Phil Cutti

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Phil Cutti swimming to the Farallon Islands
Phil Cutti, David Holscher, Zach Jirkovsky, Luane Rowe, Blair Cannon, and Grace van der Byl of the Night Train Swimmers walking onshore after a 228-mile non-stop relay down the California coast between 22-26 August 2013, escorted by Vito Bialla, Hal McCormick, and Patrick Horn
Night Train Swimmers in Sequel, their escort boat starting at Gaviota State Park in their 228-mile non-stop relay swim along the California coast with Grace van der Byl in the water
Phil Cutti is brewer and formerly an Exercise Physiologist at the Human Performance Lab at Stanford University in California, U.S.A. He is also a member of the Night Train Swimmers and a successful relay team that swam 26.4 nautical miles from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands on May 20, 2011 in 14:45:08 with Darrin Connolly, Dave Holscher, Vito Bialla, John Mathews and Kim Chambers. He completed the Nighttrain228 relay down the coast of California between 22-26 August 2013.

Contents

SF to SB Relay

Cutti is also a member of the Night Train Swimmers that attempted the SF to SB Relay between 23-28 September 2012, the world's longest non-stop ocean relay swim attempt (339 miles or 545.4km) together with Patti Bauernfeind, Dave Holscher, Joe Locke, Kim Chambers, Zack Jirkovsky, and crew Vito Bialla and Patrick Horn. It was halted after 6 days due to bloom after bloom of venomous jellyfish.

California Coastal Swim

Cutti participated in the California Coastal Swim or the Nighttrain228, the Night Train Swimmers's world record setting non-stop ocean relay, the longest relay swim in history with its 228-mile (367 km) swim down the California coast from Gaviota State Park to the San Diego Yacht Club between 22-26 August 2013. Under the direction of captain Vito Bialla with crew Hal McCormick and Patrick Horn, its relay members include Cutti, David Holscher, Zach Jirkovsky, Luane Rowe, Blair Cannon, and Grace van der Byl.

Video

Athletic Background

As a pitcher in college he suffered UCL tear in his pitching arm and underwent TommyJohn surgery in 1995. Swimming was prescribed as part of his rehab which required him to learn how to swim. After his baseball career was over, he switched over to running marathons and ultras which led to cycling and triathlon and eventually open water swimming.

In 1998 he was taught by Paul Lundgren and Chris Chorak to swim more efficiently while training for the Ironman. He recorded his first Ironman swim in 1:01 followed by a 4-hour effort at the Seal Beach Rough Water 10-mile Swim in 2001.

Since the 2001 Ironman, he has completed a few more long-course triathlons, a couple 10K ocean swims, many marathons and ultras and even road cycling races. In 2005, he broke his back as a result of crashing with a car at 30+ mph while leading a group bike ride down the coast. After surgery and rehabilitation for 6 months, he participated in IM CdA recording a 57-minute swim, but dropped out after the 112-mile bike due to back spasms. Phil returned to open water swimming in 2010 after being invited to join the Night Train Farallon Relay Team with Vito Bialla, Paul Lundgren, Joseph Locke, Matthew Davie, and Michelle Deasy.

In 2009 he helped Paul Lundgren prepare for and observe his Catalina Channel crossing. He participated in the first Farallon Islands Relay in June 2010. Later, he participated in the record-setting Lake Powell marathon relay swim in September 2010.

Professional Career

Cutti was an exercise physiologist at the Human Performance Lab at Stanford University. He was the Lab Manager of the Endurance Performance Training Centers from 2003-2007 and owns the Catalyst Training Centers. He ran the KKS Triathlon Club between 1998-2007. He has been in the endurance, coaching, and training world for over a decade. His experience and education comes through in bridging the gap between the lab and applying the physiological data to achieve optimal performance.

Participation in the Farallon Island Relay Swim

Q1. What is his motivation for swim? Definitely motivated by the challenge of completing this “haunting” swim. Failure never sits well, so I am driven to do what I can to help the team complete the swim. I am prepared to continue this swim if I am the only one able to continue on.

Q2. What is his pacing strategy? As the first swimmer, I am preparing for 3 swims with 5 hours of recovery between. I will be comfortable with the water temp within 5-7 minutes and from that point will push the pace to max steady state. I have done specific training to know that I am able to hold the same pace after 5 hours of recovery in 50-53 degree water.

Q3. What is the biggest challenge? I anticipate sea sickness as a personal challenge. 5 hrs in a slow moving boat in the open ocean will be tough. Hydration and motion sickness patch will be key.

Q4. What is your state of mind? I am really focused. With experience from last year, I am ready for the unexpected and have visualized success through every aspect- swims, transitions, re-warming, fueling, navigation, completion and celebration.

Night Train Swimmers at the Farallon Islands

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