The California Triple Crown of Marathon Swimming

by Evan Morrison. 01 March 2017.

Thanks to Dave Van Mouwerik’s diligent work in compiling historic and recent Lake Tahoe swim data, it’s now possible to publish an authoritative list of the California Triple Crown of Marathon Swimming, hereby defined as successful unassisted swims of:

These three swims represent arguably the most significant solo marathon swims in California in terms of:


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In 2016, there were six Tahoe lengthwise swims, seven Santa Barbara Channel swims, and 61 Catalina Channel swims.


The California Triple Crown swims are reasonable goals for a dedicated amateur marathon swimmer, with distances of 20 miles (Catalina), 21.25 miles (Tahoe), and 12.5-27.5 miles for the Santa Barbara Channel, depending on which island you use.

If you live in California and hate traveling, or don’t want to wait years for a good English Channel window, or aren’t rich enough for the Oceans7, this could be for you!

For a full and updated list of California Triple Crown swimmers, see the Marathon Swimmers Federation LongSwims database.

The information provided below was current in March 2017, but will not be updated.

As of March 2017, three swimmers have completed the California Triple Crown:

1. Kevin Murphy

2. Dave Van Mouwerik

3. Tina Neill

Two out of three…

30 swimmers have completed the Catalina and Santa Barbara Channels, but not yet Lake Tahoe:

16 swimmers have completed Catalina and Lake Tahoe, but not yet the Santa Barbara Channel:

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