Tina Neill

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Record-setting marathon swimmer Tina Neill
Record-setting marathon swimmer Tina Neill swimming backstroke across the Catalina Channel
Course taken by Forrest Nelson, Becky Jackman-Beeler, Mike Mitchell, Kent Nicholas, Emily Evans, and Tina Neill were members of Team FTD that completed a 6-way crossing of the Catalina Channel that was captained by John Pittman aboard the Outrider, ratified by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and observed by Carol Sing, Donald Van Cleve, and Adam Moine. Source: Marathon Swimmers Forum by Evan Morrison
Tina Neill is a legendary marathon swimmer and member of the 24-hour club and Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with several world records to her name. She holds the world record for the fastest backstroke crossing of the 20.2-mile (32.5 km) Catalina Channel done in 2008 in 10 hours 37 minutes between Catalina Island and the California mainland. She also holds the record for women for the most successful crossings of the Catalina Channel with four. She also holds the world record for the fastest backstroke crossing of the English Channel done in 2005 in 13 hours 22 minutes (which is faster than the average English Channel time of 13 hours 33 minutes). She also did a double crossing of the Catalina Channel (California mainland-to-Catalina-mainland) in 22 hours 2 minutes and a 17 hour 17 minute crossing of the Molokai Channel on 11 May 2011 as well as the 17-mile (27.3 km) Kaulakahi Channel from Kauai to Niihau in Hawaii in 2012.

She has also done a number of other marathon swims including the 19-mile (30.5 km) Santa Cruz Channel on 15 July 2011 from Santa Cruz Island to Silver Stand Beach in 10 hours 32 minutes, the 28.5-mile (45.8 km) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim on 23 June 2012 in 8 hours 37 minutes, and is a lifetime member of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and a twice member of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. She was the first person to complete a crossing between San Clemente Island and the California mainland with a 28 hour 41 minute effort over the 52-mile (83.6 km) course on 6 September 2012. This swim was one of the reasons why she was nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Association's World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year in 2012.

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Marathon Swimming Relays

Neill was a member of the six-member HTC Relay team with Forrest Nelson, Emily Evans, Steve Lowe, Kent Nicholas, and Mike Mitchell that set a new course record of 25 hours 48 minutes from San Clemente Island, around the western edge of Catalina Island, to the Southern California mainland at Cabrillo Beach on 25 July 2012. The HTC Relay broke the record of the Swim for Hope relay for the 52 statute mile (83.6 km) channel swim.

She was also a member of Team FTD, an open water swimming relay consisting of Forrest Nelson, Becky Jackman-Beeler, Mike Mitchell, Emily Evans, and Kent Nicholas. The relay completed an unprecedented 6-way Catalina Channel crossing in 61 hours 7 minutes from 10-13 July 2013. Source: Evan Morrison of the Marathon Swimmers Forum on 13 July 2013.

Solo Marathon Swimming Career

2012 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nomination

Neill was nominated for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year award. Her World Open Water Swimming Association award reads,

Look at Tina Neill and nothing hints at records. Talk to Tina Neill and nothing she says hints of greatness. But the introverted, humble explorer of the raw potential of the human spirit has been making waves in the open water throughout her career. In her own quiet way, Neill loudly proved once again how uniquely special she is. She hit the lumpy water at night, battled the elements far from shore, and finished the next night, completing an unprecedented 28 hour 41 minute crossing of the 52-mile (83.6 km) San Clemente Channel. Like her record-setting backstroke swims in the England and Catalina Channels, she efficiently funneled her talents and enthralled her crew with her strength, stamina and speed. For her quiet nature despite swims that scream volumes, for always remaining under the radar despite record-setting exploits, for the pure genius of her aquatic talents, Tina Neill is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

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