Rick Heltzel

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Rick Heltzel, a marine engineer, is an accomplished open water swimmer who has placed at USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships and won dozens of open water swimming races throughout the state of Hawaii including the 7 km Possibly Annual Hawaiian Christmas Looong Distance Invitational Rough-H2O Swim a total of 12 times and the Waikiki Roughwater Swim where he set the course record. He was inducted in the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame in the Class of 2005.

USA Long Distance International Championships

He also completed a Catalina Channel swim in 9 hours 4 minutes 1984 finishing second to John York in the 1984 USA Long Distance International Championships which was the first race across the Catalina Channel since the Wrigley Ocean Marathon in 1927. Penny Dean, Siga Albrecht and Syndi Goldenson were the American team coaches, while sailors from Marina del Rey unselfishly donated their time and boats. The race was 5 miles longer than the traditional Catalina Channel crossings.

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