David Kenneth Yudovin - Hall Of Fame Open Water Swimmer

David Kenneth Yudovin (USA)
Birthplace Current City
CountryUnited States FlagAmerican
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Country:United States
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  • Has completed over 40 solo channel swims between 1976 and 2014 in 12 different countries, becoming the first person to do so in many of those locations.
  • Has swum channels in the United States, Mexico, Japan, England, France, Indonesia, Morocco, Gibraltar, New Zealand, Portugal, Cape Verde, São Tomê and Príncipe.
  • Successfully completed the English Channel in 1996 in 13 hours and 37 minutes.
  • Completed his first channel swim in 1976 from the Catalina Island to the California coast.
  • Completed his last channel swim in 2014 from Isla Tinhosa Pequena to Principe Island.
  • 24 of his 40 completed marathon swims are considered firsts.
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The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.Open Water Swimmer David Yudovin is known for his determination to conquer waters that have previously been considered unswimmable, and becoming the first person to swim them. But by all rights, he shouldn’t be alive right now. He should have died off the California coast on his 27th birthday in 1978, when he was attempting to be the first person to swim from California’s Anacapa Island to Ventura and went into cardiac arrest just 250 yards from shore.

Determination has done more than keep David alive – it has made him one of the most accomplished long-distance swimmers in history. While he was in the hospital recovering from his heart attack, David made up his mind to get well and try Anacapa again and four years later he succeeded. Now over 62 years of age, he is still adding to his resume of conquests that include the crossings of the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Cook Strait in New Zealand, the Sunda Strait in Indonesia, and the Tsugaru Strait in Japan. He has completed over 40 solo marathon channel swims and most of them are considered firsts.

His swims are all planned in meticulous detail with the help of Beth, his wife and coach, who accompanies him on all trips. She is the one who knows him best, he says. She knows what he needs to do to keep in shape and to have the necessary conditions for his optimum concentration and best effort.

The biggest challenge in the sport for him is researching and finding difficult bodies of water around the globe that no one has previously swum. A prime example is his recently completed swim from the island Tinhosa Pequena to Principe Island in the country of São Tomé and Príncipe off the western coast of Central Africa. 

In addition to being one of history’s great solo marathon swimmers, David was a successful entrepreneur and is now sharing his life’s lessons as a motivational speaker.