Big Swims

The Dolphin Club provides an ideal training ground for swimmers who are planning long-distance swims. Our members have distinguished themselves in many marathon swim events, including:


  • Catalina Channel (20 miles)
  • Lake Tahoe (length) (21 miles)
  • Sausalito to San Francisco (6 miles)
  • Candlestick Point to Aquatic Park (10 miles)
  • Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge span (5.5 miles)
  • Bay Bridge to Golden Gate Bridge (5 miles)
  • Huntington Beach to Seal Beach (8 miles)
  • Farralones Islands to Mainland (21 miles)
  • Capitola Pier to Santa Cruz Pier (6 miles)

Outside California

  • Cook Straits, New Zealand (18 Miles)
  • Coronado Island (11.7 miles)
  • Lake Tahoe (length) (21 miles)
  • Manhattan Island (28.5 miles)
  • Maui Channel (11 miles)
  • Strait of Gibraltar (13 miles)
  • North Channel (21 miles)
  • Tsugaru Strait (12 miles)

Swimming The English Channel

The English Channel is probably them most well-known long-distance swim. Several Dolphins have successfully completed the swim: Becky Fenson swam the English Channel in 1996. Suzanne Heim-Bowen swam the Channel twice in one year; Selmer completed his crossing the year he turned 50. Lebanon-born Toufie Blaik swam the Channel twice, in 1953 and 1955, before joining the Dolphin Club in 1957. See the complete list below.

The English Channel swim is also undertaken as a relay. Several Dolphin teams, including two all-female teams, have completed the Channel relay, which requires each of six participants to swim an hour at a time until the entire distance is covered.

Year Name Date Time (Hr:Min) Direction
1953 Toufie Blaik 3-Aug-53 16:05 F to E
1985 Suzanne Heim 18-Aug-85 10:11 F to E
1986 Suzanne Heim 30-Jul-86 10:02 E to F
1986 Suzanne Heim 10-Aug-86 10:24 E to F
1988 Diana Abele 5-Aug-88 11:20 E to F
1990 John Davies 31-Jul-90 10:01 E to F
1994 Laura Burtch 30-Jul-94 11:45 E to F
1995 John Selmer 10-Aug-95 10:58 E to F
1996 Becky Fenson 19-Jul-96 10:12 E to F
1996 Steve Walker 19-Jul-96 13:31 E to F
1996 Peter Urrea 8-Aug-96 14:38 E to F
1999 Heather Royer 6-Aug-99 10:43 E to F
2000 Suzie Dods 7-Aug-00 12:37 E to F
2003 Phil Scarborough 7-Aug-03 12:08 E to F
2003 Duke Dahlin 8-Aug-03 14:37 E to F
2004 John Ottersberg 14-Aug-04 14:36 E to F
2004 Si Bunting 25-Aug-04 9:44 E to F
2005 Neal Rayner 10-Aug-05 13:50 E to F
2005 Brian Herrick 11-Aug-05 12:58 E to F
2005 Tom Keller 16-Aug-05 11:22 E to F
2006 Scott Haskins 16-Aug-06 10:25 E to F
2006 Jon Ennis 13-Sep-06 13:01 E to F
2007 Amber Rhett 24-Aug-07 13:20 E to F
2009 Michael Tschantz-Hahn 31-Jul-09 11:19 E to F
2009 Catheryne DiPrete 17-Aug-09 12:12 E to F
2009 Laurin Weisenthal 26-Sep-09 8:33 E to F
2012 Adam Engelskirchen 8-Aug-12 13:50 E to F
2012 Greg Kearney 22-Aug-12 13:39 E to F
2013 Kimberly Chambers 12-Sep-13 12:12 E to F
2016 Ryan Utsumi 26-Sept-16 11:00 E to F

English Channel swimming is governed by a rigorous set of rules enforced by the English Channel Swimming Association. Swimmers wear only a standard swimsuit and one latex cap; they are monitored at all times by an official observer in a pilot boat. Swimmers may accept food and beverages, but they are not allowed to touch the support boat at any time during their swim.

Kimberley Chambers

In September of 2014 Dolphin Kim Chambers became the sixth person ever to finish the Ocean’s Seven Challenge when she crossed the North Channel.

She completed the 21 mile crossing in 13 hours and 6 minutes, swimming from Ireland to Scotland. She fought jellyfish and exhaustion but achieved her goal with an amazing support team including her mom Jo, and friends Matt Donahue and Darren Miller.