Kim Chambers

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Kimberley Chambers is a 41-year-old open water swimmer from New Zealand living in the San Francisco Bay area. A former ballerina, she is a member of the Dolphin Club of San Francisco, the South End Rowing Club, North Bay Aquatics, and the Night Train Swimmers. The focus of her solo swims is to raise awareness and funds for the following causes: Warrior Canine Connection, Team Theo and The Free Morgan Foundation. She was nominated for the Halberg Awards' High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year in 2015 and is one of the few people in history who has completed the Oceans Seven.

Open Water Swimming Career[edit]

Marathon Swims[edit]

Night Train Swimmers[edit]

Chambers 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 off the coast of northern California, U.S.A. on 20 May 2011 in 14:45:08 with Phil Cutti, Darrin Connolly, David Holscher, Vito Bialla and John Mathews.

Athletic Background[edit]

Chambers is a classically trained ballerina. She began dancing at the age of 2 years old and over the next 15 years practiced under the Royal Academy of Dance, competing and performing throughout New Zealand. Although she no longer dances she is qualified to teach ballet. While studying at the University of California at Berkeley, Chambers was recruited to the women's freshman crew team. Chambers has been swimming for less than 4 years, discovering her passion for the sport while rehabilitating a life-threatening leg injury.

2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nomination[edit]

"Kimberley Chambers was 30 minutes from having her leg amputated after a traumatic fall down a flight of stairs. Nearly all hope had evaporated in the hospital, but destiny ultimately intervened. After her leg was saved, she took up swimming in order to avoid being disabled and unable to walk. After a difficult two-year rehabilitation period, she learned to love swimming and those in the sport. This year, she has blossomed in ways she could not have imagined before. She completed the Strait of Gibraltar in May, the Catalina Channel in July, and the English Channel in September en route towards her goal of achieving the Oceans Seven. For her optimistic view of life, for her deep sense of appreciation of her teammates and supporters, for her utter joy in the discovery of her vast potential, Kimberley Chambers is a worthy nominee for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year."

"From a near amputation to this year’s completion of the Oceans Seven, few swimmers in history have come back from such depths to stand atop the marathon swimming world. Kimberley Chambers, a former ballerina whose leg was minutes from being amputated, took to swimming for rehabilitation – not for marathon swimming glory. But she needed to prove to herself and her doctors that she could recover from a terrible leg injury by completing 7 difficult channels around the world including a jellyfish-strewn North Channel crossing where she went into toxic shock. After years of struggle and sacrifice, the Kiwi living in San Francisco has transformed mindsets on what is truly possible in the open water. Personable, humble and profoundly eloquent, she is a role model in her rehabilitation and monumental swimming achievements. For her goal-setting mentality, for her laughter and motivational spirit, for her genuine willingness to share everything she has experienced along the way, Kimberley Chambers is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.''

1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil), FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup Champion
2. Bhakti Sharma (India), Marathon Swimmer & Educational Reformist
3. Carina Bruwer (South Africa), Freestyling Flautist
4. Chloë McCardel (Australia), Marathon Swimmer & Coach
5. Colleen Mallon (Ireland), Channel Swimmer & Volunteer
6. Elaine Howley (USA), Communicator, Organizer, Swimmer
7. Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand), Oceans Seven Swimmer
8. Nataliya Fatyanova, M.D. (Russia), Ice Swimming Researcher & Physician
9. Pilar Geijo (Argentina), FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Co-Champion
10. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands), 2-time European Champion
11. Sylvia Rybárová (Czech Republic), FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Co-Champion
12. Susan Simmons (Canada), Marathon Swimmer with Multiple Sclerosis

Catalina Channel Crossing[edit]

SF to SB Relay[edit]

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

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Lake Tahoe Crossing[edit]

Chambers successfully completed the 21.25 mile crossing of the length of Lake Tahoe on 5 August 2012 in 15 hours 30 minutes and 28 seconds to become the first New Zealander and the 26th person to complete the swim.

Cook Strait swim[edit]

On 5 March 2012, Chambers made a successful solo crossing of the Cook Strait. Swimming from the South Island to the North Island of New Zealand, Chambers completed the swim in 8 hours 26 minutes.

Molokai Channel Swim[edit]

Chambers completed a 19 hour 27 minute crossing of the Kaiwi Channel on 9 November 2012. She left Kalua Koi on Molokai Island at 8:23 pm the previous night and arrived at China Walls on Oahu at 3:50 pm on 9 November 2012 with over 50 Portuguese man o war stings under the guidance of Captain Matt Buckman.

Relay swims to the Farallon Islands[edit]

Relay Swimmer for the Night Train Swimmers: Chambers was the only woman on the first-ever relay team swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands off the coast of northern California, U.S.A. on 20 May 2011, covering 26.4 nautical miles. Time finished: 14:45:08. The team members were Phil Cutti, Darin Connolly, Dave Holscher, Vito Bialla, and John Mathews. (watch the video here)

Relay swimmers for the Night Train Swimmers: Together with Vito Bialla, Chambers organized and also participated in the first all-female team to successfully swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands on 4 June 2011. Chambers struggled and triumphed with relay teammates Lynn Kubasek, Laura Vartain Horn, Cathy Delneo, Melissa King and Patti Bauernfeind from the Golden Gate Bridge to the South Farallons Island in 16 hours 29 minutes. The six hardy women went through three rotations on their relay through the Red Triangle (watch their swim here).

Two-way Farallon Relay[edit]

She was a member of the unprecedented attempt at a two-way Farallon relay, a 6-person 60-mile (95.6 km) relay from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Francisco Bay, on 25 April 2015. They stopped on a one-way crossing at the buoy located at Fisherman's Cove at the South Farallon Island after 29.68 miles in 14 hours 9 minutes in rough seas. The swim was sanctioned by the Farallon Islands Swimming Association. Members included Emily Kreger, Patti Bauernfeind, Simon Dominguez, Kim Chambers, Ashley Horne, Dave Holscher, Kate Webber, Captain Vito Bialla, co-captain Patrick Horn, and David Ogden, M.D.

World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women[edit]

She was named to the list of World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women by the World Open Water Swimming Association in 2015.


She is a member of the Night Train 300 (or NT300) is an attempt by the Night Train Swimmers to swim 300 miles (482.2 km) non-stop as a six-person open water swimming relay in San Francisco Bay. The charity event that will begin on 6 September 2015 is a fundraiser for Arthur Renowitzky walk again after being paralyzed by a gun shot wound to his spine, they will attempt to set the distance record for a 6-person open water swimming relay.

Adhering to standard English Channel relay rules, NT300 will swim continuously in 1-hour individual rotations for an estimated 5 days in an attempt to break the existing distance record [currently held a team from India, called The Sea Hawks that swam for 269 miles (433 km) over 6 days off the Konkan Coast in western India). They will swim in San Francisco Bay as far south as the Giants Stadium and as far north as Benicia with the goal is raise US$50,000 to be able to help make Arthur Renowitzky walk again by outfitting him with a exoskeleton REWALK suit.

Members included Grace van der Byl, Dave Holscher, Kimberley Chambers, Adam Eilath, Ashley Horne, and Vito Bialla.

2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominee[edit]

Chambers is nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association along with the following nominees:

1. Andreas Fath (Germany) Swim for Science
2. Andrea Fazio (Italy) Like Father, Like Son
3. Christian Reichert (Germany) FINA World Cup Champion
4. Dan Projansky (U.S.A.) Butterflying Marathoner
5. Jim Clifford (U.S.A.) Oldest Triple Crowner
6. Fast and Frozen by Henri Kaarma (Estonia), Ryan Stramrood (South Africa), Anna Carin-Nordin (Sweden), Patrick Corcoran (Ireland), Zdeněk Thalmika (Czech Republic), Elina Makïnen (Finland) Two-way North Channel Relay
7. Ganga Avahan by by Paramvir Singh, Gullupilli Narahari, Saripilli Srihari (India) Stage Swimmers
8. Jordan Wilimovsky (U.S.A.) Olympian & World Champion
9. Kelly Gneiting (U.S.A.) Sumo Swimmer
10. Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand) Farallon Freestyler
11. Matthew Moseley (U.S.A.) Trifecta Lake-Ocean-River Swimmer
12. Mike Arbuthnot (South Africa) Midmar Mile Founder
13. Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia) Camel Swim
14. Night Train Swimmers by Grace van der Byl, Dave Holscher, Kimberley Chambers, Adam Eilath, Ashley Horne, Vito Bialla (U.S.A./New Zealand) NT300 Relay
15. Oceans Seven Relay by Rick Gaenzle, Chris Kraus, Brian Ross (U.S.A.) Triumphant Trio
16. Susan Simmons (Canada) Swimming with Multiple Sclerosis
17. Swim The Eden Expedition by Calum Hudson, Jack Hudson, Robbie Hudson (Great Britain) Brotherly Wild Swim
18. Team Nadadores Locos by Amy Appelhans Gubser, Kirk McKinney, Les Mangold, John Sims, Jeff Everett, Andrew McLaughlin (U.S.A.) Two-way Farallon Islands Relay
19. The Old Men And The Sea Relay by Don Baker, Dr. Bill Spore, Dave Radcliffe, Graham Johnston, Bob Best, Bob Beach, Norm Stupfel (U.S.A.) Catalina Cruisers
20. The Deep Enders by Jim McConica, Tom Ball, John Chung, Zach Jirkovsky, Tamie Stewart, Stacey Warmuth (U.S.A.) San Nicholas Channelers
21. Theodore Yach (South Africa) Robben Island Swimmer
22. Trent Theroux (U.S.A.) Comeback Circumnavigation
23. Wendy Trehiou (Jersey) Saint Malo to Jersey

2015 WOWSA Award Nomination[edit]

Chambers' 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year nomination reads as follows:

Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand) Farallon Freestyler
Kimberley Chambers added another feat to her impressive, but unlikely, swimming resume when she became the first woman to swim from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge. The 38-year-old former ballerina's 30-mile tenacious solo swim took an agonizing 17 hours 12 minutes that ended with Chambers in the hospital. For her drive to overcome severe dehydration and push her body to the deep abyss of discomfort and pain, for being the first women to tackle arguably the world's most difficult channels, and for her unfailing courage despite the presence of the Great White Sharks, Kimberley Chambers' Farallon Islands swim is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.


Kim Swims is a documentary film about Kimberley Chambers improbable path to become one of the world's most accomplished swimmers. The film was funded by 435 backers on Kickstarter who pledged US$36,379 to help bring the project to life.

Sacramento – San Francisco Swim[edit]

Chambers attempted the longest solo swim ever recorded in California, a 93-mile swim down the Sacramento River from Sacramento to San Francisco starting on 9 September 2016.

Dead Sea Swim[edit]

Participating open water swimmers in the 16 km group tandem swim called the Dead Sea Swim between Jordan and Israel across the Dead Sea on 15 November 2016 that took 7 hours 9 minutes included Udi Erell, Adina Faur, Kimberley Chambers, Abigail Thomson, Avishag Turek, Ori Sela, Oded Rahav, Juandre Human, Jean Craven, Evan Feldman, Ben Enosh, Doron Amosi, Munqeth Mehyar, Brooke Penney, Dov Litvinoff, Nick Papageorge, Samuel Moran, Luc Chetboun, Karon Marx, Neil Macaskill, Herman van der Westhuizen, Hylton Lokitch, Gita Osrin, Ram Barkai, Erez Amir, Yussuf Muhammad Ahmad Matari, Olfat Haider, Rachel Sharon Lane, Qusai Abdullah khalaf Al-louzi, Ahmed khalil ahmad murad, and Jackie Cobell. Members were from South Africa's Madswimmer group and the Cyprus Israel Relay Team.

Kimberley Chambers TEDx Santa Catalina School[edit]

Swims with Sharks Before Breakfast

Pan-American Colibrí Swim Video[edit]

Chambers is the ambassador and event organiser for the 7.9 km 3 hour 3 minute Pan-American Colibrí Swim, a cross-border swim and charity swim in the Pacific Ocean from Imperial Beach near San Diego, California, USA to Playas de Tijuana in Tijuana, Mexico held on 5 May 2017.

2017 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women[edit]

Chambers was named to the 2017 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women by the World Open Water Swimming Association. The women are listed below, alphabetically by last name:

1. Patti Bauernfeind, marathon/channel/relay swimmer from the USA
2. Carina Bruwer, marathon/channel/charity event swimmer from South Africa
3. Charlotte Brynn, marathon/channel/ice swimmer and coach from New Zealand/USA
4. Jessie Campbell, ice/winter swimmer from Great Britain
5. Kimberley Chambers, marathon/channel/extreme/cross-border swimmer from New Zealand/USA
6. Devon Clifford, marathon/channel/open water swimmer from the USA
7. Jackie Cobell, channel/extreme/ice swimmer from Great Britain
8. Lorna Cochran, open water swimmer from South Africa
9. Olive Conroy, ice/winter swimmer from Ireland
10. Anna DeLozier, ice/winter swimmer from the USA
11. Beth French, channel swimmer from Great Britain
12. Elizabeth Fry, marathon/channel swimmer and event organizer from USA
13. Pat Gallant-Charette, channel/marathon swimmer from the USA
14. Pilar Geijo, professional marathon swimmer from Argentina
15. Ines Hahn, ice/winter/professional marathon swimmer from Germany
16. Jessi Harewicz, marathon/channel swimmer from Canada
17. Mariel Hawley Dávila, marathon/channel/cross-border swimmer from Mexico
18. Bárbara Hernández Huerta, winter/extreme swimmer from Chile
19. Bridgette Hobart, event organizer and marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
20. Elaine Howley, marathon/charity/ice swimmer and writer from the USA
21. Linda Kaiser, channel swimmer, advisor and administrator from the USA
22. Lori King, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
23. Tita Llorens, marathon/channel swimmer from Spain
24. Marcy MacDonald, DPM, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
25. Elina Makïnen, ice/winter swimmer from Finland
26. Angela Maurer, professional marathon swimmer and Olympian from Germany
27. Chloë McCardel, marathon/channel swimmer and coach from Australia
28. Tiffany McQueen, ocean/marathon swimmer from the USA
29. Sally Minty-Gravett, marathon/channel swimmer and coach from Great Britain (Jersey)
30. Jaimie Monahan, ice/winter/marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
31. Nuala Moore, marathon/ice swimmer, second, author and lecturer from Ireland
32. Victoria Mori, ice/winter/professional marathon swimmer from Argentina
33. Tina Neill, marathon/channel/backstroker/extreme relay swimmer from the USA
34. Anna-Carin Nordin, Oceans Seven/ice swimmer from Sweden
35. Renata Nováková, ice/winter swimmer from the Czech Republic
36. Magda Okurková, ice/winter swimmer from the Czech Republic
37. Penny Palfrey, channel/marathon/extreme swimmer from Australia
38. Ranie Pearce, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
39. Cheryl Reinke, marathon swimmer from the USA
40. Charlotte Samuels, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
41. Susan Simmons, marathon swimmer with Multiple Sclerosis from Canada
42. Kate Steels-Fryatt, polar ice miler and ice/winter swimmer from Great Britain
43. Sarah Thomas, marathon/extreme swimmer from the USA
44. Nora Toledano Cadena, marathon/channel/cross-border swimmer from Mexico
45. Natalie du Toit, professional marathon swimmer and Olympian from South Africa
46. Wendy Trehiou, marathon/channel swimmer from Great Britain (Jersey)
47. Wendy Van De Sompele, marathon swimmer and administrator from the USA
48. Samantha Whelpton, winter/ice swimmer from South Africa
49. Sabrina Wiedmer, ice/winter/marathon/channel swimmer from Switzerland
50. Julia Wittig, ice/winter swimmer from Germany

The Great Shark Swim[edit]

She will participate in the Great Shark Swim, a 100 km charity swim organised by Madswimmer along the fast Agulhas Current in South Africa with an estimated finish time of 12+ hours along the KwaZulu Natal Coast. The primary swim window is 2-8 December 2017 (weather dependent).

Oceans Seven Swimmers[edit]

1st: Stephen Redmond (Ireland) 2nd: Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden) 3rd: Michelle Macy (USA) 4th: Darren Miller (USA) 5th: Adam Walker (UK) 6th: Kimberly Chambers (New Zealand) 7th: Antonio (Toño) Argüelles Díaz-González (Mexico) 8th: Ion Lazarenco Tiron (Moldavia/Ireland) 9th: Rohan Dattatrey More (India) 10th: Abhejali Bernardová (Czech Republic) 11th: Cameron Bellamy (South Africa) 12th: Lynton Mortensen (Australia) 13th: Thomas Pembroke (Australia) 14th: Nora Toledano Cadena (Mexico) 15th: Mariel Hawley Dávila (Mexico) 16th: André Wiersig (Germany) 17th: Liz Fry (USA) 18th: Attila Mányoki (Hungary)

External links[edit]