Ted Erikson - Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree
From OpenwaterpediaInternational Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee for his exploits from the English Channel to the Farallon Islands. Ted is a scientist by profession and is the father and coach of his son Jon Erikson, also an inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
Ted started marathon swimming at the age of 33 in 1961 when he became the first person to swim across Lake Michigan in the USA. He swam from England to France in 12 hours and 25 minutes in 1964. His career peaked in 1965 with a record double crossing of the English Channel in 30 hours and 3 minutes on his third attempt. His record stood for 10 years until it was broken by his, Jon.
World Record in the Farallon Islands
Ted still holds the record for swimming 50.6K (31.5 miles) in 14 hours and 35 minutes from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA across frigid shark-infested waters in 1967 on his third attempt.
Ted is an advisor to the Farallon Islands Swimming Federation which governs all solo and relay swims of the channel between the Farallon Islands and the Golden Gate Bridge.
This 30-mile course is renowned to be one of the two most difficult, coldest, most perilous marathon swims in the world. Water temperatures can range from 50°F (10°C) to 55.4°F (13°C), but temperatures have been recorded lower on several occasions. The water conditions are usually extremely rough with cresting ocean swells up to 20 feet. Currents and tides often exceed the speed of the fastest swimmers. It is a swim not lightly attempted.
On his first attempt in 1966 he went completely hypothermic and was reported "dead". He was revived, started life anew and failed again on his second attempt. He said he waited a year this time, brought the man upstairs along, and success.
Ted completed his swim on September 17th 1967 in 14:38 by swimming under the Golden Gate Bridge, covering 26.4 nautical miles. This is now the official start and finish line according to the Farallon Islands Swimming Federation.
Ted is very much alive living in Chicago. His personal website is here. He is a little hard of hearing so emails are much preferred. He is most open and cordial in sharing a wide variety of valuable information.
Ted's latest interview is here.