MY CURRENT GOAL - TRIPLE CROWN OF OPEN WATER SWIMMING
The World Open Water Swimming Association presents the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming to those with authenticated completion of three famous marathon swims; the English Channel between England and France, the Catalina Channel in Southern California USA, and around Manhattan Island in New York USA. Having completed the English Channel on 8 July 2014 (11 hours, 22 minutes) I am booked to swim the Catalina Channel on 19 July 2017 and plan to swim Manhattan Island in 2018. After that I will do the remaining five marathons for the Oceans Seven.
This is the channel between Santa Catalina Island and Los Angeles, California, USA. 32.3km (21 mi). 15 - 16C. First swum in January 1927, less than 500 successful soloists have made the swim since then. A particular challenge of this swim is that it is swum at night to avoid the blustery winds that dog the route through the day. I'm booked to swim Catalina on the night of 19 July 2017 with pilot Dave Harvey who'll be on board the Pacific Jewel with my support crew.
The 20 Bridges Swim around Manhattan Island, which is a distance of 45km (28mi) is significant because it makes up the third leg of the World Triple Crown (English Channel, Catalina Channel, Manhattan Island). The swim only runs three or four times per year with just 12 swimmers per event. This is a long swim but when swum well the last part is tide assisted.
MY ENGLISH CHANNEL SWIM
The English Channel between England and France is the busiest waterway in the world and at its narrowest point is 34km (21mi). I completed this swim on 8 July 2014 in 11 hours and 22 minutes with pilot Peter Reed aboard Rowena FE75. On board were my handler James Goins, my sister Jacqui Bartholomeusz, David Bartholomeusz as medical support, and on video Gaetan Guilhon.
ROTTNEST CHANNEL 2013/2014
Rottnest Channel is highly regarded world wide and Australia's premier marathon swim, the Rottnest Channel is 19.7km open water swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island. It is held in February of each year; I completed the swim in 2013 in a time of 7 hours, 6 minutes and returned a year later to swim a personal best time of 6 hours, 22 minutes. Completing this swim is a traditional path for Australian swimmers heading for the English Channel.
AHEAD - THE OCEAN'S SEVEN
Ocean's Seven consists of seven long distance open water swims, and is considered the marathon swimming equivalent of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. It includes the North Channel, the Cook Strait, the Molokai Channel, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Strait and the Strata of Gibraltar. After completing the Triple Crown I will undertake the remaining five, health and finances permitting, at the rate of one per year.
This is the channel between Ireland and Scotland. It is 33.7km (21mi) across and the water temperature is 12C (54F). The challenge of this route is its infamously difficult weather and water conditions, as well as its large pods of stinging jellyfish.
This is a deep water channel between Honshu, the main island of Japan where Tokyo is located, Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan. It is 19.5km (12mi) across which, by marathon swimming standards, is short but swimmers must cross an extremely strong current which will push you back before it will allow you to cross. The most successful course is about 30km. The water temp ranges between 16-20C (62-68F).
This is the channel between the Western coast of Molokai Island and the Eastern coast of Oahu in Hawaii. At 41.8km (26mi) it is the longest of the Ocean's 7 with very strong currents and aggressive marine life.
This strait lies between the north and south islands of New Zealand. It is a 26km swim across immense tidal flows in icy water conditions with the added risks of jellyfish and sharks.
Between Spain and Morocco, the Strait of Gibraltar connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. It is a 14.4km (8mi) swim made more complicated by heavy boat traffic and surface chop. Most attempts are made from Tarifa Island due to the influence of strong currents which is a distance of 18.5km - 22km (10 - 12mi).