Night Train Does the Trick: New World Open Water Swimming Record – SwimSwam

Open Water Swimming - Mike Lewis

The Night Train 228 relay has set a world record for the longest continuous open water swim relay. (file photo: Mike Lewis, Ola Vista Photography)

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The Night Train Swimmers have done it – 228 mile continuous relay off the California Coast from Point Conception to San Diego.  In doing so the team of six swimmers (Phil Cutti, David Hodscher, Zach Jirkovsky, Luane Rowe, Blair Cannon and Grace van der Byl) have set a world record for the longest continuous relay open water water swim.  The impressive feat was completed much fast than expected with the team arriving at the San Diego Yacht Club in just over 4 days.

Here’s a bit for background on each of the swimmers from the Night Train Swimmers web site:

Phil Cutti is brewer and formerly an Exercise Physiologist at the Human Performance Lab at Stanford University. Swimming accomplishments include the world record relay swim in Lake Powell (2010), Farallones Relay (2011), and Catalina Channel Relay (2011). Phil resides with his wife Gretchen in Mill Valley.

 David Holscher is one of Night Train’s co-founders, and has completed numerous Night Train swims, including: the English Channel Relay (2008), Sacramento to Tiburon Relay (2008), Sea of Cortez Relay (2010), and Farallones Relay (2011). David works as an architect and resides with his wife Phoebe in Tiburon.

 Zach Jirkovsky is a designer with numerous open water swims under his belt, including a crossing of the Anacapa Channel in 5 hours 59 minutes (2012). Zach resides in Ventura.

 Luane Rowe is an industrial designer at FINIS and world-class open water swimmer from Australia. Among her many swimming accomplishments are victories in: the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the 20th Annual Flowers Sea Swim, the Statue of Liberty Swim, and the 2013 Swim Miami 5k. Luane resides in San Francisco.

 Blair Cannon is a philanthropist and Vice President of Bernstein Global Wealth Management. This life-long swimmer holds the 7th fastest Catalina Channel crossing at 8 hours 18 minutes. Blair resides in San Diego, and will be the team’s local when they land at Coronado Island.

 Grace van der Byl is coach of the Rancho San Dieguito swim team, and a lifelong swimmer. She is the current world record holder for the Catalina Channel crossing at 7 hours 27 minutes, and won the first three stages of the 2013 Swim Challenge in Arizona. Grace resides in Solana Beach.

About Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis has nearly three decades of open water swimming experience as both an athlete and coach. He has worked with a wide range of athletes including Olympians and World Record Holders. Mike was as an administrator in the U.S. Olympic movement for 10 years and was a team director for the 2000 Olympic games. Mike himself is an avid swimmer and has notched several top 10 rankings in US Masters swimming. Mike and his wife Cynthia founded “Did you swim today?” – a global gathering place for swimmers to share their positive experiences in the pool and the open water. Read More »


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