In 2010, he had one of the most remarkably prolific years of marathon swimming in recent history. He started off the year with a 9.6-mile Maui Channel between the islands of Lanai and Maui in March in Hawaii. Then he completed the the 24-mile (38.6K) Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in Florida in April in 10 hours and 49 minutes. And then he went on to complete the 28.5-mile (45.8K) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in June in New York in 8 hours 30 minutes.
On his second leg of his Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, he crossed the 21-mile (33.7 km) Catalina Channel in July with a 15 hour 37 minute swim in tough conditions. Then he did the 8-mile (12.8K) Boston Light Swim in Massachusetts in August in 3 hours. He crossed the English Channel in September with a 14 hour 27 minute swim and completed the Ederle Swim in October in 5 hours 37 minutes. He capped off the 2010 season with a 5 km swim in Coney Island November in New York. His explanation of his exploits are below.
In 2011, he also conceived and completed the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, a 120-mile (193 km), 7-day, 7-stage swim in the Hudson River in New York, U.S.A.
The Year 2010
45-year-old Barra trained hard during the cold winter months in New York's Mid Hudson Valley to prepare for his remarkable year. Besides the hours in the pool, he was also acclimated to sub-10°C (50°F) water by swimming in lakes throughout the winter. He completed the following swims throughout the year:
- 9.6-mile (15.4K) Maui Channel between the islands of Lanai and Maui on March 21st in 4 hours and 55 minutes.
- 24-mile (38.6K) second-place finish at the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in Florida on April 17th in 10 hours and 49 minutes.
- 28.5 miles (45.8K) in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in New York on June 12th where he finished 15th in 8 hours and 30 minutes (the first leg of his Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming)
- 21-mile (33.7K) Catalina Channel in California on July 20th with a 15 hour and 37 minute swim in tough conditions - (second leg of his Triple Crown).
- 8-mile (12.8K) Boston Light Swim in Massachusetts on August 14th with a 7th-place finish in 3:00:31 in the 59°F (15°C) water.
- a 14 hour and 27 minute crossing of the English Channel on September 1st (completing the Triple Crown in the second shortest time period ever (81 days to Rendy Lynn Opdyke's 35-day record).
- 17.5-mile (28.1K) Ederle Swim from New York to New Jersey in 5 hours 37 minutes
- Coney Island 5-mile swim in November
Not since the heyday of International Marathon Swimming Hall of Famers Michael Read and Kevin Murphy has the marathon swimming world been graced by a working man and amateur swimmer so prolific and successful as Dave Barra (129.6 miles or 208K total in one season).
Humble, passionate and committed, Dave represents the good and the positive of the sport.
8 Bridges Hudson River Swim
Barra created an expedition swim called the 8 Bridges | Hudson River Swim. As Dave explains, "This swim [follow via Twitter] has been on my mind for a long time. Last year, I started training in the Hudson River with Rondi Davies and she encouraged me to finally put it together. She has also done an incredible amount of the leg work required for such an event. Originally, it was going to be just Rondi and me swimming, but after a few conversations with the Coast Guard, we decided that we could handle a few other swimmers for the up-river stages. We have a maximum of 7 swimmers total for each of the first 5 stages. This number was determined by the capacity of the boat that we will have transporting us to our splash site each day. CIBBOWS has also provided us with much needed support."
Barra is a swim coach and guide with SwimVacation, an open water swimming tour operator in the British Virgin Islands and the state of Maine in the United States.
- George Hopper McDonough, President
- Heather Perry
- Will Thomas
- Tim Fitzpatrick
- Cortney Linville
- Elaine Howley
- David Barra
- Dave Barra Goes On Expedition
- Dave Barra Can't Get Enough
- Dave Barra's Marathon Swims
- 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim
- SwimVacation website
- Idyllic Maine Lakes Tour
- 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim
- NYC Swim bio
- Catalina Channel Swimming Federation website
- Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation website
- Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming website
- Open Water Swimming website
- Dave Barra Just Can't Get Enough