John York (born 7 October 1960) is an American marathon swimmer and coach who was inducted as an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1989. York is the King of the Catalina Channel with the most number of successful crossings of the Catalina Channel in Southern California, U.S.A. He completed crossings in 1966, 1966, 1968 and 1984, including the fastest double-crossing of 16 hours 42 minutes in 1968. He also swam the English Channel in 1988 and has coached numerous swimmers across the Catalina Channel, including USA National Team swimmers.
Open Water Swimming Career Highlights
- On 2 September 1976, he crossed the 32.3 km Catalina Channel from Santa Catalina Island to the Southern California mainland in 8 hours 49 minutes 50 seconds at the age of 16.
- On 4 October 1976, he crossed the 32.3 km Catalina Channel from Santa Catalina Island to the Southern California mainland in 8 hours 41 minutes 20 seconds at the age of 16.
- On 21 September 1978, he completed a two-way crossing of the 32.3 km Catalina Channel from the Southern California mainland to Santa Catalina Island and back to the Southern California mainland in 16 hours 42 minutes (first leg was 7 hours 41 minutes 14 seconds; second leg was 9 hours 0 minutes 46 seconds) at the age of 18, escorted by Mickey Pittman.
- On 20 August 1984, he won the First International Open Ocean Swim, a 41.09 km Catalina Channel crossing from Isthmus Beach of Santa Catalina Island to Cabrillo Beach on the Southern California mainland in 8 hours 54 minutes 1 second at the age of 23.
- On 19 September 1988, he crossed the 33.5 km English Channel from England to France in 8 hours 52 minutes for his second Oceans Seven channel crossing at the age of 28.
- On 6 October 2000, he crossed the 32.3 km Catalina Channel from Santa Catalina Island to the Southern California mainland in 8 hours 42 minutes 49 seconds at the age of 40.
- On 15 July 2000, he completed the 14 km Seal Beach Rough Water Swim in 4 hours 48 minutes 40 seconds at the age of 49.
- He managed the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation for many years and remains a member of its board of directors.
- He assists on a number of Catalina Channel crossings including that of Team Tripod.
- He won the 1984 USA Long Distance International Championships which was the first race across the Catalina Channel since the Wrigley Ocean Marathon in 1926 in 8 hours 54 minutes on 20 August 1984.
- He was the assistant coach of the record-setting English Channel relay of Jay Wilkerson, Chad Hundeby, Martha Jahn, Karen Burton, Sid Cassidy, and Dirk Bouma. The USA Swimming national open water team members set three English Channel relay records: 6 hours 52 minutes on their first leg (England-to-France), 7 hours 26 minutes on their second leg (France-to-England), and the fastest overall and fastest 2-way relay (England-to-France-to-England) in 14 hours 18 minutes in 1990. The team was also coached by Penny Dean.
- He was a member of the ATI Team 2, a 6-person team that completed a 64.6 km circumnavigation swim relay around Santa Catalina Island in the Pacific Ocean off of Southern California on 16 September 2018 in 41 hours 54 minutes 45 seconds together with John Blair, Ivanka Gavanski, Robin Hipolito, Mina Elnaccash, and Amber Baker.
- On 17 August 2021, he crossed the 32.3 km Catalina Channel from Santa Catalina Island to the Southern California mainland on the Laughing Dolphins relay team in 10 hours 54 minutes 26 seconds with Maiken Pardon, Grace O'Connell, Katie Stone, Dylan Davidoff, and Melissa Brill.
Fastest Catalina Channel Crossings in History
1. 7:15 by Penny Lee Dean, USA, MC in September 1976
2. 7:26 by Grace van der Byl, USA, CM in October 2012
4. 7:46 by Pete Huisveld, USA, MC in August 1992
4. 7:41 by John York, USA, MC in September 1978 (first leg of a 2-way)
5. 7:44 by Karen Burton, USA, CM in October 1994
6. 8:05 by Todd Robinson, USA, CM in August 2009
6. 8:06:04 by Hank Wise, USA, CM in October 2010
8. 8:06:46 by Hank Wise, USA, MC in June 2015
9. 8:14 by Chad Hundeby, USA, CM in September 1994
10. 8:20 by Gemma Jensen, Australia, CM in August 2006
11. 8:26 by Jim McConica, USA, CM in October 1984
12. 8:28 by Rendy Lynn Opdycke, USA, CM in August 2008
14. 8:41 by John York, USA, MC in October 1976
14. 8:42 by John York, USA, CM in October 2000
Board of Directors
- Linda Bamford
- David Clark
- Forrest Nelson (president)
- Paula Selby
- Carol Sing
- Donald Van Cleve
- John York
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- California Pioneer Cindy Cleveland
- On Course - Eventually - To The Olympic Marathon Swim
- David Clark Talks Safety And The Catalina Channel Season On WOWSA Live
- Cancelled: Catalina Channel Crossings For 2020
- The Year That Boosted Walter Poenisch To (The Hall Of) Fame
- The World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men
- Back In The Day
- Catalina Channel Competitions Back In The Day
- Catalina Channel Swimming Federation
- Records in Catalina Channel vs. English Channel
- Daily News of Open Water Swimming
- Catalina Channel Swimming Back In The Day
- A Powerhouse - 1990 USA National Open Water Swim Team
- Baby Boomers Looking To Test Time
- Catalina Channel vs English Channel, Which Is Faster?
- Dale Petranech, A Lifetime Of Achievement
- Images We Never See Anymore In The Open Water
- Marathon Swimming
- Open Water Swimming
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Open Water Swimming
- The California Open Water Swimming Oasis
- Berkay's Butterfly Brings Benefits
- Butterfly Felt So Much Healthier
- Karen Burton Reeder, Flying High In The Open Water
- Pittmans Inducted In Marathon Swimming Hall Of Fame
- 1968, The Year That Was
- Rose Helps Swimmers Bloom In The Open Water
- Cindy Cleveland Honored By The Hall Of Fame
- Marathon Swimmers Federation bio
- Catalina To The Mainland Or Mainland To Catalina?
- Kings Of The Catalina Channel
- Will Hank Wise Go Six For Six?
- Hank Wise Gets His Six Pack
- Hank Wise Honored By The Aquatic Capital Of America
- Butterflying From Smuggler's Cove To Doctor's Cove
- 006, A Wise Man
- Catalina Channel Crossing 006
- Antonio Argüelles Readies For A Double With A Two-Way