Skip Storch

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Skip Storch at the Liberty Swim Series finish
Skip Storch with Fidel Castro before his Cuba-Florida attempt
Shark cage manufactured by Fibber McGee for Skip Storch's solo marathon swim attempt from Cuba to Florida across the Straits of Florida; photo by Tim Johnson
Skip Storch is an American marathon swimmer who has inducted as an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2009. He currently serves on the board of directors on the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and is a member of the 24-hour club and the Half Century Club.

He is a businessman in New York City who is also a talented photographer and artisan with a specialty in gemology and a deep knowledge of fishing. He is the founder and owner of Shu-Fly Tackle & Fly Shop in New York.


Marathon Swims and Stage Swims

Storch was nominated in 2008 for an ESPY Award as the "Best Outdoor Athlete" due to his triple 85.5-mile non-stop circumnavigation of Manhattan Island in a record time of 32 hours 52 minutes and his double circumnavigation record of 20 hours 56 minutes during the same swim. Storch has also done the 48 km (28.5-mile) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a 32 km (21-mile) swim in the Hudson River, two 246 km (153-mile) stage swims from the Albany Yacht Club to Pier A Battery Park in New York City, and attempted a solo swim from Cuba to Florida where he lasted over 25 hours before the elements turned against him.

His first stage swim in 1988 was 53 hours 20 minutes down the 150-mile length of the Hudson River from Albany to Manhattan Island.

In 1989-1990, he completed two exhibition stage swims of 85 miles along the New Jersey Shore and 100 miles along the Long Island Sound to promote clean waters as part of the Liberty Swim Series. In 1990 he became the first person to swim the complete length of the East River, a 24 km (15-mile), through Hell’s Gate. During that swim he swam in a lighting and hail storm. Although the swim started out in clean waters, he had to swim through 3.5 million gallons of raw sewage that was released due to a fire at Ward Island sewage treatment plant.

In 1993 he attempted to swim the 92 mile Florida Strait from Cuba to Florida, but was forced to retire after 25 hours.

His stage swim in a river in 2005 took 41 hours 30 minutes.

Liberty Swim Series

Storch also conceived and completed the Liberty Swim Series, a 400-mile course of uncharted waters into currents and waters without currents through days and nights where he encountered storms, hail, lighting, northeasters, and sewage bypasses. On the last leg of the Long Island Swim, he was gifted with the honor as the first person to swim the complete length of the East River. The 85-mile Jersey Shore swim and the 100-mile Long Island Swim was assisted by wearing a shorty wetsuit. During his swims that drew attention to the health of the New York waterways, Storch was visited by Richie Havens, Pete Seager, Robert Kennedy Jr., Malcolm Forbes, Donald Trump along with countless other politicians governors, senators, protesters, fans, environmental groups, government agencies, dogs and swimmers.

Impetus to Marathon Swimming

Storch started swimming in the 1970's when recommended by his doctors. He lost his spleen and was sickly. He built up his health by swimming long distances. He was not fast, but persistently he increased his time in the water from 12 to 24 hours and eventually 36 hours non-stop for a variety of charities and environmental awareness.

His 10 to 12 mile workouts were the foundation of his marathon swims. During his four decades of ultra marathon swimming, Storch raised enough funds to build two indoor therapeutic pools and provide wheelchairs, and equipment for the multiply disabled.

Skip Storch Documentary

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