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Ned Denison

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Ned Denison is an inductee (Honour Administrator) in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Class of 2012
Ned Denison after the Brian Curtis Mile in Cape Town, South Africa
Ned Denison after crossing the 32.3 km Catalina Channel in Southern California
Ned Denison is one of the co-founders and an Honour Administrator and Honour Swimmer in the Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
Ned Denison before his unprecedented 8 km circumnavigation swim around the City of Cork on 3 June 2019
Ned Denison's Prison Island Swims (or the Triple Crown of Prison Island Swims or the Triple Break) were nominated for the 2016 WOWSA Awards, a recognition of outstanding men, women, performances and offerings around the globe sponsored by the World Open Water Swimming Association in the category of World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
Ned Denison's Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming certificate
Ned Denison with his fellow Triple Crowners from Ireland
Ned Denison and channel swimmers on The Torture Swim in Cork, Ireland, produced by Alan Goldberg and hosted by Jeff Glor of 60 Minutes Sports
Ned Denison at the 2012 International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies in Long Beach, California
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Philip Hodges created a summary of the open water swimming successes of the participants in the 2017 Cork Distance Week in Ireland, an event created by Ned Denison
Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame, Honor Marathon and Cold Water Swimmer and Contributor Administrator

Ned Denison (born 21 November 1957) is a 63-year-old American-born, Ireland-residing, global-trotting open water swimmer, coach and administrator who was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Contributor in the Class of 2012.

Open Water Swimming Career Highlights

  • Denison is the co-host of the Open Water Wednesday interview series.
  • Denison has completed 55 epic marathon swims of which 18 were 16 miles (25 km) or more including the English Channel, the Catalina Channel and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim as a member of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming and the Half Century Club
  • Denison has completed the 65.9 km Round Jersey
  • Denison has completed a 26 km Jersey to France crossing
  • Denison completed the 26.4 km Lake Zurich Marathon Swim
  • Denison completed the 25 km Minorca Marathon Swim
  • Denison was the first person to swim around Valentia Island (27 km)
  • Denison was the first person to swim around Great (Cobh) Island (26 km) in Ireland - and still the only one as of 2021.
  • Denison became the fifth person in history to cross False Bay on 30 December 2012 from Rooi Els to Miller's point in 11 hours 5 minutes under the guidance of pilot Arend Grondman
  • Denison crossed the Santa Barbara Channel between Santa Cruz Island and the California mainland in a record time at the time of 10 hours 27 minutes in 2006
  • Denison finished second male in the 2016 15-mile (24.1 km) Border Buster swim in Lake Memphremagog, Vermont
  • Denison completed in 2014 the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge of 4 marathon swims in 4 days (62 km) - including Apache Lake at 27.3 km. His was the fastest men's time until broken in 2021.
  • Denison completed the Formentura to Ibiza (SE End) 30 km in 2016
  • Denison completed the 19.8 km Rottnest Channel Swim in Western Australia.
  • Denison swam around Robben Island in Cape Town, South Africa (11 km)
  • Denison swam around Ile du Levant via cap-Blance to Hyeres (24 km) - in the first group ever to complete the swim
  • Denison completed a Ijsselmeer swim of 22 km in the Netherlands.
  • Denison completed The Cold Half in Hong Kong (15 km) in record time in 2014 (for non-wetsuits) and broke his own record in 2017.
  • Denison completed a 4-way Strait of Messina crossing (12.8 km) in record time
  • Denison completed the crossing to Inisbofin Island (12.8 km)
  • Denison completed a crossing of Lake Champlain (12.8 km)
  • Denison completed a Rathlin Island swim (10 km) in Ireland.
  • Denison completed a Cork City to Cobh swim (16 km) three times in Ireland.
  • Denison completed a Blackrock to Cobh swim (13 km) in Ireland.
  • Denison completed the Garryvoe around Ballycotton and into Ballycotton Pier (11 km)
  • Denison completed a crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar, 14.4 km in 3 hours 33 minutes on 24 July 2013
  • Denison completed a swim from River Lee Dam to County Hall (12.5 km) twice
  • Denison completed a 8 km around Cape Point in South Africa, tying the record time.
  • Denison and two others completed the first ever unassisted solo swims from Devil's Island:13.3 km (8.3-mile) from Île St Joseph to French Guiana mainland near Kourou together with Jacques Tuset and Jills Vanegas on 17 February 2016 in 3 hours, 45 minutes; the swim was an historic first
  • Denison completed around Anacapa (10 miles/16 km) – the first group counter clockwise
  • Denison completed Fuerteventura to Lanzarote, 11.15 km
  • Denison completed Robben Island 7.4 km, twice in less than 2 hours
  • Denison completed Galway Bay 10.4 km
  • On 5 August 2017, he competed in the 8-mile Boston Light Swim in Massachusetts.
  • Denison completed the 29th Swimming Marathon of the Messinian Gulf, a 30 km race between Kalamata and Koroni in Greece, on 9 September 2017.
  • Denison completed in Guildford (1 mile/hour over 24 hours with night air temperatures at 0 C)
  • Denison completed 5 Champion of Champions (5 miles/8 km, 3 miles/4.8 km then 1 mile/1.6 km): 2008 British Long Distance Swimming Association: 1 hour 44 minutes for the 5 mile leg - 4th place male overall and 2008-2014 in Ireland - twice winner and twice second.
  • Denison completed a 35 km swim from Dharmatar to Gateway of India in the center of Mumbai in 7 hours 41 minutes 43 seconds on 28 November 2018 at the age of 61.
  • Denison was named one of the World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men in 2019 by the World Open Water Swimming Association.
  • Denison completed the Frosted Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming on 10 February 2013.
  • Denison completed an unprecedented 8 km circumnavigation swim around the City of Cork, Ireland on 3 June 2019.
  • Denison was the sixth fastest bioprene swimmer in 7:56:56 at the 27 km La Batalla de Rande a Nado between the Cies Islands, at the mouth of the Ria de Vigo, and the small island of San Simón island in Galicia in the northwest of Spain on 22 June 2019.
  • Denison completed the 32 km Los Cabos Open Water Swim in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in a record time of 10 hours 10 minutes 22 seconds on 19 March 2020.
  • He is a member of the ISHOF Open Water Nomination Screening Committee.

Administration

Water Polo Career

Denison’s early aquatic years were spent as a seven-time All-American water polo goalie with teams in New York City; Berkeley, California ; and London, England.

Ice Swimming

Ned Denison

Denison was the first swimmer to declare achievement of the Circumnavigation Sevens on 19 June 2020. He has completed more than 2,300 circumnavigation swims around 16 islands around the world as of June 2020. The circumnavigation swims and islands are listed below in order from longest to shortest distance. He lives 5 km from his normal training location which often involves multiple daily laps of Sandycove Island in Kinsale, Ireland.

Triple Break

He coined the term Triple Break or the Triple Crown of Prison Island Swims that includes swim to/from/around Alcatraz Island in the USA, Spike Island in Ireland, and Robben Island in South Africa. He subsequently completed 13 different 'breaks'.

Honours

Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association

A founding member of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association (2006 and on Board until 2012). Commenting on his Santa Barbara Channel swim: "I was absolutely taken in by the city and hosted in fine fashion by the other Board members, kayakers and three Honourees of the IMSHOF: Alison and Freda Streeter and David Yudovin. On the day the sun was fantastic and the playful seals and majestic manta rays were the best aquatic life I have ever seen on a swim."

Cork Distance Week

Denison helps organise several of the longer swims in Ireland and leads the annual Cork Distance Week, which draws more than 80 swimmers each year. He is an excellent contact (ned.denison@corkopenwater.com) for swimmers looking to Europe and/or colder swim training.

Denison's Cork Distance Week was nominated for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year award. Its World Open Water Swimming Association nomination reads, "A tiny part of the world – Sandycove Island in Ireland – has become a must-do and must-see in the channel swimming world. Sandycove plays host to the Cork Distance Week, the absolutely most brutal, the most unforgiving, the downright dastardly difficult open water swimming camp in the world. Led by a mountain of a man who has pushed himself to the brink, the Cork Distance Week has a tremendous record of channel swimming success. Offered for an unbelievable reasonable price in elements that can be completely and thoroughly unreasonable, the Cork Distance Week prepares all-comers for anything and everything in the open water. For its 8-day high mileage of intense preparation, for its unyielding psychological and physiological stress that it offers, for its unequaled record of success, the Cork Distance Week by Ned Denison is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year."

Cork Distance Week was also the subject of a documentary television program called The Torture Swim by CBS 60 Minutes on Showtime with Jeff Glor, produced by Alan Goldberg. The Torture Swim was nominated for the 2014 WOWSA Awards' World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

2016 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nomination

The Prison Island Swims were nominated for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nomination

He was nominated for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association:
Ned Denison is an accomplished swimmer with Ice Miles and 47 marathons including the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, False Bay and the record holder in The Cold Half and S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge. But his influence is much greater and global as an administrator, visionary, motivator, coach and personable facilitator. His Cork Distance Week celebrated 10 years including nearly 100 attendees at The Triple Crown Dinner to celebrate 16 swimmers. He recognizes and honors swimmers around the world as the Chair of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. Growing internationally, he organized the last two induction dinners in London - with the first individuals honored from Sweden and South Africa and the second from China – leading to the first in Asia Pacific (Melbourne) in 2019. He communicates, he researches, he calls out safety issues, he recognizes heroes and heroines of the sport. For directing the limelight to both popular and relatively unknown luminaries in the ice swimming and marathon swimming communities, for bringing the open water swimming world together via news reports on social media augmented by a constant stream of communications, and for making everyone feel a part of a growing and more global network of like-minded swimmers, Ned Denison of Ireland/USA is a worthy nominee for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

2014 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nomination

"Like a perfect golf swing or 10m platform dive, it looks so good when things come together. Producer Alan Goldberg, host Jeff Glor and protagonist Ned Denison came together to create The Torture Swim, a look at the one of the most dangerous and unheralded sports in the world. For a group of unknown adults training around a small Irish island to be showcased on America, something – and everyone – has to be special. The rawness and cruelty of the sport, the ambiance and the challenges of Cork Distance Week, the turbulence and inherent risks of the sea were marvelously captured and showcased for television audiences with short attention spans. But the scenery and emotions enraptured viewers as the program kicked off with powerful imagery and never let up as it culminated in explaining the inexplicable – why swimmers accept physical agony beyond comprehension. For its compelling presentation of the sport, for making heroes of everyday swimmers, for its ingenuity in creating stunning visuals of Sandycove Island, The Torture Swim by 60 Minutes Sports is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year."

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Videos







Escape from Fort Royal de Sainte-Marguerite


1.3 km swimming escape from the Fort Royal de Sainte-Marguerite to Palm Beach in Cannes, France by Ned Denison, Jean-Yves Faure and Jacques Tuset escorted by Jean-Christophe Grand.

Ireland Ice Swimming Championships


Video by Pádraig Mallon at the 2015 Ireland Ice Swimming Championships, hosted by the Camlough Lake Water Festival at Wild Water Armagh (Conroy Pond) in Northern Ireland.

World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men

He was named one of the World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men in 2015 by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

Anacapa Island Circumnavigation


by swimmers Ned Denison, Liz Fry, Fionnuala Walsh, escorted by Ben Pitterle, fed by Barbara Flanagan, and observed by Theo Schmeeckle and Lynn Kubasek

Cork Distance Week


The Torture Swim hosted by Jeff Glor, produced by Alan Goldberg at Sandycove Island, Ireland during Cork Distance Week, organized by Ned Denison

2017 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men

Denison is named to the World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men in 2017 (alphabetized by last name) by the World Open Water Swimming Association:

1. Dr. Doron Amosi, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
2. Antonio Argüelles Díaz-González, channel swimmer and endurance athlete from Mexico
3. Cyril Baldock, marathon/channel swimmer from Australia
4. Ram Barkai, administrator, event organizer and ice swimmer from South Africa
5. John Batchelder, butterflying marathon swimmer from USA
6. Nejib Belhedi, marathon/stage/boat pull swimmer from Tunisia
7. Alexander Brylin, channel ice swimmer from Russia
8. Luc Chetboun, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
9. Salvatore Cimmino, amputee advocate and marathon/extreme swimmer from Italy
10. Jean Craven, marathon/extreme swimmer from South Africa
11. Ned Denison, IMSHOF administrator and marathon/ice swimmer from Ireland
12. Craig Dietz, disabled open water swimmer from USA
13. Ben Enosh, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel/USA
14. Udi Erell, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
15. Stephen Junk, channel swimmer from Australia
16. Henri Kaarma, event organizer and ice swimmer from Estonia
17. Ger Kennedy, ice, underwater and extreme swimmer from Ireland
18. Craig Lenning, marathon/channel/ice swimmer from the USA
19. Neil Macaskill, extreme/cross-border swimmer from South Africa
20. Pádraig Mallon, escort pilot, event organizer and marathon/channel/ice swimmer from Ireland
21. Ingemar Patiño Macarine, channel/marathon swimmer from the Philippines
22. Andrew Malinak, administrator and cold water/marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
23. Chris Marthinusen, extreme/high-altitude swimmer from South Africa
24. Patrick McKnight, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
25. Allan McLeland, Peak and Pond swimmer/climber from the USA
26. Darren Miller, channel swimmer and event director from the USA
27. Rohan More, marathon/channel swimmer from India
28. Gullupilli Narhari, extreme relay swimmer from India
29. Matías Ola, event organizer and ice/extreme swimmer from Argentina
30. Kieron Palframan, ice/extreme swimmer from South Africa
31. James Pittar, blind marathon/channel swimmer from Australia
32. Javier Mérida Prieto, disabled Triple Crown swimmer from Spain
33. Lewis Pugh OIG, ocean advocate and ice/extreme swimmer from the UK
34. Oded Rahav, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
35. Stephen Redmond, channel/marathon swimmer from Ireland
36. Adrian Sarchet, marathon/channel swimmer from Guernsey
37. Ori Sela, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
38. Dan Simonelli, coach/guide/observer and marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
39. Paramvir Singh, extreme relay swimmer from India
40. Albert Sobirov, ice swimmer from Russia
41. Petar Stoychev, marathon/channel/ice/Olympic swimmer from Bulgaria
42. Ryan Stramrood, ice/extreme swimmer from South Africa
43. Martin Strel, marathon/stage swimmer from Slovenia
44. Dr. Otto Thaning, channel/marathon swimmer from South Africa
45. Jacques Tuset, prison island swimmer from France
46. Toks Viviers, ice/extreme swimmer from South Africa
47. Adam Walker, coach, event organizer, and channel swimmer from England
48. Christof Wandratsch, event organizer and ice/marathon/channel/professional swimmer from Germany
49. Brenton Williams, event organizer and butterfly ocean swimmer from South Africa
50. Herman van der Westhuizen, extreme high-altitude swimmer from South Africa

Swimming with Shivers

Denison wrote a story for Swimming With Shivers, a book co-authored by Claire Bunker-Fellingham and Gary Standen about true stories from, by and about open water swimmers doing cold water swimming, winter swimming, and ice swimming. The stories in Swimming with Shivers are from, by and about Carl Atkinson, Deborah Banks, Ram Barkai, Jo Barkwith, Andy Bennett, Katie Blair, Sylvia Bland, Gideon Bright, Claire Bunker-Fellingham, Judith Charman, Sze-Ming Cheung, Chillswim, Tracy Clark, David Coleman, Phil Coombe, Talbott Crowell, Nick Dorey, Dryrobe, Ros Edmonds, Rory Fitzgerald, Daniel Gilmore, Will Glendinning, Gone Swimming, Rebecca Goodson, Julie Gregory, Shaun Hales, Happy Cold Swimming, Louise Hazelton, Colin Hill, Elaine Howley, International Ice Swimming Association, Roni Jelgavas, Mark Johansen, Jody Jones, Ele Jump, Ger Kennedy, Ivan Lewis, Julie Lloyd, Jules McRobbie, Sally Minty-Gravett MBE, Jaimie Monahan, Steven Munatones, Diane Murphy Weaver, Jim Nyberg, Barry O'Connor, Outdoor Swimmer, Simon Parkin, Lisa Peake, Kevin Proctor, Jane Saycet, Val Smith, Fergal Somerville, Jodi Songhurst, Gary Standen, Lucy Stansfield, Kate Steels-Fryatt, Swimming With Smiles Book, Tidal Wave Fitness, Jonty Warneken, Karen Weir, Haydn Welch, Samantha Whelpton, Emily Whittaker, and Nicola Wood.

Marathon Swim Stories

He appeared with Shannon House Keegan on Marathon Swim Stories.

External links