Old Men and the Sea
The Old Men and the Sea Relay is a group of American open water swimmers who crossed the Catalina Channel on 20 August 2015 in 12 hours 15 minutes from Santa Catalina Island to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. They are the first 6-member octogenarian relay to cross a major channel around the world. Kayaker Claudia Rose, paddleboarder Kevin Eslinger and observers Paula Selby and Michelle Macy assisted the team. They received the Relay of the Year from the Marathon Swimmers Federation in 2015.
2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominee
1. Andreas Fath (Germany) Swim for Science
2. Andrea Fazio (Italy) Like Father, Like Son
3. Christian Reichert (Germany) FINA World Cup Champion
4. Dan Projansky (U.S.A.) Butterflying Marathoner
5. Jim Clifford (U.S.A.) Oldest Triple Crowner
6. Fast and Frozen by Henri Kaarma (Estonia), Ryan Stramrood (South Africa), Anna Carin-Nordin (Sweden), Patrick Corcoran (Ireland), Zdeněk Thalmika (Czech Republic), Elina Makïnen (Finland) Two-way North Channel Relay
7. Ganga Avahan by by Paramvir Singh, Gullupilli Narahari, Saripilli Srihari (India) Stage Swimmers
8. Jordan Wilimovsky (U.S.A.) Olympian & World Champion
9. Kelly Gneiting (U.S.A.) Sumo Swimmer
10. Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand) Farallon Freestyler
11. Matthew Moseley (U.S.A.) Trifecta Lake-Ocean-River Swimmer
12. Mike Arbuthnot (South Africa) Midmar Mile Founder
13. Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia) Camel Swim
14. Night Train Swimmers by Grace van der Byl, Dave Holscher, Kimberley Chambers, Adam Eilath, Ashley Horne, Vito Bialla (U.S.A./New Zealand) NT300 Relay
15. Oceans Seven Relay by Rick Gaenzle, Chris Kraus, Brian Ross (U.S.A.) Triumphant Trio
16. Susan Simmons (Canada) Swimming with Multiple Sclerosis
17. Swim The Eden Expedition by Calum Hudson, Jack Hudson, Robbie Hudson (Great Britain) Brotherly Wild Swim
18. Team Nadadores Locos by Amy Appelhans Gubser, Kirk McKinney, Les Mangold, John Sims, Jeff Everett, Andrew McLaughlin (U.S.A.) Two-way Farallon Islands Relay
19. The Old Men And The Sea Relay by Don Baker, Dr. Bill Spore, Dave Radcliffe, Graham Johnston, Bob Best, Bob Beach, Norm Stupfel (U.S.A.) Catalina Cruisers
20. The Deep Enders by Jim McConica, Tom Ball, John Chung, Zach Jirkovsky, Tamie Stewart, Stacey Warmuth (U.S.A.) San Nicholas Channelers
21. Theodore Yach (South Africa) Robben Island Swimmer
22. Trent Theroux (U.S.A.) Comeback Circumnavigation
23. Wendy Trehiou (Jersey) Saint Malo to Jersey
2015 WOWSA Award Nomination
The Old Men and The Sea Relay by Don Baker, Bill Spore, Dave Radcliffe, Graham Johnston, Bob Best, Bob Beach, Norm Stupfel (U.S.A.) Catalina Cruisers
The Old Men and The Sea Relay literally lived up to their name. With 84-year-old Don Baker, 80-year-old Dr. Bill Spore, 81-year-old Dave Radcliffe, 84-year-old Graham Johnston, 82-year-old Bob Best, 85-year-old Bob Beach, and 82-year-old Norm Stupfel, the octogenarian sextet demonstrated an impressive level of confidence, calm and capabilities as veteran swimmers of the ocean. The men completed a 12 hour 15 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel that deservedly garnered national media attention. For simply and spectacularly going about their business in the Pacific Ocean, for their training for and execution of a channel relay, and for their humble nature after receiving public acclaim, The Old Men and The Sea Relay is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
- 84-year-old Don Baker from La Jolla, California who also participated on the La Jolla's Swell Guys Too relay. He swam for Oregon State University before he resumed competition in his 60s, and has won 10 individual and eight relay gold medals at the U.S. Masters Swimming national championships
- 80-year-old Dr. Bill Spore from Carlsbad, California earned All-America honors before participating at University of California Berkeley on both the water polo and swim teams. The retired obstetrician-gynecologist, competes regularly in open water swims.
- 81-year-old Dave Radcliffe from San Diego, California who lives in Oregon and 1956 Melbourne Olympic 1500m freestyle swimmer. He was an All-American swimmer at San Diego High School and the University of California at Berkeley
- 84-year-old Graham Johnston of Houston, Texas is a South African native who won a swimming scholarship at the University of Oklahoma. He was a three-time All-American swimmer before representing South Africa at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics in the 400m- and 1,500m freestyle and swam the opening leg of the 800m freestyle relay that finished seventh. He crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and the Maui Channel.
- 82-year-old Bob Best of Grand Terrace, California, helped set a national medley-relay high school record at California’s Redlands High School before competing in three NCAA Championships at Iowa State University. He competes regularly in United States Masters Swimming events and open water events.
- 85-year-old Robert Beach (Bob Beach) of St. Petersburg, Florida is a California native and retired Florida circuit court judge; also has won numerous master swimming events. On his 50th birthday, he attempted an English Channel crossing, only to succumb to shifting tides 11 hours into the event.
- 82-year-old Norm Stupfel of Santa Rosa., California and former San Francisco State University swimmer and water polo team member, was the alternate swimmer.
Recollections by Bob Beach
- Six Men In Their Eighties Break Record
- SCW swimmer leads historic bid to conquer Catalina Channel
- Old Is Nothing New For Catalina Channel Swimmers
- Catalina Channel Swimming Federation
- Beach Talks About The Old Men And The Sea
- 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance Of The Year Nominees
- WOWSA...Swimmers To Be Celebrated At Big Chill Swim
- 2015 WOWSA Awards - Performance Of The Year Voting
- Marathon Swimmers Federation Awards
- Old Men and the Sea - 2015 Global Marathon Swimming Award
- Marathon Swimmers Federation
- Old Men and the Sea - 2015 Global Marathon Swimming Award
- Bob Beach Remembering About Catalina
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Open Water Swimming
- Marathon Swimming
- David Radcliffe's Life Immersed In The Water