Dan Simonelli

From Open Water Swimming Wiki

Dan Simonelli, whose nickname is Swimonelli, is an American open water swimmer, observer, and support paddler from San Diego, California.

Open Water Swimming Highlights[edit]

Mission of the Open Water Swim Academy[edit]

The mission of OWSA is to provide a safe and supportive environment for teaching and training aspiring open water swimmers of all ages and skill levels with the desire to experience the joys and adventures of ocean swimming, recreationally and competitively, and to learn from and swim with some of the world’s best.

OWSA is committed to promoting and expanding the sport of open water swimming among people of all ages and skill levels, competitive or non-competitive, and for anyone that wants to experience the joys and wonders of the open water!


  • Simonelli grew up in Stockton, California and has been swimming since 4 years old. Simonelli swam on and off through school and some in college as he tired of the pool experience. Then, while in the Marine Corps stationed in Oceanside, California, he began swimming in the ocean and racing in triathlons. He was a WSSI instructor in the Marine Corps and later became an Ocean Lifeguard on Camp Pendleton and for the City of Oceanside, and the experience and joy of swimming in the ocean has never left him.
  • Simonelli began swimming at La Jolla Cove and became a member of and is the current President for the La Jolla Cove Swim Club
  • Subsequently he started swimming with the groups of marathon swimmers training for Catalina Channel, English Channel, and other great swims, and began to see the endless possibilities of the open water.
  • Simonelli is an Official Observer and support crew for CCSF and SBCSA
  • Simonelli has served as Observer, kayaker, Support crew, Crew Chief and/or Coach for more than 300 Catalina Channel and other open water swims such as English Channel and Kaiwi (Molokai) Channel, SCAR, Santa Barbara Channel swims, and others.
  • Simonelli is the current President of the La Jolla Cove Swim Club
  • He serves as a coach of the Arch Academy Zombie Patrol.
  • Simonelli completed the 2014 and 2015 S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge in Arizona; and has served as escort kayaker for other swimmers in subsequent years:

Dave Van Mouwerik's SCAR 2016. Courtney Paulk 2018. Karl Pettigrew 2019.

The Around-Coronado Swim[edit]

The Zombie Patrol[edit]

Open Water Swimming Career[edit]

- ADA 10 Mile Relay 2009 - 2016
- La Jolla Tour of Buoys, 5 miles, 2010; 2011
- La Jolla Pier To Cove, 1.5 miles, 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014; 2016
- Salt Creek Rough Water, 2.4 miles, 2013
- La Jolla Cove 10 Mile, Solo: 2012; 2013; 2015~(Top Male Finisher)
- Numerous adventure swims: mostly along California Coast, 4-16 miles
- Numerous CCSF Catalina Channel relays
- Catalina Island coastline adventure swims

- S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge 2014 and 2015

~ Simonelli was a member of Team Tripod, a group of 3 separate teams of 6 swimmers each that completed a joint crossing of the Catalina Channel in 13 hours 16 minutes in August 2012. The 3 relays swam the exact same pace across the Catalina Channel. The teams started near midnight on Cabrillo Beach and swam out to Catalina Island with Carol Sing as the team leader.

The swimmers included Julian Rusinek, Lynn Kubasek, Carol Hayden, Karl Jacobs, Kenny Jacobs, Tanya MacLean, Patsee Ober, Marc Horwitz, Tom Cook, Dan Simonelli, Kelley Schall, Thomas Johnson, Steve Coopersmith, Natalie Kreitzinger, Marta Gaughen, Paula Selby, Yafa Minazad, and Kim Miller. The support crew included Grace van der Byl, Julie Flanagan, Kevin Eslinger, Forrest Nelson, and Neil van der Byl. The CCSF Observers included Carol Sing and John York.

~ Mainland to Catalina Relay, 2012

~ He was the chief kayaker for the Machine Men (Team 1 and Team 2) in September 2014 on their tandem relay swim crossing of 9 hours 39 minutes in September 2014.

~ He was Team Captain and Coordinator of the IMSHOF-Swim Across America-David Yudovin Memorial Catalina Channel Relays in 2015. Three relay teams swam in triplets across the Catalina Channel to honor David Yudovin, and the teams raised over $40k to benefit City of Hope Cancer Center via Swim Across America.

- He was the coordinator of the Catalina Cancer Crushers Relay, a 6-person relay that completed a 48-mile clockwise circumnavigation swim around Catalina Island in 27 hours 46 minutes 6 seconds on 11 September 2019 while raising more than US$60,000 for cancer research and treatment on behalf of Swim Across America together with Scott Beeber, Josh Fromson, Matt Jennings, Erik King, Jackie NeJaime, Gary Workman, Dan Simonelli (coordinator), Henie Brandol (crew), Kristine Croft (crew), Megan Melgaard (Swim Across America representative), Guy Morgan (escort kayaker) and [Dawn Niday]] (escort kayaker).


External links[edit]