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Ventura Deep Six Relay Team Completes 202-Mile Marathon Swim With Arrival at La Jolla Cove -- September 20, 2010

PHOENIX, Arizona, September 20. AT 11:50 a.m. Pacific time today, the Ventura Deep Six Relay Team completed their 202-mile swim down the southern California coastline when team member Jim Neitz stepped foot on the shores of the La Jolla Cove to the cheers of fans and supporters.

The remaining members of the team -- Jim McConica, Kurtis Baron, John Chung, Mike Shaffer and Tom Ball -- swam behind Neitz for the final leg, and all six touched ground for the first time since they began their quest at 6:03 a.m. Thursday from Ventura.

Each member swam for one hour before handing off the duties to the next swimmer, similar to the rules required for relay swims in the English Channel or Catalina Channel. Also, the swimmers are not allowed to wear wetsuits in order for the swim to be officially recognized as a FINA world record. According to various reports, a member of FINA was with the crew to verify the swim. The final length of the relay swim will be determined shortly, but the six definitely surpassed the previous world record of 78.2 statute miles, set last year by two teams in a New Zealand lake.


The team faced very few obstacles on the way to La Jolla. No sharks were spotted, and a couple of the swimmers received only tiny nibbles on their toes from curious fish while schools of dolphins escorted them at various times. The hot tub aboard the main boat, which was used to help raise core temperatures after swimming in 60-degree water, broke down on Friday night for 24 hours. And communication between the mainland and the boat was lost for a few hours on Saturday, but was restored by Sunday afternoon.

Read the crew's updates on their Facebook page.

If you missed our Morning Swim Show pre-swim interview with all six members of the Ventura team, you can see it in the video player below or on SwimmingWorld.TV.










Reaction Time Comments
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September 21, 2010 A Herculean effort. Congratulations to the Ventura Deep Six. Would appreciate some info on how much it cost for the entire effort. Let's be fair here. With the kind of resources used here, it would have been a shame NOT to have set the record. The teams from New Zealand were actually faster.
Dara Torres spent $100,000/year on additional trainers in her quest to make the 2008 Olympic Team, isn't this in somewhat of a similar framework?
Isn't it just a matter of time before someone else rounds up six strong swimmers, just as big a boat and support staff, and resets the record. Oops, I forgot we are in a recession!
Submitted by: Swimfast361
September 22, 2010 Swimfast361...the total cost for the effort was $30K, and was paid primarily by each member plus donations from friends, family, clients, businesses. If you have ever done a 1-day Catalina or English Channel crossing, then you will know that this figure is fairly consistent taking into account that it spanned 4+ days and included several support boats (and fuel is not cheap). If you ask someone how much it costs to do a 1-day Ironman (I've done 2, wife 5), you'd probably be looking at the same investment after figuring in the hotel, travel, food, entry fees, etc. Unfortunately these ultra events don't come without a price tag.

Now your comment about the teams from NZ being faster...you're talking apples & oranges. Swimming in a lake vs. the Pacific Ocean pose two completely different challenges. If our conditions and navigation were better, our estimated time to pass the existing WR (78.2 miles) was approx. 30 hours, but those plans got quickly thrown out the window when we experienced 54-56F temps, thick fog, strong currents and realized we were not swimming anywhere near a straight course during our first leg up to Santa Barbara. It's estimated that we actually swam closer to 230 miles after factoring in the navigation woes and course changes for shipping lanes. We planned to finish in 88 hours, but it took just under 102.

Will some team break this record...sure. Records are always made to be broken. Good luck to those that try and hopefully they can do it without having to recruit talent from outside their local area and investing more than $30K. We're just 6 middle-age guys who all live in Ventura and swim on the same masters club (Ventura County Masters). No "ringers" or secret weapons, just swim buddies who decided to take on a challenge before we knew how cold the Pacific would be in 2010. And let me tell you....it was really, really cold.

Submitted by: bigstreamline
September 23, 2010 Wow ... Congrats to all of you!
Submitted by: philipmj24
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Six-Man Relay Team Discusses 202-Mile Swim Along California Coastline
Photo By: Ventura County Masters

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