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)
  • Coronado Island (11.7 miles)

Outside California

  • Cook Strait, New Zealand (18 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 fifty. 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.

YearNameDateTime (Hr:Min)Direction
1953Toufie Blaik3-Aug-5316:05F to E
1985Suzanne Heim18-Aug-8510:11F to E
1986Suzanne Heim30-Jul-8610:02E to F
1986Suzanne Heim10-Aug-8610:24E to F
1988Diana Abele5-Aug-8811:20E to F
1990John Davies31-Jul-9010:01E to F
1994Laura Burtch30-Jul-9411:45E to F
1995John Selmer10-Aug-9510:58E to F
1996Becky Fenson19-Jul-9610:12E to F
1996Steve Walker19-Jul-9613:31E to F
1996Peter Urrea8-Aug-9614:38E to F
1999Heather Royer6-Aug-9910:43E to F
2000Suzie Dods7-Aug-0012:37E to F
2003Phil Scarborough7-Aug-0312:08E to F
2003Duke Dahlin8-Aug-0314:37E to F
2004John Ottersberg14-Aug-0414:36E to F
2004Si Bunting25-Aug-049:44E to F
2005Neal Rayner10-Aug-0513:50E to F
2005Brian Herrick11-Aug-0512:58E to F
2005Tom Keller16-Aug-0511:22E to F
2006Scott Haskins16-Aug-0610:25E to F
2006Jon Ennis13-Sep-0613:01E to F
2007Amber Rhett24-Aug-0713:20E to F
2009Michael Tschantz-Hahn31-Jul-0911:19E to F
2009Catheryne DiPrete17-Aug-0912:12E to F
2009Laurin Weisenthal26-Sep-098:33E to F
2012Adam Engelskirchen8-Aug-1213:50E to F
2012Greg Kearney22-Aug-1213:39E to F
2013Kimberley Chambers12-Sep-1312:12E to F
2016Ryan Utsumi26-Sep-1611:00E to F
2018Catherine Breed26-Jun-189:50E to F
2018Randy Edwards15-Jul-1816:45E to F
2018Yossi Ettinger19-Jul-1813:38E to F
2018Lauren Au Brinkmeyer20-Jul-1811:01E to F
2019Hubert Chaperon25-Jul-1914:07E 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 twenty-one mile crossing in thirteen hours and six 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.