Wednesday, April 17, 2019

John Batchelder‎'s Crossing For Rachel's Challenge

Courtesy of WOWSA, Tsugaru Channel, Japan.

The Columbine High School massacre was an American school shooting in 1999 where 10 students and a teacher were killed and 21 students were injured by fellow gun-toting students.

‎John Batchelder‎, one of the most prolific marathon swimmers in the world today, is a alumnus of Columbine High School (Class of 1999).

He writes about the cross section of his memories of the massacre in Colorado and his own channel swimming aspirations across the Tsugaru Channel in northern Japan. "I am dedicating my 2020 Tsugaru Channel Swim in remembrance of all those affected by senseless violence, particularly those from my Columbine High School family. It’s been 20 years, but I still have clear memories of that fateful day on April 20th 1999 and the days that followed, and I know I’m not alone.

To this end, I'm raising money for Rachel's Challenge. Rachel Scott was one of my classmates whose life was tragically cut short, but I’m happy to see her memory has become the foundation for an organization to help make the world a better place.

Rachel’s Challenge exists to inspire, equip and empower every person to create a permanent positive culture change in their school, business and community by starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. Please help me support a great cause. Every little bit helps

Batchelder‎, whose butterfly exploits raised his marathon swimming profile worldwide, explained about his charitable efforts and his fundraiser for Rachel's Challenge. "Why Tsugaru?

Well, I thought about tying it to one of my swims already planned this year, but none felt appropriate. Then I went back to where I was 20 years ago. Back in high school I got caught up in the anime craze, falling in love with some of the iconic anime movies and series of the time, especially Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, and through that I fell in love with all of Japanese culture as a whole.

Japan was the first foreign country I ever visited, not counting a couple brief stops in Canada, and I absolutely loved my time there. It’s because of this I decided that the swim needed to be Tsugaru, as that is my best way of reconnecting with my past. Unfortunately that means waiting over a year for the swim, as I’m already committed to a full schedule this year, but that’s the way it goes

To donate and for more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thomas Pembroke Achieves The Oceans Seven

Courtesy of WOWSA, Cook Strait, New Zealand.

It is done.

Over the last five years, Thomas Pembroke has been determined to swim across channels around the world while helping to raise money for a variety of worthwhile causes.

Pembroke became the second Australian, the 13th person in history, and the youngest person to achieve the Oceans Seven with last Friday's crossing of the Cook Strait.

Over the course of his career, the personable 29-year-old Sydney resident and teacher has accomplished the following:

* July 2013: he completed a 33.8 km crossing of the English Channel from England to France to 14 hours 59 minutes
* September 2015: he completed a 35 km crossing of the North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 12 hours 10 minutes as a fundraiser to benefit disabled children in Papua New Guinea
* June 2016: he completed a 45 km crossing of the Molokai Channel from Molokai to Oahu in Hawaii in 15 hours 27 minutes which he swam to benefit Kiss Goodbye to MS
* June 2016: he completed a 32.3 km crossing of the Catalina Channel from Santa Catalina Island to the Southern California mainland in 12 hours 2 minutes with dolphins swimming around him
* June 2017: he completed a 33.8 km crossing of the English Channel from England to France in 15 hours 19 minutes
* October 2017: he attempted a crossing of the Tsugaru Channel in northern Japan, starting on Honshu, but he was pulled after 11 hours 12 minutes before reaching his goal in Hokkaido
* May 2018: he completed a 14.4 km tandem crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar from Tarifa Island in Spain to Perejil Island in Morocco in 4 hours 18 minutes together with Marty Filipowski, Mark Mallison, and Victor Pineiro
* August 2018: he completed a 19.5 km crossing of the Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido in northern Japan in 15 hours 1 minute
* December 2018: he completed a 23 km crossing of the Cook Strait from North Island to South Island in New Zealand in 6 hours 57 minutes to complete the Oceans Seven

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Thomas Pembroke Faced Constant Winds And Waves

Courtesy of Masayuki Moriya, Ocean Navi, Japan.

Thomas Pembroke of Australia gave it a valiant attempt across the Tsugaru Channel in northern Japan, but the constant winds and unrelenting waves were just too much today. He got out of the turbulent channel at 5:12 pm, 11 hours 12 minutes from the start on Honshu and 8 km from his intended goal in Hokkaido.

Videos and photos of his swim are posted at Channel Swim Japan.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association