Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association
George Young famously completed the first Catalina Channel swim in January 1927. However, the first known swim attempt in the Channel Islands was actually in the Santa Barbara Channel. In August 1926, Zane Steenrod attempted to swim from Santa Cruz Island to Santa Barbara, but was pulled from the water after five hours.
Julian Rusinek Scholarship
The Julian Rusinek Scholarship, funded by American open water swimmer Julian Rusinek, helps underwrite the costs of channel swim attempts by deserving American marathon swimmers across and between the San Miguel Island, Santa Rosa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Anacapa Island, San Nicolas Island, Santa Barbara Island, and San Clemente Island.
San Miguel Island
25.9 miles (22.5 nm or 41.6 km) to Point Conception. This swim has been conquered only once, by Penny Palfrey in 2008 (11:29).
Santa Rosa Island
27.5 miles (23.9 nm or 44.2 km) to Coal Oil Point, Goleta. This swim has been conquered only once, by Marc Lewis in 2008 (15:46).
Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz, the largest of the Channel Islands, has two potential swim routes: 19 miles (30.5 km) from San Pedro Point to Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, or 23.5 miles (37.8 km) from Fry's Harbor to Leadbetter Point in Santa Barbara. The Santa Cruz Channel Oxnard route was first conquered by David Yudovin in 1983 (15:15), and the record is held by Evan Morrison (9:47 in 2012). The Santa Barbara route was first conquered by Ashby Harper in 1984 (16:24), and the record is held by Rendy Lynn Opdycke (10:51 in 2007). In total, there have been nine successful swim across the Santa Cruz Channel.
12.4 miles (10.8 nm or 19.9 km) to Silver Strand Beach, Oxnard. Cindy Cleveland pioneered this swim in 1978 in a 12 hour, 48 minute double-crossing - a record that still stands. In total there have been 36 solo crossings by 31 individuals. The one-way record is held by Jim McConica (4:38 in 2012).
There have been four inter-island crossings to date. Scott Zornig did the first, a 5.6-mile swim from Anacapa to Santa Cruz in 2007 (2:18). In 2008, Penny Palfrey and Chris Palfrey swam 6 miles from Santa Rosa Island to Santa Cruz (2:30 and 2:52, respectively). In 2012, Santosh Patil completed an Anacapa to Santa Cruz crossing in a new time record of 2:13.
The four islands closest to southern Ventura County, Los Angeles County, and Orange County include, from west to east: San Nicolas Island, Santa Barbara Island, San Clemente Island, and Santa Catalina Island.
San Nicolas Island
61.2 miles (53.2 nm or 98.4 km) to Laguna Point, or 69.3 miles (111.5 km) to Point Vicente. This swim has never been attempted.
Santa Barbara Island
37.7 miles (32.8 nm or 60.6 km) to Point Dume, or 40 miles (64.3 km) to Point Vicente. Penny Palfrey pioneered this swim in 2009, finishing at Point Vicente in 17 hours, 53 minutes.
San Clemente Island
52 miles around the west end of Catalina Island, or 54.4 miles around the east end of Catalina. Two six-person relays have successfully completed this swim. In 2012, Tina Neill became the first and only solo swimmer to finish, in 28 hours, 42 minutes.
Santa Catalina Island
No swimmer has successfully completed an inter-island crossing among the southern four islands.
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