Ventura Deep Six fights through fatigue, keeps going

Like the Eveready Battery energizer bunny, the record-setting Ventura Deep Six Relay Team keeps going and going and going in their quest to swim 202 ocean miles nonstop to La Jolla Cove.

As of 7 a.m. Sunday, they were on their 13th rotation of one-hour legs by each member of the team — Jim McConica, Tom Ball, John Chung, Mike Shaffer, Kurtis Baron and Jim Neitz. They’ve been swimming since 6 a.m. Thursday, starting at Ventura Harbor, going up the coast to Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara before heading south toward San Diego.

They’re around the area of Costa Mesa in Orange County at 11 a.m.

Here’s a comment from the team this morning off their Facebook page.

“After almost 75 hours into this relay, it is definitely taking a toll on the swimmers. They are tired and sore, but the swimmers are in good spirits despite their aches and pains and are tenacious in their determination to see this through.”

The Deep Six on Friday night set a new record for a continuous open-water swim by a relay, breaking the previous mark of 78.2 miles set by two teams on Lake Taupo in New Zealand in 2009.

Observers from the international swimming governing body, FINA, are present on a support boat to verify the record.

The support team ran into some difficulties Saturday night, reported Michael Newhouse, spokesperson for the team.

“The night was long — what night isn’t when your swimming in the Pacific — with some mechanical challenges with the support boats,” he said. “John Chung actually had to swim circles around the lifeguard/observer boat while it was being refueled. Could you imagine?

Chung is a local dentist.

All six members are part of the Ventura County Masters swim team.

The team estimates that it will arrive in La Jolla Cove by Monday afternoon.

“We have about 59 miles more to go to reach our goal at La Jolla,” Newhouse said, “(and) only 13 more miles to double the record. The current water temperature is 67 degrees.”


  1. what a great story congrats to these awesome guys!!

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