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Dave Barra

From Openwaterpedia
New York Open Water by David Barra, Rondi Davies and Alex Arévalo is a nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year, part of the WOWSA Awards, an annual recognition of outstanding men, women, performances and offerings around the globe sponsored by the World Open Water Swimming Association
Dave Barra, Open Water Swimming Hero
S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge competitors in the inaugural race in Arizona including Dave Barra, Janet Harris and Kent Nicholas

David Barra is an American open water swimmer and race director from New York who specializes in marathon swimming. He is a guide and coach with SwimVacation and was inducted as an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in its Class of 2017.

New York Open Water

MSF Core Group

He is a member of the MSF Core Group that oversees standards and policies for Marathon Swimmers Federation projects. Barra is joined by Caroline Block, PhD, Elaine Kornbau Howley, Andrew Malinak, Anthony McCarley, Evan Morrison, Emma Radford, and Sarah Thomas.

Open Water Swimming Career

Barra Award

Barra is the namesake for the Barra Award. The Barra Award is an award given by the Marathon Swimmers Forum for most impressive overall year of marathon swimming. The Barra Award considers not just swimming achievements, but also the person's full body of work in the sport of marathon swimming.

The Year 2010


45-year-old Barra trained hard during the cold winter months in New York's Mid Hudson Valley to prepare for his remarkable year. Besides the hours in the pool, he was also acclimated to sub-10°C (50°F) water by swimming in lakes throughout the winter. He completed the following swims throughout the year:

  • 9.6-mile (15.4K) Maui Channel between the islands of Lanai and Maui on March 21st in 4 hours and 55 minutes.
  • 24-mile (38.6K) second-place finish at the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in Florida on April 17th in 10 hours and 49 minutes.
  • 28.5 miles (45.8K) in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in New York on June 12th where he finished 15th in 8 hours and 30 minutes (the first leg of his Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming)
  • 21-mile (33.7K) Catalina Channel in California on July 20th with a 15 hour and 37 minute swim in tough conditions - (second leg of his Triple Crown).
  • 8-mile (12.8K) Boston Light Swim in Massachusetts on August 14th with a 7th-place finish in 3:00:31 in the 59°F (15°C) water.
  • a 14 hour and 27 minute crossing of the English Channel on September 1st (completing the Triple Crown in the second shortest time period ever (81 days to Rendy Lynn Opdyke's 35-day record).
  • 17.5-mile (28.1K) Ederle Swim from New York to New Jersey in 5 hours 37 minutes
  • Coney Island 5-mile swim in November

Not since the heyday of International Marathon Swimming Hall of Famers Michael Read and Kevin Murphy has the marathon swimming world been graced by a working man and amateur swimmer so prolific and successful as Dave Barra (129.6 miles or 208K total in one season).

Humble, passionate and committed, Dave represents the good and the positive of the sport.

8 Bridges Hudson River Swim

Barra created an expedition swim called the 8 Bridges | Hudson River Swim. As Dave explains, "This swim [follow via Twitter] has been on my mind for a long time. Last year, I started training in the Hudson River with Rondi Davies and she encouraged me to finally put it together. She has also done an incredible amount of the leg work required for such an event. Originally, it was going to be just Rondi and me swimming, but after a few conversations with the Coast Guard, we decided that we could handle a few other swimmers for the up-river stages. We have a maximum of 7 swimmers total for each of the first 5 stages. This number was determined by the capacity of the boat that we will have transporting us to our splash site each day. CIBBOWS has also provided us with much needed support."

SwimVacation Coaches

Barra is a swim coach and guide with SwimVacation, an open water swimming tour operator in the British Virgin Islands and the state of Maine in the United States.

Chloë McCardel's Marathon

Barra served together with Brianne Yeates as an observer for Chloë McCardel's 126 km marathon swim from Lighthouse Beach on the southern tip of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas to Nassau in 42 hours 30 minutes between 20-22 October 2014, completed under Marathon Swimmers Federation rules.

2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nominees

New York Open Water was nominated for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association:

1. 48 Braçades by Miquel Suñer (Spain)
2. Blue Journey Dangerous Waves Project by Bruckner Chase (USA)
3. Global Swim Series by Rob Kent & Dylan Kent (Canada)
4. LongSwimsDB by Evan Morrison (USA)
5. New York Open Water by David Barra, Rondi Davies & Alex Arévalo (USA)
6. Open Water Swim Academy by Dan Simonelli (USA)
7. Outdoor Swimmer by Simon Griffiths (Great Britain)
8. Sea Donkey with Adrian Sarchet (Guernsey)
9. Shark Bait by Dr. Seán O’Connell (Bermuda)
10. Swim Argentina by Matías Ola (Argentina)
11. The Channel of Bones with Toni Enderli (South Africa)
12. Travessia do Leme ao Pontal by Adherbal de Oliveira & Renato Ribeiro Barbosa (Brazil)

2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nomination

New York Open Water has rapidly stamped and shared its vision on the marathon swimming world. The event management entity has taken the energy and opportunities of the defunct NYC Swim to a new level. David Barra, Rondi Davies and Alex Arévalo built upon the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and other established swims around New York City – and extended and strengthened the opportunities to swim around, in and near the Big Apple. From the nearly impossibly long 91.8 km 40 Bridges Double Manhattan Island Swim to the most definitely long 193 km 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, the passionate trio has built a solid foundation of races for the world’s most extreme marathon swimmers. For reviving and expanding the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim as the 20 Bridges event, for creating and hosting the longest solo marathon swims and stage swims in the world, for attracting swimmers from around the world to New York, New York Open Water is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

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