Neil van der Byl
From OpenwaterpediaNeil van der Byl is an American open water swimmer and active Observer for the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association (SBCSA) and Catalina Channel Swimming Federation. In cooperation with his wife Grace van der Byl, he created a database for the support crew of Catalina Channel swimmers. Neil is an active support coordinator for open water swims and trains new paddlers in safety and feeding techniques (including night swimming) - many of these techniques were adopted from the teachings of a channel swimming support mentor David Clark who pioneered kayaking for Catalina Channel crossings and offers annual support clinics.
When supporting several accomplished open water swimmers in different types of races, channel crossings, and long distance training swims (his favorite being wife Grace van der Byl), Neil uses various Hobie (pedaling) kayaks and navigation / feeding equipment suited for both day-time and night-time swims ... some of which are sometimes in pretty rough conditions. Neil is one of the few support paddlers that can complete whole Channel crossings non-stop (some of which last up to 14+ hours).
SoCal Open-water Swim Support
Observer & Support Resume
- World Record Holder for Longest "8 Bridges Hudson River Swim" Stage Swim;
- World Record for fastest Catalina to Mainland crossing
- Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame: Distance Swim Challenge;
- Nominated for World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year)
- All four stage records for first S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge
- Winner of "C3" Cape Circumnavigation Challenge
Anne Cleveland (Hall of Fame)
Evan Morrison (Santa Barbara Channel Swimming record holder)
Tobey-Anne Saracino (Triple Crown)
Michael Renford (Triple Crown)
Long Beach Swim Focus Catalina Relay (1st Catalina crossing under 7 hours)
(Are we there yet? Successful Catalina Channel Relay - including kids as young as 14)
... and a few others.
- Catalina Channel Swimming Federation website
- Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association
- 1 + 1 > 2 In The Open Water Swimming World
- Navigating With The First Couple Of Open Water Swimming
- Swim Support In Southern California