In this guest post, an avid member of our community, Paul Feltoe shares his journey in concurring the Santa Catalina Channel Swim!

My name is Paul Feltoe and I am an ocean swimmer based in New Zealand. Over the last 5 years, long distance swimming as peaked my interest, leading to 5 channel or lake swims of 25km – 41 km.

In early 2016, I decided to take on the Catalina Channel swim which is located off the coast of Los Angeles. The Catalina channel is one of the Oceans 7 swims, and is started near midnight, to take advantage of the the time when sea conditions are calm.

I had also worked in California in the late 90’s and this is a location that I had friends that could crew for me. In October 2016, I attempted the channel, however I got caught in a current 2 miles from shore leading to a further 7 hour extension in cooling waters. I succumbed to conditions after 16 hours in the water.

Not willing to let the channel get the better of me, I decided to return to the US the following year to give it another go. I upped my training program to 35-50km/ week which included weekly sea swims into the New Zealand winter. 4 weeks prior to the swim I did a 9 hour/ 33km swim in a 25m pool logging each swim with MySwimPro.

On July 10, we headed out to Santa Catalina island on the launch (the mother ship), and hit the water at 11:10pm at night. Sea temperature had warmed the week prior and the wind conditions for the swim were perfect. The sea was glassy.

The swim through the night went like clockwork and I landed at Palos Verdes in 10 hours 21 minutes in pounding surf. The landing site is rocky which resulted in some leg injuries, however that did not deter me from clearing the water and finishing the swim!

A Gold Medal Moment can be any goal you wish to achieve. It’s something that you work towards everyday. It’s diverse, attainable and unique to the individual who will benefit most from its accomplishment.

This concept is not limited to purely athletic endeavors. It could be anything from improving your best time or losing weight. There is no limit to what you can achieve, and I strongly believe that everyone has a milestone worth sharing. These moments are timeless, they challenge boundaries, and most importantly they push our perspective of what we think is possible!

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