The Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association (SBCSA) is the official governing body for marathon swims in the Channel Islands region off the coast of Southern California (with the exception of swims between Catalina Island, which is governed by the Catalina Channel Swimming Association).
This year, SBCSA celebrates 10 years of supporting and sanctioning swims in the region.
Claims to fame
According to SBCSA President Scott Zornig, prior to 2006, there had been 11 known marathon swims in the region. There have now been 88 solo swims and 28 relays from various islands to the mainland and between and around the islands. (For a full list of swim routes, ranging in distance from 3 miles to 60+ miles, see:http://santabarbarachannelswim.org/routes/)
Other claims to fame for the organisation including becoming the first sanctioning body to adopt and enforce an environmental policy, the first to specifically prohibit drafting off the escort boat and one of the first to implement online applications.
Working with the community
SBCSA members have also worked closely with the Marathon Swimmers Federation to help cultivate the global community of marathon swimmers and, along with MSF, have been consistent in promoting the long-standing traditional rules of marathon swimming.
The Santa Barbara Channel lies between the mainland of California and the northern four islands: San Miguel Island, Santa Rosa Island, Santa Cruz Island, and Anacapa Island. The Channel Islands National Park includes the northern four islands plus Santa Barbara Island. Marathon swims can take place at any time of the year, although the water is warmest between July and October when it is typically in the high teens (Centigrade).
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