David Kenneth Yudovin (USA)
2014 Honor Open Water Swimmer
FOR THE RECORD: OVER 40 COMPLETED SOLO CHANNEL SWIMS BETWEEN 1976 AND 2014 IN TWELVE DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, MANY OF THEM ARE FIRSTS: 1976, 1993, 1995 CATALINA ISLAND TO CALIFORNIA COAST (USA); 1982 ANACAPA ISLAND TO CALIFORNIA COAST (USA); 1983 SANTA CRUZ ISLAND TO CALIFORNIA COAST (USA); 1984 & 1991 NORTH CORONADO ISLAND TO MEXICO COAST (MEX); 1985 MOROCCO TO GIBRALTAR; 1986 CALIFORNIA COAST TO CATALINA ISLAND (USA); 1990 HONCHU ISLAND TO HOKKAIDO ISLAND (JPN); 1991, 1992 (2X), 1993 SOUTH CORONADO ISLAND TO MEXICO COAST (MEX); 1996 ENGLISH CHANNEL (GBR to FRA); 1996 BALI TO JAVA (INDONESIA); 1997 NUSA PENIDA TO BALI (INDONESIA); 2000 SUNDA STRAIT (INDONESIA); 2002 LANAI TO MAUI, HAWAII (USA); 2002, 2003 MOLOKINI TO MAUI, HAWAII (USA); 2003 MAUI TO MOLOKAI, HAWAII (USA); 2003 MAUI TO KAHOOLAWE ISLAND, HAWAII (USA); 2003 MOLOKAI TO LANAI, HAWAII (USA); 2003 CAPE WIWIKI TO CAPE BRETT (NEW ZEALAND);
2004 COOK STRAIT FROM THE NORTH ISLAND TO SOUTH ISLAND (NEW ZEALAND); 2008 TAHITI ISLAND TO MOOREA ISLAND (FRENCH POLYNESIA); 2008 FAIAL ISLAND TO PICO ISLAND (PORTUGAL); 2008 PICO ISLAND TO SÃO JORGE ISLAND (PORTUGAL); 2008 CORVO ISLAND TO FLORES ISLAND (PORTUGAL); 2010 IHLA MADEIRA TO IHLA DESERTAS GRANDE (PORTUGAL); 2011 SIPIKA ISLAND TO SIMALEKO ISLAND (INDONESIA); 2011 TELO ISLAND TO SIGATA ISLAND (INDONESIA); 2011 TANAH MASA ISLAND TO PINI ISLAND (INDONESIA); 2012 SANTO ANTÃO ISLAND TO SÃO VINCENTE ISLAND (CAPE VERDE); 2012 FOGO ISLAND TO BRAVA ISLAND (CAPE VERDE); 2013 MAIO ISLAND TO SANTIAGO ISLAND (CAPE VERDE); 2013 SIMELEKO ISLAND TO TANAHMASA ISLAND (INDONESIA); 2013 TANAHMASA ISLAND TO SIMELEKO ISLAND (INDONESIA); 2013 TELO ISLAND TO SIGATA ISLAND (INDONESIA); 2013 PINI ISLAND TO LAGA ISLAND (INDONESIA); 2014 PRINCIPE ISLAND AROUND GALĚ ROCK ISLAND (SÃO TOMĚ AND PRÍNCIPE); 2014 ISLA TINHOSA PEQUENA TO PRINCIPE ISLAND (SÃO TOMĚ AND PRÍNCIPE).
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.Open Water Swimmer David Yudovin is known for his determination to conquer waters that have previously been considered unswimmable, and becoming the first person to swim them. But by all rights, he shouldn’t be alive right now. He should have died off the California coast on his 27th birthday in 1978, when he was attempting to be the first person to swim from California’s Anacapa Island to Ventura and went into cardiac arrest just 250 yard from shore.
Determination has done more than keep David alive – it has made him one of the most accomplished long-distance swimmers in history. While he was in the hospital recovering from his heart attack, David made up his mind to get well and try Anacapa again and four years later he succeeded. Now over 62 years of age, he is still adding to his resume of conquests that include the crossings of the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Cook Strait in New Zealand, the Sunda Strait in Indonesia, and the Tsugaru Strait in Japan. He has completed over 40 solo marathon channel swims and most of them are considered firsts.
His swims are all planned in meticulous detail with the help of Beth, his wife and coach, who accompanies him on all trips. She is the one who knows him best, he says. She knows what he needs to do to keep in shape and to have the necessary conditions for his optimum concentration and best effort.
The biggest challenge in the sport for him is researching and finding difficult bodies of water around the globe that no one has previously swum. A prime example is his recently completed swim from the island Tinhosa Pequena to Principe Island in the country of São Tomé and Príncipe off the western coast of Central Africa.
In addition to being one of history’s great solo marathon swimmers, David was a successful entrepreneur and is now sharing his life’s lessons as a motivational speaker.