Three Laguna locals, Lynn Kubasek, Tom Hale and Eric Paine, will participate in a triple relay, three teams swimming simultaneously, across the Catalina Channel to raise funds for cancer research.
The relay planned for Monday, July 20, is organized with two swimming organizations. “The Catalina relay gives some of our most dedicated fundraisers an incredible opportunity. Both the swim and the fundraising for cancer research are a huge challenge that they have taken on with full hearts,” Janel Jorgensen McArdle, Swim Across America president and 1988 Olympic swimmer, said in a statement.
“For our inaugural year, we will all be swimming in memory of David Yudovin, a world-class marathon open water swimmer who passed away in March. Crossing the Catalina Channel with a purpose was something that David was very passionate about and to see it come to fruition is incredibly rewarding,” said Dan Simonelli, the local event organizer.
To participate, each of the 18 swimmers must raise at least $5,000 for Swim Across America. Proceeds will support cancer research locally at the City of Hope Cancer Hospital and Research Center, in Duarte.
Swim Across America currently hosts 18 open water swims and over 100 pool swims nationally each year. Since their inception in 1987, Swim Across America has raised over $65 million to combat cancer.
Catalina Channel swims began in 1927 when George Young completed the first crossing in 15 hours, 44 minutes and 30 seconds. Since 1927, over 250 people have attempted to cross the 22-mile channel from Catalina to Point Vicente in Palos Verdes.
The July 20 race will serve as a warm-up for Kubasek and Hale. They and four others, including Hale’s daughter Faith, on Aug. 7, will attempt a relay from Avalon Bay to Main Beach in Laguna. The SAA event organizer Simonelli is also on their team.
If successful, they believe they will be among the first team’s to complete a crossing from Avalon to Laguna Beach.