Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award

2006 Dale Petranech


In 1977, Dale was appointed the initial United States Swimming Open Water Swimming Committee Chairman. During has tenure, the United States Open Water program developed from one race to a quasi-national event to an adequately funded and successful international program. He welcomed the Masters swimmers as part of the USS Open Water Committee and as the sport grew, he assisted the Masters in forming an independent organization.


He was chairman of the FINA Open Water Swimming Commission; a group assigned to study and make reservations to FINA for inclusion of Open Water Swimming into their activities. He eventually served as Honorary Secretary of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee. He assisted in writing the International FINA Open Water Swimming Rules. He served as a FINA Open Water Official at several World Championships and World Cup events. He acted as escort for USS National Team Swimmers at two FINA World Cups. In 1985, he became the oldest person to swim the Catalina Channel in California. Since the early 1990’s, he served as the Honorary Secretary of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and has promoted the induction of the finest marathon swimmers in the world into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

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