Strait of Juan de Fuca swims

The Strait of Juan de Fuca separates Vancouver Island, Canada from Washington, USA. Strait of Juan de Fuca swims are sanctioned by the Northwest Open Water Swimming Association, the only marathon swimming association in the region that meets a high standard of rigor, including the provision of trained, independent observers and independent ratification.

Two distinct routes have been established by the nine swimmers to have completed recognized, independently observed Juan de Fuca crossings:

Bert Thomas, Cliff Lumsdon, Marilyn Bell, and Vicki Keith completed the longer Victoria route. Their specific start/finish points were:

Ben Laughren and Amy Hiland started their swims at Ediz Hook with the intention of finishing in Victoria. However, they both finished short and southwest of Victoria, with Laughren landing at Church Point (22 km) and Hiland landing at William Head (23 km). Since these swims did not reach Victoria, and are not otherwise established routes, they are listed as completing the general/minimum route between Washington and Vancouver Island (see below).

In 2015, Andrew Malinak established the East Sooke / Port Crescent route (minimum 16.8 km), west of the Port Angeles-Victoria route. This route was subsequently used by Melissa Blaustein (2017) and Kimberly Rutherford (2019). Since this is the narrowest part of the strait, it is a general / minimum route between Washington State and Vancouver Island.

Strait of Juan de Fuca route
Route Swims First Fastest
Washington State to Vancouver Island 4 Ben Laughren - 1956 Melissa Blaustein - 07:45:00 (2017)
Vancouver Island to Washington State 1 Andrew Malinak - 2015 Andrew Malinak - 06:59:00 (2015)
Port Angeles WA to Victoria BC 3 Bert Thomas - 1955 Marilyn Bell - 10:38:00 (1956)
Victoria BC to Port Angeles WA 1 Cliff Lumsdon - 1956 Cliff Lumsdon - 11:35:00 (1956)

View organizer data


Date Name Gender Age Nation Route Km Time
1955 Jul 8 Bert Thomas Male 29 Port Angeles WA to Victoria BC 29.4 11:22:00
1956 Aug 17 Cliff Lumsdon Male 25 Victoria BC to Port Angeles WA 29.4 11:35:00
1956 Aug 18 Ben Laughren Male Washington State to Vancouver Island 16.8 10:17:00
1956 Aug 18 Amy Hiland Female Washington State to Vancouver Island 16.8 10:51:00
1956 Aug 23 Marilyn Bell Female 18 Port Angeles WA to Victoria BC 29.4 10:38:00
1989 Aug 10 Vicki Keith Female 28 Port Angeles WA to Victoria BC 29.4 14:01:00
2015 Sep 6 Andrew Malinak Male 29 Vancouver Island to Washington State 16.8 06:59:00
2017 Sep 16 Melissa Blaustein Female 29-30 Washington State to Vancouver Island 16.8 07:45:00
2019 Aug 16 Kimberly Rutherford Female 60 Washington State to Vancouver Island 16.8 10:22:00

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