Forrest Nelson

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Forrest Nelson, Channel Swimmer
Forrest Nelson, Trusted Observer and Support Crew
Forrest Nelson, Becky Jackman-Beeler, Mike Mitchell, Kent Nicholas, Emily Evans, and Tina Neill were members of Team FTD that completed a 6-way crossing of the Catalina Channel and was captained by John Pittman aboard the Outrider. Source: Marathon Swimmers Forum by Evan Morrison
Forrest Nelson is an American channel swimmer and is a Renaissance Man in the discipline of marathon swimming. He is a member of the board of directors of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. A personable graduate of MIT, a member of the 24-hour club, he is president and member of the board of directors of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. He possesses the smarts and savvy to intelligently analyze a swim before, during and after at a level rarely seen in the open water swimming world.

He was recognized and spoke at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on the RMS Queen Mary on 22 September 2012 in Long Beach, California.

He has assisted on dozens of Catalina Channel crossings including that of Team Tripod, Stephen Redmond, and Hank Wise.


Marathon Swimmer

Nelson is not only a nominee for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year and member of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming (English Channel + Catalina Channel + Manhattan Island Marathon Swim), but he has also done several other marathon swims of note, including the following:


Nelson was also a member of the six-member HTC Relay team with Tina Neill (captain), Emily Evans, Steve Lowe, and Kent Nicholas that set a new course record of 25 hours 48 minutes from a swim from San Clemente Island, around the western edge of Catalina Island, to the Southern California mainland at Cabrillo Beach on 25 July 2012. The HTC Relay broke the record of the Swim for Hope relay for the 52 statute mile channel swim.

Nelson was also a member of Team FTD, an open water swimming relay together with Becky Jackman-Beeler, Mike Mitchell, Kent Nicholas, Emily Evans, and Tina Neill. They completed an unprecedented 6-way Catalina Channel crossing in 61 hours 7 minutes from 10-13 July 2013.

Source: Evan Morrison of the Marathon Swimmers Forum on 13 July 2013.


Nelson also unselfishly volunteers to be an escort crew member and official Observer on a number of solo swims and relays from the Catalina Channel to the Santa Barbara Channel and the Hawaiian Islands. When he is serving in those capacities, he never sleeps or rests no matter how long or rough the swim is. His eyes are always on the swimmer while he frequently consults with the pilot in order to help navigate the optimal course for his athletes. He is the epitome of an ideal support crew member.

WOWSA Award Nominee

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