The Open Water Swim Academy (OWSA) shares and promotes the camaraderie, fun, exhilaration and joy of open water swimming. Led by Dan Simonelli, an experienced and awarded marathon swimmer, OWSA provides comprehensive coaching and mentoring to swimmers, both competitive and non-competitive, of all ages and skill levels interested in the challenge of open water swimming.
Dan Simonelli has coached open water swimmers to attempt and complete the Santa Barbara Channel, Molokai, S.C.A.R, and other major international swims, including the Catalina Channel and English Channel.
Dan was awarded the Streeter Award (2015) for Service to Marathon Swimming and the 2016 Barra Award for Best Overall Year (2016) by the International Marathon Swimmers Federation. He has also been recognized on the World Open Water Swimming Association’s list of the World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men.
His passion for swimming began as a competitive age group swimmer growing up in Stockton, CA, and competing for Palomar College in San Diego. Dan went on to service in the U.S. Marine Corps, and during his duty he held a supplementary position as a Water Safety and Survival Instructor. He has also gained extensive experience as an Ocean Lifeguard‐EMT and Ocean Lifeguard Instructor.
An accomplished marathon swimmer, Dan has completed many solo open water swims, including:
- La Jolla Cove – 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 (top male finisher)
- S.C.A.R. Arizona Swim Challenge – 2014, 2015
- Catalina Channel – 2015, 2016
- English Channel – 2016
- Santa Barbara Channel – 2017
- Participant in numerous Catalina and English Channel relay teams
Dan serves as an Official Observer for the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association. He is also a member of the voting panel for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.