Ventura Deep Six Relay Team Passes Halfway Mark of 202-Mile Ocean Swim, Surpasses World Record

PHOENIX, Arizona, September 18. EARLIER this afternoon, the Ventura Deep Six Relay Team passed the halfway point of their 202-mile swim in the Pacific Ocean off the southern California coastline, and in doing so far exceeded the world record for the longest open-water relay swim of 78.2 miles.

As of 4 p.m. Pacific time, the team of Jim McConica, Kurtis Baron, John Chung, Mike Shaffer, Tom Ball and Jim Neitz had about 98 miles left in their quest to swim from Ventura to La Jolla (via a brief northwest swim to Santa Barbara). The swim began at 6:03 a.m. Thursday on the shores of Ventura, Calif., and headed northwest to Santa Barbara. The team then turned south at the Santa Barbara Pier and began their long trek south. According to their frequent Facebook page posts, the Pacific waters have warmed considerably, from 59 degrees to 67 degrees. Their location at 4 p.m. was about 25 miles north of Santa Monica.

Each member is swimming 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.

The previous FINA world record for a relay open water swim was 78.2 statute miles in Lake Taupo in New Zealand.

The estimated time for arrival in La Jolla is Monday morning.

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