Catalina Channel 07/22

Toni Enderli 1st Swiss Swimmer From Unterageri Zug –  SUCCESSFULLY Swims CATALINA CHANNEL 34km 4th Leg of THE OCEANS SEVEN 

Open Water Extreme swimmer and Property Entrepneur Toni Enderli has successfully completed the gruelling 34 KM swim across the Catalina Channel.

This is Toni’s 2nd attempt at this particularly challenging swim – Toni’s first attempt resulted in him suffering from water on his lungs and having to go through a long recovery process before attempting to re-enter the realm of open water swimming. 4 Long years later, his passion for swimming, tenacity and intensive training in higher altitudes not only got him back into shape but into the best shape of his life – allowing him to complete this swim against the worst kind of odds.

Tragically, Toni last his father Paul to a sudden accident this year and this was a big contributing factor to his motivation to once again meet the challenge of this swim in he’s Dads honour.

A keen swimmer himself, Paul Enderli and Toni had an extremely close relationship and a shared passion for both the property industry (in which they worked side by side) and open water swimming. Paul was responsible for founding the family business Realtors of Excellence and his sons Toni and Sean took over from him in his retirement and continue to grow the business in his honour. Mention of my other younger brother Link To Jp Enderli JpSON Ignite me song linked to the music Video

Paul Enderli, a Swiss Citizen, moved to South Africa as an immigrant many years ago to establish his property business. Subsequently Toni, his wife and 2 sons moved to Switzerland in 2020 closing the circle on their proud Swiss heritage. This is where Toni began his intensive training for his 2nd attempt at the Catalina Channel swim, which would be the forth leg of the ultimate Open Water challenge – The Oceans Seven. Less than 40 people globally have completed the Oceans Seven of which Toni will be the first Swiss person and 3rd South African citizen to complete it.

The Oceans Seven is a marathon swimming challenge consisting of seven channel swims: It was devised in 2008 as the swimming equivalent of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge.

  • English Channel – 33 km (20.5 miles) between England and France
  • Catalina Channel – 32.3 km (20 miles) between Catalina Island and the California mainland
  • Strait of Gibraltar – 14.4 km (9 miles) between Spain and Morocco
  • North Channel – 34.5 km (21.4 miles) between Ireland and Scotland
  • Kaiwi Channel – 42 km (26 miles) between Molokai and Oahu
  • Cook Strait – 22.5 km (14 miles) between the North and South Island of New Zealand
  • Tsugaru Strait – 19.5 km (12.1 miles) between Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan

Toni has completed the English Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, The Molokai Channel and now the Catalina Channel swims.

Toni’s training was intensified by the Swiss altitude in the lakes of Unterageri & Laucheneralp Swiss Resort which has an impact on the density of the water and air quality which resulted in higher lung capacity, much improved endurance, a lower heart rate and quicker recovery time. Based on this Toni completed the Catalina Channel swim 87 minutes faster than expected at 11 Hours and 33 minutes. This is a whole 3 hours faster than he completed the English Channel swim – which was the same distance. Toni has since been approached by a renowned Cardiologist in South African who would like to do a thesis on the positive effects of training for long distance swimming at higher altitudes.

Despite Toni’s excellent physical condition and thorough preparation, the Catalina Channel swim could only be classified as an unmitigated disaster. Whatever could go wrong, did. The conditions suddenly changed for the worst just before the swim was to begin and both Toni’s paddlers got severely ill. It was pitch dark for at least 7 hours with both Toni’s cap and swimming costume lights malfunctioning. He drifted off the designated swim path continuously and was even bumped by a seal. At times during the swim Toni says he would ask his late father ‘why dad?’ as this swim had been dedicated in his honour.

Toni’ words:

Open water swimming teaches you that you can’t give up, you need to carry on moving forward. If you constantly, consistently do what you need to do, you’ll get to the other side. Positive thoughts and blocking all negativity is key even when things go wrong. My Dads words and fond memories Got me through this swim which reminds us all to live in the moment and embrace the now and live with out regrets while leaving a Legacy that your kids kids can be proud of!

Never the less, the swim eventually ended in 11 hours 33 minutes in 18 Deg burning 6,900 calories and Toni Enderli is now the first Swiss person to complete the Catalina Channel.

Toni has founded a number of successful business links between Switzerland and South Africa in the short time he has been living in Switzerland and is extremely proud of his heritage and the wonderful people that are the Swiss. He believes he has experienced the best of both worlds from growing up in South Africa and now living in Switzerland and describes himself as both proudly Swiss and South African.

Toni swims on behalf of the charity ‘Swim for Rivers’ which is an organisation that works towards providing clean water to impoverished communities in South Africa and improving general quality of life by doing so. Toni has helped raised a substantial amount of money for Swim for Rivers through he’s local and offshore community as a whole and continues to raise awareness of the plight of South African communities suffering from inadequate water supply and shortages.

Follow Toni Swim Journey

Next swims in 2023:

  • Cook Strait North and South Island of New Zealand
  • Tsugaru Strait Japan