Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming – Professor Patrick McKnight

Posted: September 20, 2016 at 5:36 pm, Last Updated: September 20, 2016 at 5:44 pm

By: Robert Suarez

Wow! Looks like we have our very own Michael Phelps living in the area! Meet Patrick McKnight from Fairfax, Virginia. Like Phelps, McKnight has just made history by completing the fastest Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming!

The Triple Crown consists of three marathons swims: The English Canal, the Catalina Channel, and the 20 Bridges Circumnavigation Swim of Manhattan. McKnight completed the triple crown in 34 days, beating previous record holder Rendy Lynn Opdycke who completed hers in 35 days back in 2008. He first finished the Catalina Channel in 11 hours 4 minutes, then the English Canal in 12 hours 54 minutes and finally the 20 Bridges Circumnavigation of Manhattan in 7 hours 31 minutes. Absolutely astonishing!

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

What a summer it has been for the current professor at George Mason who overseas MRES (Measurement, Research methodology, Evaluation, and Statistics — pronounced “mysteries”). With the help of his students and faculty, they work together to improve science. His work has not only helped educate his students, but has also the influenced him to explore his interests, desires, and goals in life. It has led him to travel internationally and discover amazing things along the way. He states he is a “sailor, skier, data analyst, climber, father, chef, wine drinker, mountaineer, swimmer, dreamer, builder, football fan, researcher, survivor.” Those are words he lives by. After attempting to climb Mount Everest, not just once but twice, it seems like he has certainly found greater success in the water. He is a man of adventure and continues to show it.

If you go to the Aquatic and Fitness Center, you may have seen him there. He’s an AFC regular and is a member of our Masters Swimming program. His hard work and dedication, in and out of the water, is something we here at George Mason are proud of. Mason Recreation would like to thank Professor McKnight for utilizing our facility and making us a part of this tremendous accomplishment.

It has been quite a ride for the professor. All those countless hours of swimming, trying to prepare himself for this month long journey has truly paid off. “My Triple Crown is done, finished in 34 days. It was a long month and I’m glad it is over. Time for some rest.” Well said professor. Enjoy your accomplishment and we hope to see you back on campus this Fall.

Finally, congratulations Professor McKnight! You truly are an inspiration to all of us here at Mason! If you see Professor McKnight around campus, don’t forget to congratulate him, too!


For more information on Professor McKnight, visit his blog at