasonable price in elements that can be completely and thoroughly unreasonable, the Cork Distance Week prepares all-comers for anything and everything in the open water. For its 8-day high mileage of intense preparation, for its unyielding psychological and physiological stress that it offers, for its unequaled record of success, the Cork Distance Week by Ned Denison is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year."


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