Payas attempts Catalina crossing in US
Local swimmer and singer Nathan Payas will attempt the Catalina crossing this week in California. His latest challenge is a night swim 32km off the coast of Los Angeles in the open ocean. If successful Mr Payas will have achieved the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. He is expected to set off tonight (USA time 11pm) from Catalina Island and reach Long Beach in a solo swim some 34km.
Already this year he completed a double crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 9hrs 48 mins becoming the 13th person ever to complete this challenge and the 10th person ever without neoprene. Now as he looks forward to his latest challenge he says the double crossing this year was the toughest swim he has ever done.
“I think it is an extremely difficult swim to get right in terms of weather and tides and you could spend years waiting for the right day.”
Raising funds for charity in all his challenges, Mr Payas, has raised funds for a Pathway Through Pain and for The Calpe House Trust. The recent double crossing of the Strait raised £8,750 and the English Channel Swim raised £6,700 all for The Calpe House Trust.
“I guess it seems a waste not to do something which I have found I am good at,” he says. “Knowing that many people would like to do these swims motivates me to do them since I believe I can do them. I also enjoy swimming in the sea and feel very comfortable, almost at home, in the ocean even in rough conditions, so it is not as big a stretch for me as it might be for others.
“To be able to do all this and raise funds for charities at the same time is the icing on the cake.”
Mr Payas completed his first solo swims around the Rock in 2015. In 2016 his challenge was a solo swim of the Strait of Gibraltar which he completed in 3hrs and 15mins becoming the 18th fastest non neoprene crossing of all time and a solo double round the Rock in 6hrs 33mins becoming the first person ever to attempt this challenge. That same year he swam solo the English Channel in 9hrs 13mins achieving new records.
Today, 11pm (USA time/8am local time) he hopes to set off from the Island of Santa Catalina.
“The good thing about the lead up to this swim is having achieved the double Strait crossing not long ago. This has given me a lot of confidence. I feel very good about this swim as I have been doing long swims with each training session.
“I have also just won a 6 km race from Puerto Banus to Marbella, with 56 swimmers from Spanish swim clubs participating, so I know I am in good form and looking forward to the challenge.”