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- ISHOF Honorees
Aleksey Akatyev (also Alexei Akatiev), Russia, Honour Swimmer-2009
Aleksey (Alexei) was the first Russian to transition from a world-class pool swimmer to a world-class marathon swimmer. After competing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in Atlanta in two events, he won the 5K and 25 races at the 1998 World Swimming Championships. He later established an open water school in Russia and served as the Russian national open water swim coach. At the 2000 World Open Water Swimming Championships, he not only coached the team (including the Russian 5K gold medalist and 25K gold medalist), but also swam to a bronze medal in the 25K, just over a minute slower than the swimmer he was coaching. He won the following medals at the FINA World Championships: 1994 25K bronze, 1998 5K gold, 1998 25K gold, 1998 5K team silver, 2000 25K bronze. He won the following medals at the LEN European Championships: 1995 5K gold, 1995 25K gold, 1996 5K gold, 1996 25K gold, 1999 5K silver, 1999 25K gold. He won the following medals on the FINA World Cup Series: 1999 30K gold in Lake Ohrid (Macedonia), 2000 25K gold in Bled (Slovenia), 2000 30K bronze in Lake Ohrid (Macedonia).
Antonio Abertondo, Argentina, Honour Swimmer-1964
From 1942 to 1961, Antonio swam many marathon swims in Argentina. In 1946, he successfully crossed Rio de la Plata in 29+ hours. His five English Channel crossings were in the 1950 and 1951 Daily Mail races, the 1954 Butlin race and in 1961 when he became the first person to do a double-crossing of the English Channel in 43 hours and 10 minutes (with a four-minute onshore rest).
David Alleva, USA, Honour Swimmer-1992
David was a professional marathon swimmer in the 1990’s who finished second in the 40K (25-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in 10 hours and 19 minutes in 1991 and in 10 hours and 28 minutes in the 1993 Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean race. He was third in the 57K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda river swim in Argentina in 7 hours and 9 minutes in 1990.
Jacques Amyot, Canada, Honour Swimmer-1995
Jacques was the first person to swim across lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada in 1955. His efforts lead to the formation of la Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean, one of the world’s longest and best organized professional marathon swimming races. On July 23rd, 1955, seven swimmers signed up for the first crossing of la Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean, but only Jacques finished the 26K (16-mile) swim in 11 hours and 32 minutes.
Aquatic Club du lac St. Jean, Canada Honour Organisation-1976
The inaugural Paul Bunyun Marathon Event was hosted by the AQUATIC CLUB DU LAC ST. JEAN in 1955. The original race was 21 miles in distance across Lac St. Jean. In 1958 the race was formalized and the world top professional marathoners were invited open for the first time to the Through the years that race has lost the original Paul Bunyun nomenclature and the distances have also changed. The race continues to this day to be one of the very best organized Professional Marathon Swimming competitions. Over the period of years, with their excellent committee structure and total community of Roberval involvement, they were able to change distances and course of their race. They were able to evolve with the times as demonstrated by their cooperation with the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation, the International Marathon Swimming Association and presently with The Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA). The leadership and organizational talents were shared with other race organizations and international administrative organizations in Marathon Swimming.
Greta Andersen, USA, Honour Swimmer-1964
Greta won a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle and a silver medal in 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay in the 1948 Olympics. She was fourth in 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay and eighth in the 400-meter freestyle at the 1952 Olympics. She held world records from 100 yards in 1949 to 50 miles in 1962, from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA. She won 13 world championships and set 72 amateur swimming records. Greta swam the English Channel five times, winning the famous Butlin English Channel Race twice in 1957 and 1958 in 10 hours and 59 minutes, and winning the women’s event from 1957 to 1959. She completed a double-crossing of the English Channel and was the first person to complete a double-crossing of the Catalina Channel in 1958 in 26 hours and 53 minutes.
She was the first women in the 1956 16K (10-mile) Salton Sea marathon swim in the California, USA desert, a 24K (15-mile) Huntington Beach-to-Long Beach swim in 1957, a 42K (26-mile) swim in Guaymas, Mexico that took her 12 hours in 1957, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 12 hours and 36 minutes in 1957, the 24K (15-mile) Owen Sound Marathon in Canada in 6 hours and 15 minutes in 1957, the Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1958, in 1959 in 11 hours and 7 minutes and 1963 the 30.5K (19-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in 1958 in Canada.
Greta won the 42K (26-mile) professional marathon swim in Guaymas, Mexico in 1958 and did an 11 hour and 7 minute single-crossing of the Catalina Channel in 1958. She also won the 80.4K (50-mile) World Long Distance Open Water Swimming Championship in 1962 in Lake Michigan. She truly earned her title of the “World’s Greatest Female Swimmer.”
Paul Asmuth, USA, Honour Swimmer-1982
Paul won seven World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation titles between 1980 and 1985 and in 1988. He finished an incredible 59 professional marathon swimming races. He won six 42K (26-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada and was named Athlete of the Decade (1990’s) by the Atlantic City Press (New Jersey, USA).
Paul won the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA an unprecedented eight times in water ranging between the high 50ºF’s to the low 80ºF’s. He won the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race from 1980–1984 in Canada, the 64K (40-mile) race from 1985 to 1989 and the 40K (25-mile) race from 1990 to 1992. He set a record of 17 hours and 6 minutes in 1989 in the 64K (40-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean race in Canada. He won the professional 32K (20-mile)Maratona del Golfo – Capri Napoli in Italy three times and set the course record of 6 hours and 35 minutes. He was a 4-time winner of the 27K (17-mile) Les Quatorze swim in 50ºF water and set the record of 5 hours and 35 minutes in 1981. His solo swims include three English Channel crossings including setting the men’s record, the 50K (31-mile) Nantucket-to-Cape Cod (the only person to swim the course) and the first person to circumnavigate the 45K (28-mile) Manhattan Island circumnavigation in under seven hours.
Paul was also inducted as an Honor Swimmer in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Ersin Aydin, Turkey, Honour Swimmer-1979
Ersin successfully swam the English Channel twice and in both directions. He swam from France to England in 16 hours and 40 minutes in 1975 and from England to France in 13 hours and 40 minutes in 1977.
Lello Barbuto, Italy, Honour Administrator-1992
Lello is the long-time race organizer of the professional 36K (22-mile)Maratona del Golfo – Capri Napoli Swim. He was the first president of the International Marathon Swimming Association. Under his leadership, the sport of professional marathon swimming enjoyed a strong resurgence and the World Series of Marathon Swimming was established.
Marilyn Bell, Canada, Honour Swimmer-1967
16-year-old Marilyn was the first person to swim 51.4K (32 miles) across Lake Ontario in 1953. As a 17-year-old, she became the youngest English Channel swimmer for a period of eight years. She swam from Cap Gris Nez, France to East Wear Bay, England in July 1955.
Tina Bischoff, USA, Honour Swimmer-1983
Tina swam the English Channel in 1976 in 9 hours and 3 minutes, only seven minutes slower than the fastest crossing of that year.
Tom Blower, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1964
Tom made three successful English Channel crossings. In 1937, he swam from Cape Griz Nez, France to Abbots Cliff, England in 13 hours and 31 minutes. In 1948, he swam from Archcliffe Beach, making him second person to swim the English Channel both ways in 15 hours and 26 minutes and was nicknamed ‘Torpedo Tom’. In 1951, he swam the first leg of an abandoned double-crossing in 18 hours and 42 minutes.
In 1947, he became the first man to swim the Irish Channel from Donghadee, Ireland to Portpatrich, Scotland in 15 hours and 31 minutes. He was also the Morcambe Cross Bay Championship winner in 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1938.
Lynn Blouin, Canada, Honour Administrator-2004
Lynn has been in marathon swimming administration for nearly 20 years. She began as a staff person for the professional 42K (26-mile) Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Quebec, Canada and rose to the position of President and Race Director from 1993-1995.
Lynn also helped form the International Marathon Swimming Federation which later became the International Marathon Swimming Association. She was active in conducting many world events from 1997 to 2002 as General Secretary of the International Marathon Swimming Association. She is also serves as the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Vice President.
Dr. Julie Bradshaw, MBE, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-2006
Dr. Bradshaw holds 14 world records for long distance and Channel swimming dating from 1979. She was awarded MBE in New Years Honours list 2006 for “Services to swimming and charity”. Since the age of 15 years old, Dr. Bradshaw has raised many thousands of pounds for charity. The money raised from Channel swim in 1979, began the Fylde Hospice in Blackpool. She serves as a Director on the Board of The Channel Swimming Association where she is also the Assistant Secretary. Her world records include the first triple-crossing of Loch Ness in 32 hours and 34 minutes in 2005, relay double-crossing of the English Channel in 19 hours and 7 minutes in 2004, butterfly crossing of the English Channel in 14 hours and 18 minutes in 2002, butterfly crossing of 16.8K (10.5-mile) Lake Windermere in 6 hours and 7 minutes in 1991, and a 67.5K (42-mile) quadruple crossing of Lake Windermere in 21 hours and 17 minutes.
Reg Bricknell, Sr., Great Britain, Honour Pilot-2003
For 30 years until his death in 1982, Reg was one of the most successful English Channel pilots. He piloted 83 solo swims of which 39 were successful. He also took 12 one-way relays and the first two-way relay, all of which were successful. Among those he piloted into the record books were Penny Lee Dean, Helge Jensen, Tina Bischoff and Lynne Cox. He was also the pilot for most of Des Renford’s King of the Channel® swims.
Reg Brickell, Jr., Great Britain, Honour Pilot-2009
Ray Brickell, Great Britain, Honour Pilot-2009
Reg and Ray have served as English Channel pilots under the guidance of their father Reg over the course of four decades. Reg started work with his father at the age of 16 in 1967 and his brother also started at the age of 16 years, 3 years later. In 1981, they took over the running of the boat from their father. On average, the brothers take up to 30 swimmers each season across the English Channel, including escorts for several world record swims. Like their father, they remain very involved with the Channel Swimming Association.
Dr. Harry H. Briggs, USA, Honour Swimmer-1997
Dr. Briggs was the first to swim from Corsica to Sardinia in 1955 and was the first to complete a swim across Lake Erie from Sandusky, Ohio, USA to Point Pelee, Ontario, Canada in 1957 in 35 hours and 55 minutes. A political science instructor known as The Paddlin’ Professor, he became the first person to swim 58K (36 miles) across Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, USA. Dr. Briggs completed 43 marathon swims over the course of his career. At the age of 76, he swam 16K (10 miles) across Lake Sunapee as a fundraiser and continues to do fundraising open water swims into his 90s.
British Long Distance Swimming Association, Great Britain(BLDSA), Honour Organisation-2002
The trail-blazing British Long Distance Swimming Association started to conduct its annual championships in Lake Windermere in 1957. After an affiliation with the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association, the Lake Windermere Championship expanded to accept competitors from Australia, Israel, USA, Canada, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Ireland, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Holland, Belgium and many other countries.
Since 1964, the 25K (15.5-mile) International Long-Distance Swimming Championships have been held in Lake Windermere. In 1986, the first 25K (15.5-mile) World Cup Long Distance Swimming Championships were held under the auspices of FINA and run regularly thereafter.
Over the years, the British Long Distance Swimming Association has held the Windermere Two-Way, Derwentwater Senior and Coniston Senior, Morecambe Cross Bay, Champion of Champions, Derwentwater Junior, Lynn Regis, Wykham Lake Junior and Senior, the Waterloo Junior, Rivington Reservoir Senior, Veterans, Junior and Novice events, and the Millennium Celebration Championships.
Tom Burgess, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1983
Tom, who was a 1900 Olympic swimmer, became the second man to swim the English Channel in 22 hours and 35 minutes in 1911 on his 14th attempt.
Peggy Buchse, Germany, Honour Swimmer-2003
Peggy won the German National Championship 5K (3.1 miles) and tried the 25K (15.5 miles) at the European Open Water Swimming Championships. She eventually won two European 25K (15.5-mile) Championships and placed as second in the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships. She also won 14 races on the FINA Marathon Swimming Cup Series.
Sir William (Billy) Edmund Butlin, Great Britain, Honour Administrator-1963
Between 1953 and 1959, Sir Butlin organized and sponsored the International Channel races across the English Channel to great worldwide fanfare.
Lord Byron, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1982
Lord Byron was one of the earliest pioneers of open water swimming. On May 3, 1810, Lord Byron swam the Hellespont, emulating the legendary Greek Leander. Byron swam 6.4K (4 miles) in one hour and ten minutes. He also swam in the length of the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.
Maria Luisa Cabañeros Sanchez de Leon, Spain, Honour Swimmer-2009
Maria set three Strait of Gibraltar records from Spain to Africa, from Africa to Spain and a double-crossing. She competed in professional marathon swims in Italy, Argentina, Canada, USA, Macedonia, Brazil and Mexico.
Nora Toledano Cadena, Mexico, Honour Swimmer-2006
Nora was the first and only Mexican and first Latin American woman and sixth person to complete a double-crossing of the English Channel. She crossed the English Channel six times individually in 1992, 1994, 1997 and 2005, and five times on a relay. She has swam 45K (28 miles) from Akumal to Cozumel in Mexico, 70K (43.4 miles) from Cozumel to Cancun in Mexico, 48K (29.8 miles) around Manhattan Island in New York, USA and won the 3K (1.8 miles) at the 2005 World Masters Games. She coached give Mexican English Channel Swimmers from Mexico and is the co-author with Antonio Argüelles of Endless Blue, an open water swimming book. She organized the FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup in Cancún (Mexico) and was nominated in 1994, 1997 and 2005 to receive the National Sports Award in Mexico.
Alfredo Camarero, Argentina, Honour Swimmer-1978
Alfredo twice swam the English Channel. He won the Billy Butlin International Channel race from France to England in 11 hours and 43 minutes in 1959 and the 1960 race from France to England in 12 hours and 23 minutes. He also won the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 12 hours and 17 minutes in 1957.
Richard “Dick” Campion, Australia, Honour Coach-2010/11
Richard was a world championship individual and team gold medal coach and has promoted open water swimming globally since 1967.
After he competed in the 1960 Olympics, he competed on the professional marathon swimming circuit in Italy (1975 and 1976 Capri-Napoli Marathon Swim), Canada (1975 Traversee Internationale du lac St-Jean, 1975 Lac La Tuque 24-hour Swim, 1976 lac Chibougamau Marathon), He won the 1976 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships in the year he was elected President of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation. He also served as the President of the Australian Marathon Swimming Federation from 1977-1979 and was a member of the Australian Open Water Swimming Committee from 1988-2001 during which time he wrote the Open Water Swimming handler and trainer’s 25K manual, suitable for 25k, adopted by Australian Swimming and organized the 1999 Pan Pacific Open Water Championships. From 1989-1998, he was the national open water swimming coach for Australia where he coached swimmers to gold, silver and bronze at the 1991 and 1998 World Swimming Championships, the 1991 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and several international competitions in Italy, France, Canada and the USA. He designed the Australian Swimming 16K Grand Prix Series and, from 1990-1996, he was the Chief Presenter of Open Water Swimming Coaching at Australian National Coaching Conferences and coached a 93K world record 4-person relay from Malta to Sicily in 1996 and English Channel and Manhattan Island Marathon Swim athletes.
Pedro A Candiotti, Argentina, Honour Swimmer-1965
Pedro, known as the “Shark of Quilla Creek”, swam from 1922 to1946, primarily in Argentina rivers including a 390K (242-mile) swim between March 14 and 17, 1930 from Goya to Santa Fe in a total time of 66 hours and 15 minutes down the River Plate. He tried 17 times to swim 328K (204 miles) from Rosario to Buenos Aires in Argentina, but failed with his last attempt of 74 hours and 30 minutes. His longest swim was 84 hours in length when he swam 452K (281 miles) down the Parana River from Santa Fe to Zarate in Argentina.
Sid Cassidy, USA, Honour Swimmer-2005
As a swimmer, Sid was ranked fourth as a professional marathon swimmer in 1979. He swam several 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swims in Atlantic City, USA and competed in professional marathon races in Chicago, Canada and Egypt. He both coached and swam on a record-setting double-crossing of the English Channel by the USA Swimming National Team in 1990.
He served as the USA Swimming National Open Water Coach for five years, was race director for six international marathon swims and the FINA Open Water World Cup events at Atlantic City, USA.
Sid’s greatest influence in the sport has been achieved as a result of his work as chairman of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee where he has oversight of the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit, the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix series and the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships. Under his leadership, marathon swimming was added to the Olympic program at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. He was the official starter of the first Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has helped standardize and professionalize the judging and staging of marathon swims around the world. Sid received highest award by USA Swimming in 2009.
Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (CCSF), USA, Honour Organisation-2010/11
The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation is the governing body in California’s Catalina Channel whose mission is to promote interest in Catalina Channel Swimming, furnish information to and advise those intending to make the swim,promote the safety and welfare of the swimmer, observe and authenticate persons who swim the Catalina Channel and gather and preserve historical Catalina Channel Swimming data. Since the first crossing in 1927, there have been 199 successful solo swimmers and 70 successful relays.
Daniel Eulogio Carpio Massioti “Carpayo”, Peru, Honour Swimmer-2005
Daniel participated in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, 1936 Berlin Olympics and 1948 London Olympics. Daniel was the first South American to cross the English Channel in 1947 and also crossed in 1951 in the Daily Mail Race in 13 hours and 50 minutes. He crossed the River Plate in 1945, 1977 and 1982 when he was 72 years old. He held national titles in Chile and Argentina. The National Swimming Pool in Lima, Peru is named after him. He was the first person to cross the Strait of Gibraltar in 1948, 1977 and 1988 (when he was 78 years old). In 1947, he was awarded the Order of the Sun as a Great Master by the President of Peru and the Recognition Award by the Peruvian Institute of Sports.
Cavill Family, Australia, Honour Swimmers-1967
The Cavill Family consists of two generations of six colorful champion swimmers (1897 – 1938) who promoted swimming and set national and regional records.
Fred (Father):Royal Humane Society, received four medals for life saving; missed completing English Channel swim by 50 yards when boatman refused to land at night.
Ernest: World record holder in the 1000-yard freestyle and “World Title” series winner in England against American champion McCusker.
Charles: First man to cross the Golden Gate.
Percy: Won 4 Australian National Championships and set world records in the 440 yards and 5-mile freestyle. Taught swimming for 15 years in America;
Arthur: Stunt swimmer who crossed rivers with both hands and feet tied. He died from exposure, attempting to swim across Seattle Harbor.
Syd: Won 1 Australian Championship and coached at San Francisco Olympic Club.
Dick: Won 18 Australian titles and 2 English titles. Toured America as Father Neptune in a stage act and was influential in the development of independent arm stroke and leg kick of the crawl stroke. Died of a heart attack during a swimming demonstration in 1938.
Florence Chadwick, USA, Honour Swimmer-1966
Florence was a typist and swimming coach from California. At 32 years old, she became the first woman to swim from England to France in 1951. It is reported that she swum from Cap Gris Nez, France to South Foreland, England in 1950. Her three England-to-France swims each set a record for the fastest time, including her 16 hour and 22 minutes crossing in 1951, her 1953 crossing and her 13 hours and 55 minute crossing in October, 1955. On her last three successful swims she also attempted a double-crossing, but gave up on the return leg on each occasion. In 1952, she also successfully crossed the Catalina Channel in 13 hours and 45 minutes.
Anne Chagnaud, France, Honour Swimmer-1998
Anne was the dominant female swimmer in the early 1990s. She won every race on the professional circuit and placed high at the FINA World Championships. She also won the 25K European Open Water Swimming Championships in 1993.
Channel Swimming Association(CSA), Great Britain, Honour Organisation-1996
The Channel Swimming Association was the primary organization that started the sport of marathon swimming. Its rules have served not only its own purposes, but also have provided models for the national and international rules of many federations and other governing bodies in the sport. The Manhattan Island Swimming Association, Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association have emulated the Channel Swimming Association’s organization and rules.
Sri Chinmoy, India, Honour Administrator-2012
Chinmoy Kumar Ghose, also known as Sri Chinmoy, was an Indian teacher, poet, artist and athlete who inspired many in the endurance sports world. He is the namesake of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team that organises many athletic events worldwide including the 26.4K International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen.
Members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, who have received many awards, honors and recognitions, have swum the English Channel at least 38 times. His followers continue to organise the prestigious and highly popular International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen that draws an international crowd and is sold-out yearafter year.
He founded the Sri Chinmoy Centre and wrote 1,500 books, 115,000 poems and 20,000 songs, created 200,000 paintings and gave almost 800 free peace concerts around the world where he advocated meditation, chanting mantras and prayers, performing dedicated service to God as a way to personal enlightenment.
Inspired by Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950), Chinmoy was encouraged to pursue his athletic abilities.
He was a decathlon champion at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, marathons, ultra-marathons, cycling, as well as captain of the soccer and volleyball teams. During his years at the ashram he spent many hours daily in deep meditation. He competed in endurance events up into his 60′s where his knee injury forced him to switch to low impact sports including tennis and weightlifting. Chinmoy has many followers who are inspired by him to run daily for health and physical fitness. He advocated self-transcendence by expanding one’s consciousness to conquer the mind’s perceived limitations. In the spirit of self transcendence, his students have completed extraordinary feats of endurance.
David Stevens Clark, USA, Honour Administrator-2004
As a swimmer, coach, paddler, or Catalina Channel Swimming Federation observer, David took part in over half of all Catalina Channel swims between 1984 and 2004.
David swam the English Channel in 1988 and has coached four other English Channel swimmers and six Catalina Channel swimmers and many other swimmers attempting marathon swims all over the world. He has advised and assisted many other open water swimmers with all aspects of their preparation for marathon swims, including training, mental preparation, nutrition, safety, navigation, pilot boats and assembling a support crew.
David teaches workshops on escorting open water swimmers, including presentations at the USA Swimming Open Water Training Camp. His technical innovations include feeding systems, the introduction of kayaks for escorting swimmers, and the development of navigation tools and training materials for the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation.
Marian Cassidy Clark, USA, Honour Swimmer-1997
During her five years on the professional circuit, Marian never finished lower than third and won several major championships. In 1992, she finished a second to Shelley Taylor-Smith in the overall world rankings and set the record at the 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo – Capri-Napoli Swim. In 1990, she was appointed as a USA Swimming Open Water National Team Coach and developed many excellent marathon swimmers. She escorted several swimmers at the World Championships and other major events.
Anne Cleveland, USA, Honour Swimmer-2010/11
After being pulled from the water in her first channel swim attempt at the age of 43 in the Catalina Channel, Anne has come back from that disappointment in victorious fashion.
Anne has crossed the Maui Channel (4:09 in 2000 and 5:22 in 2001), the Catalina Channel Normal (10:15 in 2001), the English Channel (12:32 in 2002, a two-way in 28:36 in 2004 and 11:33 in 2007) and the Pacific Swim 10K in Fiji (2:41 in 2008). She became the oldest person, at the age of 48, to make a two-way crossing of the English Channel for which she received the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation Award for the Most Meritorious Swim by a Woman. She has also participated in a two-way Catalina Channel relay (2000), a one-way Catalina Channel relay (2003), a 52°F (11°C) relay swim in the Haro Straits in Canada, and relay swims in San Diego. Anne served as President of the La Jolla Cove Swim Club (2001-2002), as a volunteer Observer for the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and served as an Official Observer on English Channel swims in 2002 and 2004.
Jose Cortinas, Cuba, Honour Swimmer-1967
Jose Cortinas completed a 28 hour and 55 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel in 1952.
Christine Cossette, Canada, Honour Swimmer-1982
In 1984, Christine, a 22-year old Canadian swimmer, became the first person to complete a 64K (39.7-mile) double-crossing of lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada in 18 hours and 27 minutes, leading to an annual double-crossing race from 1985 to 1989. After completing the first leg in 9 hours and 29 minutes, she swam the second leg in 8 hours and 59 minutes.
Robert Cossette, Canada, Honour Swimmer-2004
Despite being crippled in one leg by polio, Robert participated in the 32K (19.8-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean from 1955 to 1965, the 32K (19.8-mile) Traversée de la Manche from Angleterre – France, the 51K (32-mile) Traversée du Lac Ontario (Marathon de Brading), the Ste-Anne de Beaupré, the 70K (44-mile) Montréal swim, the 35K (22-mile) Around Atlantic City Swim, the 16K (10-mile) Trois-Rivières Swim, the Marathon de l’Expo de Toronto, the Lac Simon Swim, the Détroit de Juan de Fuca and La Gilman Chibougamau Swim. He was the first person to swim 37K (23 miles) from Chicoutimi to Bagotville in the Saguenay River in Canada that resulted in the annual la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay numerous times. He was president from 1973 to 1988 of the Marathon du Saguenay and trained several swimmers for la Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean and 37K (23-mile) la Descente du Saguenay.
James “Doc” Counsilman, USA, Honour Swimmer-1981
Doc was the world-renowned coach from the University of Indiana who became the oldest man to cross the English Channel in 1979. His well-documented effort made headlines and brought marathon swimming to the attention of the entire world.
Abilio Couto, Brazil, Honour Swimmer- 2001
Abilio swam from France to England and, with only 14 days rest, swam the other way from England to France in 12 hours and 49 minutes to set a world record in 1959. He was the first Brazilian and the South American to swim the English Channel.
He won eight International Long-Distance Swimming Federation events from 1959 to 1975 and was the four-time overall champion in 1959, 1961, 1963 and 1967. He was instrumental in the establishment of the first Brazil National Open Water Championships and many other events including the 25K (15.5-mile) Ilhhabella-Caraguatauba swim. He swam the English Channel three times including his 1959 England-to-France record. He unofficially crossed the Catalina Channel in 1968 as well as the Strait of Gibraltar in 1965, Lake Michigan in 1965, the Suez Canal in 1974, the Nile River in 1975, Mar del Plata in 1960 and Lake Ontario in 1960. It is estimated that Abilio swam more than 40,000K (28,854 miles) during his career.
Lynne Cox, USA, Honour Swimmer-1982
In 1971, at age 14 Lynne swam across the Catalina Channel in 12 hours and 36 minutes. In 1972, she swam across the English Channel, setting a men’s and women’s records in 9 hours and 57 minutes. In 1973, she re-set the English Channel records in 9 hours and 36 minutes. In 1974, she broke the men’s and women’s records across the Catalina Channel in 8 hours and 48 minutes. In 1975, she became the first woman to swim across the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand in 12 hours and 2 minutes. In 1976, she broke the men’s and women’s record for swimming the Oresund between Denmark and Sweden in 5 hours and 9 minutes. She broke the men’s and women’s record for swimming across the Kattegut between Norway to Sweden in a time of 6 hours and 16 minutes. In 1976, she became the first person to swim across the 42°F waters of the Strait of Magellan in 1 hour and 2 minutes. In 1977, she became the first person to swim between three of the Aleutian Islands and the first person to swim 12.8K (8 miles) around the Cape of Good Hope in a time of 3 hours and 3 minutes. In 1980, she swam around Joga-shima Island in Japan. In 1983, she swam across the three Lakes of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. In 1984, she swam across 12 major waterways across the U.S. In 1985, she swam ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ by swimming 12 extremely challenging waterways some that had never been attempted. In 1987, she became the first person to swim across the Bering Strait between the Big Diomede Island and the Little Diomede Island in 40°F water in 2 hours and 6 minutes. In 1988, she became the first person to swim across Lake Baikal. In 1990, she completed an unprecedented crossing of the Beagle Channel between Argentina and Chile. In 1990, she swam across the Spree River between the newly united German Republics. In 1992, Lynne became the first person to swim across Lake Titicaca from Bolivia to Peru. In 1994, she swam through the Gulf of Aqaba from Egypt to Israel and from Israel to Jordan. In 2002, she became the first person to swim 1.9K (1.2 miles) in Antarctica from a ship to Neko Harbor in a time of 25 minutes in 31°F water.
Francis Crippen, USA, Honour Swimmer-2010/11
26-year-old Fran Crippen was the emotional and inspirational leader of the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Team and a dynamic personality on the professional marathon swimming circuit that began after a successful transition from the pool.
Besides his quick rise to the top echelon of professional marathon swimming, he was a personable ambassador of the sport. His love of the sport of marathon swimming was shared with fans, the media, his teammates and rivals.
At the time of his tragic death during a professional marathon race, he was second in the rankings on his first full season on the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit. He won six national titles in America, two FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup titles, a bronze in the 2009 World Swimming Championships 10K, a gold in the 2007 Pan American Games 10K, a silver in the 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships 10K and finished 4th in the 2010 World Swimming Championships 10K in a career that was cut short.
Brojen Das, Pakistan, Honour Swimmer-1965
In 1958, Brojen became the first Asian to swim across the English Channel. He crossed the English Channel six times to become King of the Channel® from 1960 to 1974, setting four records in the process. He also held the record for the fastest crossing for three years.
Silvia Beatríz Dalotto, Argentina, Honour Swimmer-2005
Silvia was the International Marathon Swimming Association world champion in 1990 after winning the Santa Fé- Coronda Marathon in Argentina, getting third in the Travesía Bahía de Todos los Santos in Brazil, the 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo – Capri-Napoli in Italy, the Lago Trasimeno Marathon in Italy and the Around the Island Marathon in Atlantic City, USA, and fifth in the 42K (26-mile) Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada. She was the third overall in the 1991 International Marathon Swimming Association, sixth in 1992, fifth in 1993, third in 1994, third in 1995 and second in 1996.Upon completion of her marathon swimming career, Silvia received many awards and honors from the Argentine Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee and became a FINA Open Water Official, judging at the FINA Open Water World Championships in Barcelona and other FINA World Cup races.
Barrie Davenport, New Zealand, Honour Swimmer-1968
In 1962, Barrie made history as the first person in modern times to swim the 25.7K (16 nautical miles) Cook Strait, finishing from the North Island to the South Island in 11 hours and 20 minutes.
William Forest “Buck” Dawson, USA, Honour Administrator-1993
As executive director of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Buck made major efforts to include open water swimming as integral part of the Hall of Fame through displays and written materials maintained in the museum’s library. Buck, known as “Mr. Swimming Hall of Fame”, supported the AAU and United States Swimming Long Distance Swimming Programs. Buck wrote the Hall’s charter and helped grow the Hall from an idea to a shoebox collection and, ultimately, a million dollar operation as the world’s showcase and archives of swimming.
His swimming camps also served as training camps for the United States Swimming Open Water National Teams and individuals training for English Channel and other marathon swim endeavors. Buck founded the annual Fort Lauderdale Rough Water Swim, formerly known as the International Swimming Hall of Fame Ocean Mile, and the Galt Ocean Mile Swims.
Buck was the first president of the International Sports Heritage Association, now a 136-member organization of Sports Halls of Fame which he founded under the name of International Association of Sports Museums and Halls of Fame. Under Buck’s leadership, the International Swimming Hall of Fame became the world’s first international Hall of Fame when it was recognized by the 96-member FINA Congress in 1968.
Buck was also a writer whose books included A Civil War Artist From the Front, When the Earth Explodes, Michigan Ensian, All About Dryland Exercises For Swimmers, Weissmuller to Spitz—An Era to Remember, Age Group Swimming and Diving For Teacher and Pupil, Million Dollar Mermaids—America’s Love Affair With Its First Women Swimmers, Gold Medal Pools, We Don’t Sew Beads on Belts and Stand Up and Hook Up.
Buck was honored as an inductee in International Swimming Hall of Fame following retirement in 1986.
Penny Lee Dean, USA, Honour Swimmer- 1980
Penny set the overall English Channel record of 7 hours and 40 minutes in 1978 which stood until 1995 when one of her own swimmers broke it. Penny also set records in the Catalina Channel, from the mainland to Catalina in 7 hours and 16 minutes in 1976, and from Catalina to the mainland in 8 hours and 33 minutes in 1977 on her way to a 80.4K (50-mile) double-crossing in 20 hours and 3 minutes.
She was the 1979 World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation’s women’s champion winning in the 42K (26-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA, the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada, the 24-hour La Tuque relay in Canada and thePaspébiac marathon swim in Canada.
She was a founding member of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and served as the USA Swimming National Open Water Team Coach for eight years, taking teams to the 1991 Pan Pacific Championships, 1991 World Swimming Championships, 1982 and 1990 Windermere Championships, 1990 English Channel Race, 1984 and 1989 Catalina Channel Race and coach of nine solo Catalina Channel swimmers. She was president of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America from 1985 to 1987 and served on the NCAA Swimming Committee.
She has presented numerous international clinics on marathon and open water swimming, written articles for swimming publications and authored How to Swim a Marathon with printings in 1985, 1988 and 1992, Open Water Swimming, a how-to manual, and History of the Catalina Swims in 1985. She was the meet director for the US Swimming Open Water 1984 International Invitational held in California and authored two books on open water swimming: and The History of the Catalina Swims. Penny is also an honoree of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Diego Degano, Argentina, Honour Swimmer-1995
Diego was a professional marathon swimmer in the 1990’s. He won the 40K (25-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean race in 1991, was 2nd in the 1992 race in 9 hours and 47 minutes and was 5th in the 1993 race in 9 hours and 33 minutes.
Ned Denison, Ireland, Honour Administrator-2012
Ned has motivated, educated, organized and assisted thousands of swimmers from California (USA) to Cork (Ireland) in a sport that he passionately serves with compassion, experience and a relentless drive.
He is a mountain of a man who not only a high-achieving marathon swimmer in his own right, but a gem of the open water world who is also giving a great deal back to the sport by helping others achieve their dreams.
He has helped and energized many open water swimmers under the auspices of the Sandycove Island Swim Club and the force of his engaging personality.
He started the Blackrock to Cobh swim (now known as the 16K Cork to Cobh swim) and founded the Cork Ireland – Long Distance Swim Camp and the Irish Champion of Champions Swim that had 50 participants in 2009 and he and his wife Anne (Alcatraz 2006) have hosted five annual Channel dinners. He knows the sport as an athlete for he has completed multiple channel swims in Ireland, South Africa and California.
Denison was chairperson of Ireland’s first National Open Water Committee where he created the first national list of open water swims and assembled a mailing list to over 3,000 swimmers in Ireland to promote open water swimming. In 2006, he organized 94 Irish swimmers to travel to the Alcatraz Swim in San Francisco which remains the largest group of Irish swimmers to compete in an international competition. He is a founding member of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association in California and the Kingdom Swim in Vermont, USA, and is on the committee for the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.
Igor De Sousa, Brazil, Honour Swimmer-2004
Igor swam the English Channel in 11 hours and 6 minutes in 1996 as the best male time of the year. He swam an 18 hour and 33 minute double-crossing of the English Channel in 1997 whose first (9 hours and 31 minutes) and second (9 hours and 2 minutes) legs were the fastest times for crossings in that year. Igor won the 48K (28.5-mile) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim twice in 1994 and 2001. He started swimming International Marathon Swimming Association events in 1985 and was ranked in the top 10 between1987 and 1994. For 15 years, he competed all over the world, winning some races and finishing all. He swam 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA a total of ten times.
Marcos Diaz, Dominican Republic, Honour Swimmer-20
Marcos is one of the world’s most prolific marathon swimmers of modern times.
He completed the Swim Across The Continents, a series of marathon swims endorsed by the United Nations, and celebrated International Coastal Cleanup Day with a 22K solo swim along the north shore of the Dominican Republic. He is one of the United Nations Development Program Goodwill Ambassadors.
Marcos has also done the 81K Bhagirathi River swim in India, won the International Crossing of the Toroneos Gulf in Greece 3 times, and competed in swims in Hong Kong, Dominican Republic, Croatia, Greece, Florida, Australia and Argentina where he did 3 pro races: Hernandarias-Parana in 88 kilometers in 9 hours 42 minutes in Argentina, Rosario Marathon in 9 kilometers in 1 hour 31 minutes in Argentina, and Santa Fe-Coronda, 57 kilometers in 8 hours 5 minutes in Argentina.
Paolo Donaggio, Italy, Honour Swimmer-1980
Paolo did a variety of ultra-marathon swims in Italy.
James Doty, USA, Honour Swimmer-2002
Jim swam across or the length of most New Hampshire lakes and swam on the professional circuit in World Professional Marathon Swimming Association races in Chicago, La Tuque, Chiccoutimi and Rhode Island, along with two English Channel attempts. He established the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Davids-Wheeler Award in 1968, started the Boston Light Swim in1978 and founded the New England Marathon Swimming Association in 1978 as a charity organization to study water conditions, water safety and promote swimming.
Robert Dowling, USA, Honour Swimmer-1970
Robert became the first person to swim the circumference of Manhattan Island in 1915 in 13 hours and 45 minutes. In 1917, he competed in a 64K (40-mile) upstream river swim in the Hudson River, USA. A few years later, as a Navy officer during World War I, Dowling proposed that swimmers set two mines into enemy harbors.
Lyndon Dunsbee, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1988
Lyndon set a France-to-England record in the English Channel in 1984 with an 8 hours and 34 minute crossing along with another England-to-France crossing in1989.
George Duthie, Canada, Honour Administrator-1966
George organized the famous professional Canadian National Exhibition swims from 1933 to 1968 as the Canadian National Exhibition Manager of Sports Department and was later inducted in the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada’s Hall of Fame.
Edith van Dijk, Netherlands, Honour Swimmer-2007
Edith won a silver in the 5K (3.1-mile) race and bronze in the 25K (15.5-mile) race at the 1998 World Swimming Championships and won the 10K (6.2-mile) and 25K (15.5-mile) races in the 2000 World Open Water Swimming Championships. She crossed the English Channel in 2003 in 9 hours and 10 minutes. She won a bronze in the 5K (3.1-mile) and two gold medals in both the 10K (6.2-miles) and 25K (15.5-mile) race at the 2005 World Swimming Championships. She also won the 2001 88K (54.6-mile) Maratón Acuática Rio Coronda. She won a bronze in the 10K (6.2-mile) race and a silver medal in the 25K (15.5-mile) race at the 2000 World Swimming Championships. She won two silvers in the 5K (3.1-mile) and 25K (15.5-mile) races at the 2002 World Open Water Swimming Championships. She won a bronze in the 10K (6.2-mile) and a gold in the 25K (15.5-mile) race at the 2003 World Swimming Championships. She won a bronze in the 5K (3.1-mile) and two gold medals in the 10K (6.2-mile) and 25K (15.5-mile) races at the 2005 World Swimming Championships. She also won the 2000, 2001 and 2005 FINA World Cup series when she won marathon swims in Argentina, Macedonia, Canada, England the Egypt.
She was named Swimming World Magazine’s Long Distance Swimmer of the Year and became the Dutch Sportswomen of the Year in 2005.
Edith also played a movie role in the 2006 Argentinian documentary Agua, where she plays herself. She culminated her career by coming out of retirement to place 14th in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Gertrude Ederle, USA, Honour Swimmer-1963
Gertrude was once the world’s most celebrated woman for becoming the first woman to swim the English Channel in 14 hours and 31 minutes in 1926. When Gertrude returned to New York City, an estimated two million New Yorkers lined the sidewalks on August 27, 1926, to heap their applause and tons of confetti on her. She toured America after her Channel record, demonstrating her freestyle in a specially built swimming tank and made cameo appearances at Billy Rose’s Aquacade at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.
At the 1924 Paris Olympic, she won a gold medal as the leadoff swimmer on the United States 4×100 meter freestyle relay to set a world record and added bronze medals in the 100- and 400 meter freestyle races. She set 29 world and American records, at distances from 100 to 500 meters before she tried to cross the English Channel in 1925 when she was disqualified when a support team member grabbed her arm to assist.
In her 1926 record swim from France to England, Gertrude wore a revolutionary two-piece bathing suit and personally designed wrap-around goggles, which were kept watertight with molten candle wax.
Jon Erikson, USA, Honour Swimmer-1981
Jon swam the English Channel from France to England in 1969 as the youngest swimmer and did a double-crossing in 1979 with his first leg as the fastest crossing of the year. He did two English-to-France crossings in 1980 and became the first person to do a triple crossing in 1981 with a historic 38 hour and 27 minute effort. Jon also did many professional marathon swims in Canada, Mexico and Argentina.
Ted Erikson, USA, Honour Swimmer-1978
Ted started marathon swimming at the age of 33 in 1961 when he became the first person to swim across Lake Michigan in the USA. He swam from England to France in 12 hours and 25 minutes in 1964. His career peaked in 1965 with a record double crossing of the English Channel in 30 hours and 3 minutes on his third attempt. His record stood for 10 years until it was broken by his, Jon. Ted still holds the record for swimming 50.6K (31.5 miles) in 14 hours and 35 minutes from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA across frigid shark-infested waters in 1967.
He participated in eight professional marathon swims in Lake Michigan USA, Atlantic City, USA, the La Tuque 24-hour relay with Dennis Matuch in Canada and the Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada. His Lake Michigan swims included a 59K (36.75-mile) swim from Chicago, Illinois to Michigan City, Indiana, USA in 1961 in 36 hours and 37 minutes, a 80.4K (50-mile) swim from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA in 35 hours and 37 minutes in 1962, and a 96.5K (60-mile) swim from Chicago to St. Joseph, Michigan, USA in 37 hours and 25 minutes in 1963.
He also guided four protégés across the English Channel, did a 19K (12-mile) Chain o’ Lakes swim from Winter Haven, Florida to Cypress Gardens in 1961 and a 64K (40-mile) pool swim (of 3,520 lengths) at Illinois Athletic Club in Chicago in 1963 in 22 hours and 17 minutes.
Faros Maraton, Honour Organisation-2012
The Croatian International Long Distance Swimming Championship, also known as the Faros Maratón Swim, has developed over the last 36 years from a small provincial marathon swim into a world-class event drawing the international elite.
The professional race is 16 kilometers in the sea of Stari Grad Bay on Hvar Island and takes place in the month of August. 1,089 athletes from 42 countries have taken part in this international celebration.
As one of the leading sports events in Croatia, it was previously known as the Yugoslav International Long Distance Swimming Championship where it continued to host their event even despite war conditions.
Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA), Honour Organisation, Switzerland, 1994
In the late 1980’s, FINA President Robert Helmick authorized a special commission to study open water swimming and determine its place in the FINA Family of Aquatic Sports. FINA President Mustafa Lafaoui established a Technical Open Water Swimming Committee (TOWSC) to formalize Open Water Swimming Rules, conduct World Championships in the 5K (3.1-mile), 10K (6.2-mile) and 25K (15.5-mile) distances and to help support efforts to add a marathon swimming event in to Olympic Games. These efforts came to fruition with the addition of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Maurice Ferguson, Great Britain, Honour Administrator-2003
Maurice was the British Long Distance Swimming Association President in 1989, its Secretary between 1994 and 2003, its Honorary Recorder between 1974 and 1999, its Membership Secretary since 2000 and its Pilot Lifesaver Scheme Honorary Secretary since 2003.
Maurice trained English Channel relay teams and three solo channel swimmers and was awarded the Association’s James Brennan Trophy in 1992, the Harry Moffatt Trophy in 1994, the Veteran Swimmer of the Year Trophy in 1983 and the Eileen Butcher Trophy as the eldest swimmer in the Association’s Veterans Championship in 2003.
Gerald Forsberg, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1965
Commander Forsberg competed in 211 long distance swims, logging 2,021K (1,256 miles) in championship swims and was President of the Channel Swimming Association between 1963 and1997.
Commander Forsberg was the British Long Distance Swimming Association champion in Windermere (1957‑1958), Tobray (1958), Loch Lomond (1959) and the record holder in Lough Neagh, Morecambre Bay 2-way, Windermere 2‑way, and the English Channel (record holder between 1957 and 1959 from England to France). He also set a record in the Bristol Channel in 1964 and completed over 14,162K (8,800 miles) of swimming in open water.
He was also the president of the British Long Distance Swimming Association between 1982 and 1983, president of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and a Life Member of the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association.
He was the author of three books, numerous articles promoting the Royal and Merchant Navy’s swimming, live saving interests and long distance swimming and was a regular columnist for the Nautical Magazine since 1957 and Swimming Times promoting long distance swimming for 40 years. His publications include Long Distance Swimming (1957), First Stokes in Swimming (1961), Modern Long Distance Swimming (1963), Salvage from the Sea (1977) and numerous short stories, articles and papers for general periodicals and technical journals.
In 1998, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as a Pioneer Contributor.
Benjamin Franklin, USA, Honour Administrator-1983
Benjamin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America and was a leading author, printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, diplomat and statesman of his ear. He was credited with the invention of wooden hand paddles and was an avid swimmer all his life, as an early proponent of physical fitness.
Drury Gallagher, USA, Honour Administrator-2010/11
Drury is a visionary who created the Manhattan Island Marathon swim, one of the world’s most popular marathon swims.
Due to his hard-work and commitment to swimming, New York City is now a visually dynamical hotbed of marathon swimming, world renowned for its Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. As a pool swimmer, Drury set 27 FINA Masters world record and later he founded the Manhattan Island Swimming Association that will be his tremendously appreciated legacy as a memorial to his son, Drury, Jr. who died in a tragic accident. Drury is leaving one big wake – as an athlete and an open water swimming visionary.
Rosemary George, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-2003
Rosemary swam from England to France in 1960 in 21 hours and 35 minutes. In 1961, she swam from Capri to Naples in Italy in 12 hours, 35K (21.7 miles) in Lake Ohrid, Yugoslavia in 14 hours. In 1962, she swam from Capri to Naples again in 11 hours and 30 minutes. In 1963, she swam 35K (21.7 miles) from Jeble to Lattakia in Syria in 12 hours and 30 minutes, 40K (24.8 miles) from Montazza to Alexandria in Egypt in 15 hours, and 44K (27.3 miles) in the Suez Canal in Egypt in 16 hours. In 1967, she swam from France to England in 17 hours and 50 minutes to become the third woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.
In 1969, she trained Jon Erikson, then the youngest male to swim the English Channel. In 1976, she trained Jon again when he broke his father’s double-crossing English Channel record with a time of 30 hours. In 1981, she trained Jon for the first triple-crossing of the English Channel in 38 hours and 27 minutes. She also trained a number of other successful English Channel swimmers including Father Robert Manning, the only Catholic priest to cross the English Channel in a time of 18 hours and 15 minutes in 1984.
Mercedes Gleitze, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer- 1969
In 1927, Mercedes became the first English woman to swim the English Channel and did a variety of marathon swims in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
In 1923, Mercedes set a British female record of 10 hours and 45 minutes for swimming in the Thames River. In 1928, she became the first person to swim the 12.8K (8-mile) Straits of Gibraltar in 12 hours and 50 minutes, starting in Tarifa, Spain and finishing in Punta Leona, Morocco. In 1929, she swam Lough Neagh in Ireland in 20+ hours. In 1930, she swam Hellespont in 2+ hours. In 1931, she swam across Galloway Bay in 19+ hours and across Sydney Harbor. She swam in Cape Town in 1932 to bring the total number of marathon swims to an incredible 51 with 25 of her swims taking at least 26 hours to complete.
With the money she earned from her swims, she established the Mercedes Gleitze Home for the Homeless in Leicester, England which opened in1933 until it was destroyed during World War II.
Christopher Green, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-2012
Chris participated in marathon swims as a competitor around the world, served as an administrator, and was an innovator and pioneer. He completed swims across all 16 lakes in the Lake District in England in 2000. He has crossed Morecambe Bay north of Blackpool, England 51 times. He swam across the Strait of Gibraltar in a cage, swum in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and 23 times Windermere, England. He swam 26 miles around Walney Island, 16 across Lake Zurich in Switzerland, 10 miles around Robben Islands, 16 miles from Capri to Napoli in Italy, swum around Manhattan Island, done the Swim Around Key West in Florida, and swam 35 miles from Sombrero Key to Alligator Reef in Florida.
William “Bill” Goll, USA, Honour Pioneer Swimmer-2010/11
Bill was born about 1908, finished second in the 1930 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and was seen as a true pioneer in the sport of marathon swimming.
Over the course of his varied and three-decade career, Bill participated in nine Canadian National Exhibition swims, one of the most prestigious marathon swims of its era, between 1931 and 1954 with many top five finishes.
In the later stages of his career, Bill also participated in at least five 22.5-mile swims around Atlantic City in New Jersey between 1954 and 1959, always finishing in the top 10 despite being between 47 and 51 years old.
To make ends meet, he traveled as a high diver with a carnival during the Great Depression between 1935-1939. Truly an early pioneer and a rare one, doubling as a high diver.
Elaine Gray, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1971
Elaine is considered to be one of the greatest British swimmers of the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Between 1962 and 1965, she won 15 consecutive British Long Distance Swimming Association and five Amateur Swimming Association Championships 8K (5-mile) swims, the 1966 Lake Windermere International and the International Schelde Championship.
In 1966, she set an all comers, amateur and women’s record for Lake Windermere. She won five British Long Distance Swimming Association Lake Windermere 16K (10-mile) Championships, four Torbay Championships and the British Long Distance Swimming Association 20.9K (13-mile) Fleetwood to Morecambe Championship.
In 1967, she set a new France-to-England record across the English Channel.
Joe Grossman, USA, Honour Administrator-1979
Joe was involved in all aspects of marathon swimming administration, organization and promotion and is considered the Founding Father of the modern era of marathon swimming. He was instrumental in the formation of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Association and served as its secretary. Joe traveled worldwide as a public information officer and took these opportunities to promote marathon swimming and to lay the foundation to unify marathon swimming programs. He worked tirelessly to increase the prize money for the swimmers and to develop an equitable distribution of the available money.
Christopher Guesdon, Australia, Honour Administrator-2009
Christopher is credited with creating the modern format of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim together with Sid Cassidy and Dennis Miller. He has been instrumental in the sport as a race organizer, behind-the-scenes administrator and race official who has written manuals, worked as support crew, lobbyist and historian throughout Oceania, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe.
Christopher was a FINA-accredited Open Water Swimming Referee between 1992 – 2008 and manager of the Australian Open Water Swimming Team between 1991 – 1996, and a member of the FINA Open Water Swimming Technical Committee between 1996 – 2000. .
He is also a life member and representative of the Channel Swimming Association and was the referee at the 1998 Perth World Championships. He organized the open water events at the 1998 Brisbane Oceania Championships, the 1999 Melbourne Pan Pacific Championships, 2003 Fiji South Pacific Games, 1991-2008 Tasmania Open Water Swimming Championships and the 2007 Darwin Arafura Games as as well as lectured at the Argentina International Open Water Swimming Clinic, the Fiji Technical Officials Clinic, the Mombassa, Kenya Technical Officials Clinic. He also refereed, managed swimmers or lectured in Dubai, Hawaii, Suva (Fiji), Cairns, Melbourne, Rarotonga (Cook Islands), Rotorua (New Zealand), Tasmania, Bali (Indonesia), Lac Chibougamau (Canada), Rosario (Argentina), Lac Memphramagog (Canada), Lac St-Jean (Canada), Saguenay River (Canada), Chicoutimi (Canada), Nile river, Suez Canal, Atlantic City (New Jersey), Lake Michigan, Capri-Napoli (Italy), Lake Ontario, Atlanta (Georgia), San Felice & Crotone (Italy), Terracina (Italy), Evian (France), 90K Relay from Malta to Sicily and Lac La Tuque, an epic 24-hour race in Canada.
In Australia, Christopher was the Secretary of Australian Open Water Swimming Technical Committee between 1988 – 2001, partly for which he received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000. He was the founder of the Australian Long Distance Swimming Federation, which he started to lead from Tasmania in 1973, and a bureau member of the International Long Distance Swimming Federation, which existed between its founding in Paris in 1953 until 1974. He also co-authored with Bill Ford the comprehensive and authoritative Australian Long Distance and Marathon Swimming Manual and helped draft the FINA Open Water Swimming Manual.
Ashby “Bud” Harper, USA, Honour Swimmer-1984
In 1982, Bud became the oldest swimmer to swim the English Channel in 12 hours and 52 minutes at 65 years and 332 days. He also swam the Santa Barbara Channel in 1984 and around 48K (28.5 mile) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 1983 (9 hours and 3 minutes), 1990 (8 hours and 57 minutes) and in 1991 (9 hours and 24 minutes).
Lilian Harrison, Argentina, Honour Swimmer-1973
Lilian was the first person to swim 42K (26 miles) across the River Plate from Uruguay to Argentina in 1923 at the age of 20. In 1925, she won the 42K (26-mile) Seine River race that ended in Paris and attempted a valiant swim in the English Channel.
Abdul Latif Abou Heif, Egypt, Honour Swimmer-1964
Abou Heif, known as the Crocodile of the Nile, enjoyed a tremendous marathon swimming career from 1953 to 1972. In 2001, he was voted Marathon Swimmer of the Century by the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He won the longest professional swim to date, 96.5K (60 miles) in Lake Michigan in 34 hours and 45 minutes and competed in 68 international races – and won 25 – between 30K (18.6 miles) and 80K (49.7 miles) in water temperatures ranging between 12-28.8°C (54-84°F) in France, Italy, United States, Canada, Argentina, Lebanon, England, Yugoslavia, Mexico and Holland.
He won the 1955 Butlin English Channel race in 11 hours and 44 minutes and was the 1964, 1965, and 1968 World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation Champion. He won the 37K (23-mile) la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay in 1968 after returning from the Egyptian-Israel War of 1967 in 9 hours and 10 minutes in 1968 and in 1969 when the race was called after 30.5K (19 miles) before of worsening conditions.
No body of water was too difficult for Abou Heif to challenge and complete. He was also voted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Ishak Helmy, Egypt, Honour Swimmer-1980
Ishak was the ninth person to successfully cross the English Channel in 1928 when he swam from France to England in 23 hours and 40 minutes. He also helped rescue Lilian Harrison on her English Channel attempt in 1925.
Tom Hetzel PhD, USA, Honour Swimmer-1980
From 1968 to 1972, Tom was an internationally ranked marathon swimmer and swum the English Channel eight times as a solo swimmer and captained six relay crossings that set three new records. He swam the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in Canada, the 32K (20-mile) Aswan High Dam, 48.2K (30 miles) in Baja California, 48.2K (30 miles) from Point Lookout in New York, twelve Manhattan Island Marathon Swims and coached Doc Counsilman on his English Channel swim.
Dr. Harry Huffaker, USA, Honour Swimmer- 2010/11
Dr. Huffaker is a pioneer in swimming the dangerous channels in Hawaii. Throughout his illustrious career in the pre-GPS era, Dr. Huffaker has faced sharks, jellyfish, massive ocean swells and strong currents during unprecedented swims in the tropical waters of Hawaii.
During his 1967 Molokai Channel swim, Dr. Huffaker saw a large shark underneath him and immediately headed for his escort boat, but the shark then swam between him and his boat, which was too far away for an easy escape. He continued on and ultimately reached his goal after 16 hours.
Dr. Huffaker was the first person to cross the 30-mile Alenuihaha Channel in 20 hours between the Big Island of Hawaii and Maui in 1970 after his initial failure of 17 hours. He crossed from Molokai to Oahu in 1967 and was the first person to cross between Oahu to Molokai in 1972 after a failed 20-hour attempt when he ran into strong currents, a tiger shark and a brood of Portuguese Man-o-War.
At the age of 50 in 1989, he swam from Lanai to Maui, then Maui to Molokai, then attempted to complete his final Molokai-to-Maui leg before being pulled after 18 hours. He has swum the Maui Channel three times, is the first person to cross the 9.3-mile Kalohi Channel (1989) from Molokai to Lanai, has crossed the 8.5-mile Palilolo Channel from Maui to Molokai (1989). A lifetime of success that followed some dramatic failures has proven Dr. Huffaker to be a true pioneer of Hawaiian Islands channel swimming community.
Captain Leonard Hutchinson, Great Britain, Honour Plot-2004
Captain Hutchinson was one of the best English Channel pilots and is remembered for his skill as a navigator and his kind and considerate manner, no matter how long the crossing took. He piloted more than 100 Channel swims for swimmers from over the world, including Brazil, Pakistan, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Iceland, Argentina, Mexico, Spain and Belgium, over 70 of which are chronicled in his diaries.
He piloted many record-breaking English Channel swims including the crossing of Brojan Das in the 1958 Bultin Race, the 1959 crossing of Abilio Couto in an England-to-France record of 12 hours and 49 minutes, the 1961 crossing of Dorothy Perkins in the earliest date the English Channel had ever been swum in 20 hours and 26 minutes, the 1961 crossing of Rosemary George, the 1961 crossing of Margaret White, then the youngest ever to swim from England to France, Brojan Das’ record crossing from France to England in 10 hours and 35 minutes, Kevin Murphy’s double-crossing and the 1971 double-crossing relay record in 35 hours and 10 minutes.
Chad Hundeby, USA, Honour Swimmer-1996
Chad won the 1991 world 25K championships and set the record for the English Channel in 7 hours and 17 minutes that had stood since 1978. Chad was honored as the Open Water Swimmer of the Year by the USA Swimming in 1991, 1993 and 1994. He also won numerous marathon swims around the world and also set a Catalina Channel record in 1993 in 8 hours and 14 minutes.
Carole Hunt, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1994
Sarah Hunt, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1994
Carole and her sister Sarah became the first twins to swim in English Channel in 1988 in 9 hours and 29 minutes.
Horacio Iglesias, Argentina, Honour Swimmer-1968
Horacio, known as Dorado, was the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation world champion in 1967, 1969, 1971 and 1972. He was runner-up in 1968 and 1970. He won the 24-hour La Tuque relay swim six times with three different partners, including Egypt’s Abou Heif and Holland’s Judith DeNys. He also won the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in Canada in 8 hours and 55 minutes in 1967, in 9 hours and 31 minutes in 1968, in 9 hours and 32 minutes in 1969, in 8 hours and 39 minutes in 1971 with a second in 1970, and excelled in the warm-water professional swims in South America. He won the 37K (23-mile) la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay in 6 hours and 3 minutes in 1967 and was fifth in 9 hours and 22 minutes in 1968.
He was also honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Open Water Swimmer.
Larisa Dmitriyevna Ilchenko, Russia, Honour Swimmer-2012
Larisa was the gold medalist in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Identified as a world-class swimmer with greater potential in the open water than the pool at the age of 14, she regularly won her races with a classic come-from-behind victory sprint over the last 100 meters. Throughout her remarkable career, the Russian open water swimming star won eight World Championships between 2005 and 2008 and culminated her career at the 2008 Beijing Olympics at age 19. She was been named Swimming World Magazine’s World Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year and dominated the elite open water swimming world since her first FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in 2004, where she won the 5K at the age of 16.
At the 2005 FINA World Swimming Championships in Montreal, she won the 5K again. At the 2006 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in Napoli, Italy, she doubled up with victories in the 5K and 10K, again winning with her trademark closing sprint. By 2007 and 2008, the juggernaut was firmly established and she confidently swaggered her way onshore while dominating the last part of every race she swam. Her career culminated at the 2008 Beijing Olympics 10K Marathon Swim when she won the first gold in open water swimming in very dramatic fashion.
Irish Long Distance Swimming Association (IRDSA), Ireland, Honour Organization-2012
The ILDSA was founded in 1966 with the aim of promoting open water swimming. Honourary Secretary John Moffett organised four events in its first season. Since the auspicious beginning, the ILDSA has organised over 300 open water events, providing thousands of swimmers an opportunity to compete at the highest levels. It was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2011 as an Honor Organisation.
The ILDSA established development races that introduce pool swimmers to the outdoor environment. The core of the ILDSA calendar remains races in Belfast Lough, Dublin Bay, Shannon Esturary, Gaulway Bay, Lough Neagh, Carlingford Lough, and Rathlin Sound. Lough Erne is its major annual championship. These races served as competition for all. For some, these races also helped prepare the swimmers for the English Channel. Indeed, many of today’s Channel Swimmers test themselves in ILDSA events in Clew Bay, Co. Mayo and the annual Championships at Lough Erne before attempting the English Channel. The consistent, high standard of the ILDSA events and its contributions have long been internationally recognised: the ILDSA received the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Award of Merit in 1995. In addition to promoting races, the ILDSA has sought to set standards in marathon swimming challenges. It provided relay teams that were the first to swim the North Channel and the length of Lough Neagh. The ILDSA has also provided observers for North Channel attempts and individual swims in all parts of Ireland and a nationwide support network to encourage and recognize those who challenge the waterways of Ireland.
Helge Jensen, Denmark/Canada, Honour Swimmer-1970
Helge swam the English Channel in 13 hours and 17 minutes in 1959 in the Butlin International race and set a record in the English Channel from England to France in 10 hours and 23 minutes in 1960 that stood for 12 years. He won the 1959 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in Canada and finished second in the 1958 race.
Captain Tim Johnson, USA, Honour Administrator-2006
Captain Johnson made major contributions for the support elements in marathon swimming, including the development of unprecedented computer applications that modeled swims allowing analysis of currents and tides. He was one of the founders of the Manhattan Island Swimming Association and was the organization’s historian. His advice on current and tides set the standards and were partly responsible for the record swims around Manhattan Island. Tim has authored the comprehensive and informative History of Open Water Marathon Swimming.
Peter Jurzynski, USA, Honour Swimmer-2005
Peter made 17 attempts at the English Channel with 13 successes with plans to attempt once per year for as long as he is able to make an honest attempt. He has also swum the Boston Harbor swim numerous times.
Otto Kammerich, Germany, Honour Swimmer-1968
Otto was a German Olympic swimmer. In 1925, Otto swam 36 miles in 22 hours and 56 miles across the Bay of Danzig in the Baltic Sea in 43 hours and 15 minutes from Fehmarn Island to Warnemünde in 1928. In 1928, he set a 46-hour endurance record when he completed several thousand laps of a 44-foot basin.
Britta Kamrau, Germany, Honour Swimmer-2009
Britta has won over 25 FINA World Cup and Grand Prix races and European and world championship races at both 10K (6.2-mile) and 25K (15.5-mile) distances. She won the 2007 world 25K (15.5-mile) championships and silvers in the 2003 and 2005 world 25K (15.5-mile) championships. She also won a bronze at the 2005 world 10K (6.2-mile) championship and a bronze in the 2003 world 5K (3.1-mile) championships. She also won 3 gold medals in the 5K (3.1-mile), 10K (6.2-mile) and 25K (15.5-mile) European Open Water Championships in 2004.
Ted Keenan, Ireland, Honour Swimmer-1984
Ted was the first Irishman to swim the English Channel in 1972 and crossed the Irish (North) Channel in 1973 in 8.8-11°C (48-52°F) waters. In 1975, he completed a triple crossing of the Bristol Channel from Glen Cove on the English Coast to Coney Beach at Portcrawl, Wales in a record time of 14 hours and 26 minutes. Ted also completed several charity swims in the Aid of Cancer Research, and the physically and mentally handicapped.
Vicki Keith Munro, Canada, Honour Swimmer-2003
Vicki completed an incredible number of record swims including swimming 69K (43 miles) in a pool in 24 hours in 1990. During 1989, she swam butterfly across the 35K (22-mile) Catalina Channel in 14 hours and 53 minutes, 51.5K (32 miles) of butterfly in 31 hours across Lake Ontario, 28.9K (18 miles) of butterfly in 13 hours in Lake Winnipeg, 32K (20 miles) of butterfly in 14 hours in Juan de Fuca, 23 hours and 33 minutes of butterfly across the English Channel, and 22.5K (14 miles) of butterfly in 13 hours and 30 minutes in a circumnavigation of Sydney Harbour.
During 1988, Vicki first and only person to swim across all five of the North American Great Lakes – all within an astounding 61-day period. She swam 51.5K (32 miles) in Lake Ontario in 23 hours and 30 minutes, 38.6K (24 miles) of butterfly in Lake Ontario, 32K (20 miles) in 17 hours in Lake Superior, 72.4K (45 miles) in 53 hours in Lake Michigan, 77K (48 miles) in 46 hours and 55 minutes in Lake Huron, and 32K (20 miles) in 20 hours in Lake Erie.
During 1987, Vicki did the first double-crossing (64 miles) of Lake Ontario in 56 hours and 10 minutes. In 1986, she did a 129 hour and 45 minute continuous pool swim in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. In 1985, she did a 100-hour continuous pool swim in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. In 1985, she did 12 miles of butterfly in 11 hours and 30 minutes in Lake Ontario.
Vicki has won numerous awards and honors from dozens of government agencies in Canada. She coaches children with disabilities, Carlos Costa, a double leg amputee who became the first disabled athlete to swim across Lake Ontario, and Ashley Cowan, a quadruple amputee who swam across Lake Erie. Herpositive spirit and tireless dedication has changed attitudes towards total inclusion for children with disabilities in the sports of swimming and marathon swimming.
Annette Kellerman, Australia, Honour Swimmer-1965
Annette was the first woman to attempt to swim the English Channel in 1905, but failed on three occasions. She won numerous swimming titles in the Thames, the Danube, Boston Harbor and the Seine River between 1905 and 1907 and became one of the pivotal figures in the history of swimming because she was instrumental in the evolution of women’s swimwear and famous for her advocacy of the right of women to wear a one-piece bathing suit, which was a controversial topic in the early 20th century. Her life story inspired the MGM classic Million Dollar Mermaid starring her heir apparent Esther Williams. She has also been honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
James Kegley, USA, Honour Swimmer-1991
James was a prominent professional marathon swimmer in the 1980’s. He won the 1980 La Tuque 24-hour Marathon with Paul Asmuth and placed in the top three at the 35.4K (22-mile) Sydney Harbor Marathon Swim, 35.4K (22-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA, the 32K (20-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in 7 hours and 11 minutes in 1980 in Canada and other marathon swims in Argentina, Italy and Italy. He won the 57K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda river swim in Argentina in 7 hours and 59 minutes in 1987.
Jerry Kerschner, USA, Honour Swimmer-1978
John Kinsella, USA, Honour Swimmer-1978
John completely dominated the professional marathon swimming circuit in the 1970’s after winning a silver medal in the 1500-meter freestyle at the 1968 Olympics and a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay. He started the decade by winning the Amateur Athletic Union’s James E. Sullivan Award for America’s outstanding amateur athlete and ended the decade by winning a professional English Channel race in 1979. He won every major professional marathon swimming race he entered, including the 32K (20-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in 7 hours and 54 minutes in 1974, in 7 hours and 36 minutes in 1975, in 7 hours and 18 minutes in 1976, in 7 hours and 32 minutes in 1977, in 7 hours and 13 minutes in 1978 and in 7 hours and 1 minute in 1979. For his pool swimming prowess, he was also inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Yuri Kudinov, Russia, Honour Swimmer-2009
Yuri won the 25K at the 2000 World Open Water Swimming Championships, 2001 World Swimming Championships, the 2002 World Open Water Swimming Championships, the 2003 World Swimming Championships and the 2007 World Swimming Championships as well as the silver medal in the 2004 World Open Water Swimming Championships and at the 2006 World Open Water Swimming Championships as well as a bronze at the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships.
Stéphane Lecat, France, Honour Swimmer-2007
Stéphane was the premier professional marathon swimmer in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. He was the FINA World Cup Series champion in 1997, 1999 and 2000. He won the 2000 European 25K (15.5-mile) championship and 15K (9.3-mile) Mediterranean Championship in 1997. He won the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean professional marathon swim in Canada in 1996, 1999, and 2000; the 57K (36-mile) Rio Corondo in Argentina in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000, the 42K (26-mile) Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog swim in Canada in 1995, 1996 and 2000 and the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 2001. He won 13 FINA World Cup professional races, placed third at the 2001 FINA World 25K Championships in Japan and won the 2000 European 25K Championships in Finland, second in the 1997 European 25K Championships in Spain and third in the 1995 European 25K Championships in Italy. He also swam the English Channel in 8 hours and 19 minutes in 2003.
Rejean Lacoursiere, Honour Swimmer-Canada, 1978
Annemie Landmeters, Belgium, Honour Swimmer-1991
Annemie was the fastest female swimmer across the English Channel in 8 hours and 39 minutes in 1988.
Carlos Larriera, Argentina, Honour Swimmer-1969
Carlos won the professional 57K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda river swim in Argentina in 8 hours in 1961 and in 11 hours and 38 minutes in 1962 and was fourth in 1963 and fifth in 1965. He was second in the 32K (20-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in 9 hours and 53 minutes in 1960.
William J. Lon, Great Britain, Honour Pilot-2004
Right Hon. Captain William Long OBE was a great Irish (North) Channel pilot who helped keep North Channel swimming going during the period of the 1950’s and 1960’s when many great swimmers tried crossing from Northern Ireland to Scotland.
During the ill-fated attempt by Jason Zirganos, he tried to revive the Greek major. Bill piloted Kevin Murphy’s 1970 and 1971 crossings of the Irish Channel when he devised the course which brought success despite there are islands off the coast where the tide runs three hours one way and nine hours the other.
May Looney, USA, Honour Swimmer-1984
May was an accomplished marathon swimmer during the 1930’s Great Depression era and the late 1940s. May participated in the 5-10 mile Canadian National Exhibition swims between 1930-1937 and 1947-1948 when it was considered the premier marathon swimming event for women of that era (note: the race was not held between 1938-1946).
May finished in the top five in 9 of 10 races, winning the race and setting a record in 1934 with 3 second-place finishes (1935, 1936 and 1948) and 3 third-place finishes (1932, 1937 and 1947).
She also coached her niece, Bernice Looney, who was crowned the US Junior National Distance Champion in 1942 and who won the 1947 and 1948 Canadian National Exhibition swims. May and her niece competed together at the Canadian National Exhibitions in 1947 and 1948.
Sunny Lowry, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-2009
Sunny was honored posthumously after being president of the Channel Swimming Association between 2000 and 2007. After two unsuccessful attempts, Sunny completed the English Channel in 15 hours and 41 minutes in 1933 becoming the seventh woman and fifteen person overall to conquer the English Channel.
Cliff Lumsdon, Canada, Honour Swimmer-1969
Cliff was one of the world’s great marathon swimmers and a five-time world champion between 1949 and 1954. He was known for his ability to swim in cold water, once going 51.5K (32 miles) in 18-plus hours in water temperatures ranging between 8.8° – 11.1°C (48°F – 52°F).
Cliff’s most famous swim was the 51.5K (32-mile) Canadian National Exhibition swim in 1955. The 35 starters dropped out with Cliff the only one left in the water; however, after 26 miles, he had also started to tire. The remaining 9.6K (6 miles) involved lots of media involvement – leading local businessmen to add numerous extra items to the $15,000 first prize. One offer, involving $1 for every stroke used on the last 8K (5 miles), added another $15,000 to the prize. Other offers involved a hunting lodge and a house. The result was that Cliff was the only finisher, with prizes, gifts (hunting lodge and house) and consumer endorsements that totaled US$84,000.
His cold-water abilities were reflected in his 1956 11 hour and 35 minute crossing of the Straits of Juan de Fuca between the state of Washington and Vancouver Island in 8.8°C (48°F) water.
In the 35K (22-mile) professional Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA, he finished second in 1954 in 9 hours and 25 minutes, a close second in 9 hours and 56 minutes in 1955, finished first in 9 hours and 51 minutes in 1956, second in 12 hours and 9 minutes in 1958, first in 10 hours and 54 minutes in 1959, second in 10 hours and 40 minutes in 1960, third in 11 hours and 36 minutes in 1961, second in 12 hours and 1 minutes in 1962, fourth in 12 hours and 13 minutes in 1963 and fourth in 10 hours and 32 minutes in 1964. He finished third in 7 hours and 22 minutes in the 37K (23-mile) la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay in Canada in 1965 and tied for third in 6 hours and 39 minutes in 1966.
In the Canadian National Exhibition professional marathon swims in Toronto, he finished fifth in the 16K (10-mile) 1948 race in 4 hours and 47 minutes, first in the 24K (15-mile) 1949 race in 7 hours and 54 minutes, first in the 24K (15-mile) 1950 race in 7 hours and 18 minutes, third in the 16K (10-mile) 1951 race in 4 hours and 32 minutes, first in the 16K (10-mile) 1952 race in 4 hours and 24 minutes, first in the 16K (10-mile) 1953 race in 4 hours and 26 minutes, first in the 51.5K (32-mile) 1955 race in 19 hours and 48 minutes, fourth in the 15-mile 1961 race in 7 hours and 36 minutes, second in the 24K (15-mile) 1962 race in 7 hours and 26 minutes, and sixth in the 24K (15-mile) 1963 race in 7 hours and 58 minutes.
In 1949, he won the Lou Marsh Trophy for the outstanding Canadian Athlete of the Year. The Cliff Lumsdon Award is presented for outstanding achievement in marathon swimming in association Ontario.
In 1972, Cliff was elected president of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation.
Marcella A. MacDonald, PDM, USA, Honour Swimmer-2005
Marcy has done eight successful English Channel crossings and is the only American woman to have completed a double-crossing of the English Channel (both in 2001 and 2004). She was booked for a triple-crossing in 2004, but was forced to retire after completing another double-crossing (11 hours and 14 minutes on the first leg and 11 hours and 46 minutes on the second leg). She also participated in a double-crossing English Channel relay in 2003.
In the USA, she completed in the Swim Across the Sound and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in New York, the Boston Harbor Swim and the Egg Rock Scramble in Massachusetts, the Candlewood Lake swim in Connecticut.
Alawi Makki, United Arab Emirates, Honour Swimmer-1979
Alawi crossed the English Channel in 1975, 1977, 1979 and 1981, completing in various professional marathon races across the English Channel against the world’s best marathon swimmers.
Alawi finished third in the 1977 Arab Nations English Channel Race in 8 hours and 54 minutes, and won the 1978 race in 9 hours and 54 minutes. In 1979, he finished third in 9 hours and 56 minutes in the jointly organized Saudi Arabian Swimming Federation and Channel Swimming Association race and fifth in the 1981 race in 10 hours and 33 minutes.
Susie Maroney, Australia, Honour Swimmer-2005
Susie established the record for the double-crossing of the English Channel in 17 hours and 15 minutes in 1991. She swam around 48K (28.5 miles) Manhattan Island four times, winning twice in 1990 and 1994, setting a record in 7 hours and 27 seconds. She did a well-publicized 180K (111.8-mile) swim from Cuba to the USA in 1996 and a 38-hour 200K (124-mile) swim in 1999 from Cuba to Florida (that do not qualify for International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame consideration due to use of a shark cage and wetsuit).
At 15, Susie was the youngest and fastest Australian to swim the English Channel. She also swam from Mexico to Cuba, secured a Guinness Book of World Records listing for the longest distance swum in 24 hours (93.6K or 58 miles), the fastest swim in the Manhattan Island Marathon Race in 7 hours and 7 minutes, the 26K (16-mile) Lake Zurich Marathon Race in 6 hours and 3 minutes, and swimming from the Sydney Opera House at Circular Quay to Manly Wharf as a farewell swim.
Her awards include the Order of Australia, and Outstanding Achievement Award from the NSW Government. Susie is the Ambassador for the Asthma Foundation, Ambassador for Special Olympics Australia and spokesperson for the Leukemia Foundation.
Dennis Matuch, USA, Honour Swimmer-1977
In 1962, Dennis won the 59K (36.75-mile) Lake Michigan swim from Chicago to Waukegan, Illinois, USA in 21 hours. In the La Tuque 24-hour Marathon Swim in Canada, he was often sought as a partner in the two-person relay, swimming with Ted Erikson, Jon Erikson, Abou Hief and Diana Nyad. In 1963, Dennis broke the established world best time for a 40K (25-mile) pool swim in a time of 12 hours and 50 minutes. He competed in the 37K (23-mile) la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay race in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.
Dennis is also a leader in the administration and organization of marathon swimming. He became president of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Association and was one of the founders and chairman of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
He coached Penny Dean to become the women’s world marathon swimming champion on her first year on the professional circuit.
Yuko Matsuzaki, Japan, Honour Swimmer-2010/11
Yuko is a professional marathon swimmer with swims in several countries around the world. Yuko completed two long unprecedented lake swims in Lake Cane, Florida with a 82K swim in 29 hours and 55 minutes and her longest non-stop lake swim of 83K completed in 33 hours and 24 minutes.
Yuko’s long international marathon swimming career includes a number of professional swims in Serbia (the 19K Jarak-Sabac), Greece (the 15K Crossing of Toroeos Gulf and 16K Trichonida Marathon in 6:29 and the 30K Kalamata-Koroni Marathon Swim in 8:47 and 10:47), Argentina (the 22K and 57K Rosario Marathons 9 times, 88K Hernandarias-Parana Marathon in 10:27, 10:08, 10:20, 10:47 and 11:04, the 56K Santa Fe-Coronda Marathon Swim in 9:48 and 9:37, the 25K Mar del Plata), the USA (the 35K Around Atlantic City Marathon Swim in 8:46, 10:17, 9:08, 9:14, 12:10, 9:26 and 9:13, the 25K Swim Across The Sound in 7:37, 7:30, 8:33, 8:46 and 8:06, Bermuda (the 10K Round the Sound), Canada (a double crossing of Lake Memphremagog and the 40K Traversee du lac Memphremagog in 11:24, 13:09, 11:01 and 11:48, and 40K lac St-Jean), Italy (the 27K Teraccina Marathon in 9:30, the 35K Riviera Marathon in 10:03 and the Capri-Napoli Marathon in 8:46, 9:42, 9:57 and 11:30) and the 20K Trasimeno Marathon in 4:57), Brazil (the 27K Tapes Marathon in 7:40 and 9:01 and 8:30), France (the 25k Lac Du Bourget) and several 12- and 24-hour non-stop swims on behalf of the YMCA Youth Scholarship Fund.
Angela Maurer, Germany, Honour Swimmer-2009
As one of the two mothers in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, Angela missed the bronze medal by 0.9 seconds. She won the 2009 25K world championships and 8 FINA world championship medals. At the age of 35, Angela remained active on the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup and the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuits. She won 8 German national titles in 5K, 10K and 25K distances as well as 2 European Open Water Swimming titels in the 10K and 25K.
Linda McGill, Australia, Honour Swimmer-1968
A 1964 Olympian, Linda was the first Australian swimmer to complete the English Channel (France-to-England) in 1965. She also established a new women’s record in 9 hours and 59 minutes across the English Channel in 1967. She was the first person to swim around Hong Kong Island and across Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, and from Townsville to Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia.
David Meca Medina, Spain, Honour Swimmer-2009
David won world championship events in 1998, 2000 and 2005 and won 25 FINA World Cup races. He was also ranked number one in the 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2003 FINA World Cup circuit while winning races in Spain, Macedonia, Egypt, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, USA, Finland, Great Britain, Croatia and Canada.
At the 2000 World Open Water Swimming Championships, David won a gold medal in the 25-kilometer race and two silver medals in the 5K (3.1-mile) and 10K (6.2-mile) race to single-handedly lead Spain to a silver-medal team finish.
David competed in over 200 open water swims, including several unprecedented solo swims. He swam 110K (68.3 miles) from Tenerife Island to Gran Canaria Island in 23 hours and 50 minutes in 2002 and 130K (80.7 miles) from the Spanish mainland to Ibiza Island in 26 hours and 30 minutes in 2006. He broke the Strait of Gibraltar record by more than 40 minutes with a 2 hour and 29 minute crossing in 1999. He also did a 14 hour and 5 minute triple crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 2008. He swam from Gomera Island to Tenerife Island in the Canary Islands in 8 hours and swam 100K (62 miles) up the Guadalquivir River in Spain against the current in 2007.
He swam the English Channel twice: in 7 hours and 40 minutes in 2004 and 7 hours and 22 minutes in 2005 for which he received the 2004 and 2005 Rolex Trophy for the fastest times of the season.
Sally Anne Minty-Gravett, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-2005
Sally crossed the English Channel four times over the course of four sequential decades.
Sally swam 18.5K (11.5 miles) across Lake Windermere in 1874 and first swam in English Channel in 1975 in 11 hours and 57 minutes to win the Captain Webb Memorial trophy for the fastest British crossing of the year. She represented Jersey in the 25.7K (16-mile) Lake Windermere International Race in 1975, represented Great Britain in a 1977 8K (5-mile) race in Belgium and a 25.7K (16-mile) race in Holland. She swam 22.5K (14 miles) from Jersey to France in 1978 and swam the English Channel for the second time in 1985 in 15 hours and 3 minutes. She swam the English Channel, from France to England, for the third time in 12 hours and 8 minutes and swum 65.9K (41 miles) around Jersey in 10 hours and 47 minutes, both in 1992. She swam around Manhattan Island in New York in 7 hours and 19 minutes and swam around Sark in the Channel Islands in 4 hours and 25 minutes, both in 1999. In 2005, she swam the English Channel for the fourth time in 13 hours and 25 minutes in 2005.
She has trained 20 Round Jersey swimmers (66K or 41 miles) and 10 English Channel swimmers (to date).
Attila Molnar, Hungary, Honour Swimmer-1998
Attila was crowned the International Marathon Swimming Association world champion two years in a row. He won the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1995 and finished second in the 40K (25-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean professional marathon swim in 10 hours and 20 minutes in Canada in 1995 and third in 10 hours and 30 seconds in 1996.
Magda Molnar, Hungary, Honour Swimmer-1985
Dr. Osama Ahmed Momtaz, Egypt, Honour Swimmer- 2007
Dr. Momtaz received the 1986 National Award of Excellency in Sport awarded by Egyptian President Mohamed Hosney Mubarak. He won the 30K (18.6-mile) Egyptian national championship in 1983, 1978 30K (18.6-mile) Port-Said National Swimming Marathon, the 36K (22.3-mile) Port-Said International Swimming Marathon in 1979, 1980, 1982 and 1983, the 28K (17.3-mile) Ismailia International Swimming Marathon in 1980, 1981 and 1982, the 40K (24.8-mile) Damiatta International Swimming Marathon in 1981 and the 36K (22.3-mile) Nile International Swimming Marathon in 1981, 1982 and1983.
He participated in the 1979 Lake Windermere International Swimming Marathon, the 40.2K (25-mile) Cyprus-International Swimming Marathon in 1980, the Sabac-International Swimming Marathon in 1981, the 40.2K (25-mile) Venice-International Swimming Marathon in 1982, the 24K (15-mile) Long Beach International Swimming Marathon in California, USA in 1984, the 25.7K (16-mile) Stari-Grad International Swimming Marathon in Yugoslavia in 1984, the Cancun International Marathon Swim in Mexico in 1987, the 42K (26-mile) Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada in 1988, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1988 and the 57K (35.4 mile) Maratón Acuática International Sante Fe – Coronda Swim in Argentina in 1988.
He did a 21 hour and 37 minute double-crossing of the English Channel in 1984 and held various managerial positions for the Egyptian national swimming team and Egyptian Long Distance Swimming Federation.
David Morgan, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1983
David crossed the English Channel in 1977 (11 hours and 5 minutes), 1983 (9 hours and 37 minutes), 1986 (8 hours and 35 minutes) and 1988. He was the first person to swim a double-crossing of Loch Ness and crossed the Catalina Channel as a member of the English Team in 1984.
Jim Moran, USA, Honour Administrator- 1985
Jim is also an International Swimming Hall of Fame Gold Medallion Recipient in 1995. As an entrepreneur, he established the largest Ford dealership in the world and sponsored the Jim Moran Lake Michigan Swim for seven years in Chicago, USA in the 1960’s that attracted the best professional marathon swimmers from around the world. Prize money ranged up to US$25,000 and local television and radio stations provided hourly updates on the swimmers’ progress.
In the late 1990’s, Jim established the Moran Learn to Swim Endowment Fund at the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Eva Morrison, USA, Honour Swimmer-1973
Eva completed her first 8K (5-mile) swim at the age of 10 in 1918 and was a prominent marathon swimmer in the 1920’s. She swam 19.3K (12 miles) from Boston Light Swim more than 20 times and was training to swim the English Channel at the same time as Gertrude Ederle. She won the 1935 Dover Trophy in 15 hours and 55 minutes for a 28.9K (18-mile) swim from Folkestone to Margate in the U.K. She served on the initial Board of Governors for the International Professional Swimmers’ Association when it formed in 1927.
Steven Munatones, USA, Honour Swimmer-2002
Steven completed five unprecedented swims in Japan. In 1989, he swam 42K (26 miles) across Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake in 10 hours and 36 minutes. In 1990, he completed the first double-crossing of the 19.5K (12-mile) Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido in 6 hours and 11 minute and 6 hours and 41 minutes back from Hokkaido to Honshu. 1992, he swam across the Five Lakes of Mount Fuji, Japan in 5 hours and 40 minutes, running and biking between each lake. In 1993, he swam 37K (22.9 miles) between Ishigaki Island, Iriomote Island and Taketomi Island in Okinawa, Japan in 10 hours and 16 minutes. In 1994, Steve swam 29K (18 miles) through hundreds of hammerhead sharks around Yonaguni Island in Okinawa, Japan in 7 hours and 8 minutes.
He also swam the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1985, the 42K (26-mile) Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada in 1984 and 1985, the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in Canada in 1984, the 38.6K (24-mile) Los Cabos Marathon Swim in Mexico in 1984 and the 45.8K (28.5-mile) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 1984. He won the 25K (16-mile) International Long-Distance Swimming Championships in Lake Windermere, England in 1982 and two USA National 10-mile championships in 1982 and 1991.
He coached several USA Swimming national open water swimming teams, wrote the Open Water Swimming Dictionary, wrote Open Water Swimming – Swimming Without Lines, received the 2010 Irving Davids / Captain Wheeler Award and was the NBC Olympics commentator for the first Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Kevin Murphy, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1977
Kevin Murphy is the King of the Channel® for the greatest number of English Channel crossing. Incredibly, his 1999 England-to-France crossing was two hours faster than his first success in 1968. In 1970 he became the first Briton to complete a double crossing of the English Channel, which he has done three times, and set the record of 11 hours and 21 minutes for crossing the Irish (North) Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland.
His English Channel swims include his double-crossing in 35 hours and 10 minutes in 1970, his England-France-England swim in 1975 in 36 hours and 3 minutes which was notable because he was ordered out of the water because of bad weather after swimming non-stop for 52 hours and 30 minutes when he was halfway back on his third leg and his France-England-France swim in 1987 in 32 hours and 42 minutes.
Kevin’s single English Channel crossings include England-France in 1968 in 15 hours and 55 minutes, England-France in 1976 in 15 hours and 0 minutes, France-England in 1976 in 15 hours 32 minutes, England-France in 1977 in 14 hours and 5 minutes, England-France in 1977 in 14 hours and 14 minutes, France-England in 1979 in 22 hours and 42 minutes, England-France in 1980 in 17 hours and 28 minutes for which he was awarded the Channel Swimming Association’s Endurance Trophy after swimming for 32 hours and 42 minute as he was within four miles of completing a double-crossing, England-France in 1982 in 15 hours and 12 minutes, England-France in 1982 in 21 hours and 22 minutes, England-France in 1983 in 15 hours and 29 minutes, France-England in 1983 in 15 hours and 25 minutes, France-England in 1984 in 14 hours and 58 minutes, France-England in 1990 in 13 hours and 16 minutes in the earliest Channel swim ever on May 29th, England-France in 1991 in 13 hours and 58 minutes, England-France in 1991 in 15 hours and 26 minutes, England-France in 1991 in 17 hours and 6 minutes, France-England in 1992 in 15 hours and 5 minutes, France-England in 1993 in 14 hours and 37 minutes, France-England in 1994 in 15 hours, England-France in 1995 in 18 hours and 27 minutes, England-France in 1995 in 15 hours and 38 minutes, France-England in 1996 in 15 hours and 30 minutes, England-France in 1997 in 15 hours and 45 minutes, England-France in 1999 in 13 hours and 53 minutes, England-France in 2000 in 14 hours and 29 minutes, England-France in 2000 in 15 hours and 10 minutes, England-France in 2005 in 13 hours and 35 minutes and England-France in 2006 in 15 hours and 14 minutes for his 34th crossing.
Kevin also participated in the following English Channel relays: France-England Channel Relay record in 1965 as a member of Phoenicians SC team which set the then team record of 9 hours and 58 minutes, England-France Channel Relay in 1987 with the Marrow Environment Project charity team, England-France Channel Relay in 1987 with the Channel Swimming Association Diamond Jubilee Team, England-France Channel Relay in 1991 with the Daytrippers Team, England-France Channel Relay in 1992 with the Barnet Copthall SC team, England-France Channel Relay in 2006 with Hubert House men’s team. His other relays included the Loch Ness Relay in 2000 and in 2005, the Round Jersey Relay in 2003, the Loch Lomond 2-way Relay in 2002.
Kevin’s other marathon swims include the 90K (56-mile) Round the Isle of Wight in the U.K. in 26 hours and 51 minutes, the 37K (23-mile crossing of Loch Ness in Scotland in 1976 in 10 hours and 30 minutes, the 30K (18.6-mile) Lake Como race in Italy in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1990, the 19.3K (12-mile) Sydney Harbour Challenge Race in Australia in 1977 in 3 hours and 20 minutes, the 77.2K (48-mile) Lake Balaton race in Hungary in 1973 in 43 hours and 15 minutes, 69K (43 miles) from Richmond to Graveland in England in the River Thames in 1980 in 17 hours and 25 minutes, 40.2K (25 miles) from Majorca to Minorca in the Spanish Balearic Islands in 15 hours and 10 minutes, the Maratona del Golfo – Capri-Napoli in Italy in 1974 in 12 hours and 15 minutes, the 37K (23-mile) Nile Marathon Race in Egypt in 11 hours and 9 minutes, the 9.6K (6-mile) Across the Sea of Galilee Swim in Israel, across the Bristol Channel from England to Wales, 27K (17 miles) Skegness to Hunstanton in England in 13 hours and 54minutes in 1973 and in 7 hours and 47 minutes in 1976, a 33.7K (21-mile) double-crossing of Lake Windermere in England, 38.6K (24-mile) Scottish ASA Championship in Loch Lomond in Scotland (where none of the other swimmers were able to finish), the 42K (26-mile) Marathon du Saaguenay in Canada in 1988 in 7 hours and 4 minutes, the Strait of Gibraltar in 2000 from Tarifa, Spain to Punta Cires, Morocco in 5 hours and 18 minutes, 48.2K (30 miles) across the Chicago Skyline from Evanston, Illinois to Hammond, Indiana in 23 hours and 31 minutes.
In 2007, Kevin swam 24K (15 miles) from Valentia to Couminole Beach in Dingle Bay in Ireland in 7 hours and 45 minutes, won the 3.7K Sognfjord Swim Festival Challenge Race in Norway 1 hour and 32 minutes, swam 27.5K (17 miles) in the Aurlandsfjord, Norway in 10 hours and 46 minutes, 1.5 miles from Alcatraz Island to Aquatic Park, San Francisco, 1 mile across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, 40K (25 miles) across the Santa Barbara Channel from the Santa Cruz Island to Santa Barbara, California in 17 hours and 31 minutes.
Other swims include 15 hours and 4 minutes across Loch Lomond in 1967 and 12 hours and 53 minutes in 1979, double-crossing of Lake Windermere in 1969, 45K (28 miles) across the Bristol Channel in 1972 from North Devon to Porthcawl in 15 hours and 8 minutes, 37K (23 miles) across Loch Ness in 1976 in 10 hours and 30 minutes, 33.7K (21 miles) across Lake Tahoe between California and Nevada, USA in 2003 in 13 hours and 56 minutes, 35.4K (22 miles) across the Catalina Channel in California in 2003 in 15 hours and 23 minutes, the 45K (28.5-mile) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in New York in 2001 in 9 hours and 2 minutes, 17.7K (11 miles) across Lake Mergozzo in Italy in 1989, across Table Bay, Cape Town, South Africa in 1973 in 3 hours and 45 minutes, a double-crossing in Table Bay between Blouberg to Robben Island in 1973, a 22K (13.6-mile) double-crossing of Table Bay in 1987 between Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 10 hours and 38 minutes, a 2 hour and 7 minutes crossing across Table Bay in 1987 from Robben Island to Blouberg, a 3-mile swim in Lake Bala in North Wales in 1963, 10.5-mile swim across Lake Windermere in 6 hours and 29 minutes in 1964 and 6 hours and 34 minutes in 1967, an 8-mile swim in Torbay (Torquay-Brixham-Torquay) in 3 hours and 51 minutes in 1966, 3 hours and 57 minutes in 1969, 3 hours and 37 minutes in 1971, 4 hours and 41 minutes in 1972, 3 hours and 40 minutes in 1976, 10 miles in the Weymouth-Lulworth Cove in 1966 in 4 hours and 50 minutes, 7 miles from Walton to Clacton in 1972 and 1974, 6 miles from Folkestone to Dover in 1972 in 1 hour and 51 minutes, Belfast Lough from Whitehead to Bangor in Northern Ireland in 1974, from Gorey to Bouley Bay in Jersey in the Channel Islands in 1974 in 2 hours and 52 minutes, from Mumbles to Aberavon in South Wales in 1976 in 2 hours and 55 minutes, across Lake Windermere in 5 hours and 55 minutes in 1979 and in 5 hours and 45 minutes in 2006, two-way Solent between Ryde to Southsea in 3 hours and 34 minutes, 8-mile Solent Challenge 2000 from Yarmouth to Gurnard on the Isle of Wight in 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Kevin has completed the Irish Channel three times in total, including the harder Ireland-to-Scotland route. He swam from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 1970 in 11 hours and 21 minutes to set a record that stood for 18 years with the water temperature between 8.8-13.3°C (48-56°F), from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 1971 in 14 hours and 35 minutes, and from Scotland to Northern Ireland in 1989 in 17 hours and 17 minutes.
Kevin was inducted as an Honor Swimmer in the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2009.
Keo Nakama, USA, Honour Swimmer-1967
Keo was the first person to swim from the island of Molokai to Oahu in Hawaii. He crossed the 43.4K (27-mile) Kaiwi Channel in 1961 in 15 hours and 30 minutes.
As a pool swimmer, Keo is honored in the International Swimming Hall of Fame for his 5 gold medals in the 1940 Pan American Swimming Championships, his 27 USA national swimming titles from 110 yards to 1500 meters, his six Australian National Championships and his world record in the mile and for captaining the two NCAA Men’s Swimming Championship teams at Ohio State where he also played baseball.
Paul E. “Jerry” Nason, USA, Honour Administrator-1974
Jerry retired as the Executive Sports Editor of the Boston Globe. He loved all sports, especially those involving endurance and did much to support marathon swimming in New England. He promoted the efforts of Jim Doty, Ralph Willard and the New England Marathon Association. His writing told the story of the technical aspects of the marathon swimming and the inner drive needed by the swimmer to complete the course. His reports on the annual swim from the Boston Light House to the L Street Bathhouse and other marathon swims gave the impression of being on the swimmer’ escort craft and observing the swim stroke-by-stroke.
Marvin “Duke” Nelson, USA, Honour Swimmer-1979
Duke swam in the Des Moines River in warm and cold water and weather and specialized in swimming 24K (15 miles) in frigid, choppy lake waters. In 1930, he won his first world championship title defeating a field of 173 at the Canadian National Exhibition Marathon Swim in Toronto in 7 hours and 44 minutes, winning US$10,000 and won again in 1934. He also won the 24K (15-mile) Lake Michigan swim in Chicago twice, finishing a half-mile ahead of the pack in 1934.
In the midst of the American Great Depression, Duke’s five professional victories earned him US$30,000.
Confident in his abilities, Duke bet that he would complete the first double-crossing of the English Channel and raised US$25,000 against 50-to-1 odds that he could accomplish his goal. But he never was able to achieve his goal due to the outbreak of World War II.
Marc Newman, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1988
Marc swam the fastest English Channel crossing in 1986 and did all his four English Channel swims under 9 hours and 30 minutes including his crossing in 1987, 1989 and his France-to-England crossing in 1990 that was the fastest swim by a man. He also won the amateur 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in Canada in 1989.
Cynthia Nicholas, Canada, Honour Swimmer-1978
At age 16, Cindy Nicholas became the fastest swimmer to cross Lake Ontario with a time of 15 hours and 10 minutes. Cindy’s career includes 19 crossings of the English Channel and the first woman to complete a double-crossing of the English Channel. Of her 19 crossings, 10 involved two-way swims, including a double-crossing record of 18 hours and 51 minutes in 1982 and an England-France record of 8 hours and 21 minutes on the first leg of her in 1981 double-crossing.
Cindy competed in the 32K (20-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean races in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Her other achievements include her appointment to the Order of Canada in 1979 and the Canadian Women Athlete of the Year.
Judith van Berkel-de Njis, Netherlands, Honour Swimmer-1964
Judith won the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation championship between 1964 and 1968. She crossed the English Channel in 1969 and won many professional marathon races over both men and women, including the 1964 49.8K (31-mile) Lake Ontario swim in Canada, the 1965 30.5K (19-mile) Lake Ohrid race in 8 hours and 5 minutes in Macedonia, the 1965 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo – Capri-Napoli 7 hours and 4 minutes and 8 hours and 35 minutes (1967) in Italy, the 1965 40K (25-mile) Alexandrium race in the Suez Canal in 10 hours and 24 minutes in Egypt, the 1966 32K (20-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in 8 hours and 38 minutes in Canada, the 1967 16K (10-mile) Hamilton race in 4 hours and 45 minutes in Canada, the 1968 24-hour La Tuque Relay in Canada, and the 1968 Canalswim Cape Rennes, France to Dover, England in 12 hours and 15 minutes.
Martha Norelius, USA, 1984
Martha was inducted in the Int Honour Swimmer-ernational Swimming Hall of Fame for winning a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle at the 1924 Olympics and two gold medals in the 1928 Olympics. She was suspended from amateur competition in 1929 for giving an exhibition in the same pool with professional swimmers, so she turned professional and won US$10,000 in the 16K (10-mile) Wrigley Marathon in Toronto.
Diana Nyad, USA, Honour Swimmer- 1978
Diana swam around the world for ten years, swimming 40K (25-mile) in the Suez Canal in Egypt, 35.4K (22-mile) in the Nile River, 51.4K (32-mile) along the Mexican coast, 41.8K (26-mile) in the Parana River in Argentina, 32K (20-mile) in the Maratona del Golfo – Capri-Napoli in Italy, 49.8K (31-mile) from St. Thomas to Virgin Gorda in the Caribbean, 80.4K (50-mile) along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and 51.4K (32-mile) in Lake Ontario.
The Lake Ontario swim was the first time a swimmer swam north to south from Toronto to New York as it was against the currents of the Niagara River. In 1975, she swam around Manhattan Island in New York to break a 50-year-old record. In 1972, she became the first person to swim 165K (102.5 miles) from the Bahamas to Florida (North Bimini to Juno Beach). She attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida in 1978, but withdrew after 42 hours and 160K (99.7 miles).
Diana has written three books including Other Shores on her experiences in marathon swimming.
Michael Oram, Great Britain, Honour Pilot-2005
Michael is a Qualified Royal Yachting Association / Department of Trade Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement. He began escorting swimmers in the English Channel in 1982 and served as a Channel Swimming Association committee member for 15 years before he became the Honorary Secretary between 1991 and 1996.
Michael was one of the founding members of the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation in 1998. He helped set up the Federation, its documentation, rules and constitution and obtained Government recognition and governing body status as its Honorary Secretary in 1999. His English Channel website is comprehensive in its scope and he has influenced the method in which English Channel swims are planned.
To date, Michael has escorted over 500 English Channel crossings with a 75% success rate. His successes include two of the three triple-crossings (Philip Rush in 1987 in 28 hours and 21minutes and Alison Streeter in 1990 in 34 hours and 40 minutes), the only relay quadruple-crossing (Sun Rice Australia in 1993 in 43 hours and 7 minutes), the only Belgium-to-England relay (RAF Air Force in 1995 in 27 hours and 56 minutes).
Gustavo Oriozabala, Argentina, Honour Swimmer-2001
Gustavo finished second overall on the professional marathon swimming circuit in 1992 and third in 1995. His swims include 42K (26-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada in 1991, 1992 and 1993, 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada in 1992, 1993 and 1994, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993, the professional 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo – Capri-Napoli in 1991, the 57K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda river swim in Argentina in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994, the 42K (26-mile) Ponza-Cierco swim in Italy in 1990 and 1991, the 28K (17.3-mile) Furth-Nurenberg swim in Germany in 1994, the 41K (25.4-mile) Cruce Bahia de Todos swim in Brazil in 1991, the 35K (21.7-mile) Silvan Lake swim in Canada in 1993, the 88K (54.6-mile) Hernandaras-Parana river swim in Argentina in 1993 and 1994, the 25K (15.5-mile) Holland swim in 1995, crossed the English Channel in 1993, the 41K (25-mile) Rio de Plata swim from Urugary to Argentina in 1993 in 27C (F) water, the 180K (112-mile) Parana Crossing in Argentina in 20:07, and a 47K (29.2-mile) double-crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 14 hours and 14 minutes.
He was the first men to cross 20K (12.4 miles) in Lake Titicaca from Peru to Bolivia in 12°C (53.6°F) in 5 hours and 6 minutes 1997. He swam 2K in 3°C (37.4°F) for 21 minutes to become the first person to compete the Beagle Crossing from Argentina to Chile. He also completed a triple-crossing of the Beagle Crossing in 7°C (44.6°F) in 1 hour and 9 minutes in 1998.
Penny Palfrey, Australia, Honour Swimmer-2009
Penny became the second person ever to swim the treacherous, shark-infested 70K Alenuihaha Channel from the Big Island of Hawaii to Maui in 2009 in 14 hour and 51 minutes. She quickly followed up that effort with a 14.5K (8.8-mile) swim across the Maui Channel from Maui to Lanai, becoming the first women to achieve this feat. She won the women’s division in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim for three years in a row. She participated in the 120K triple-crossing of Lake Taupo, the biggest lake in New Zealand, finishing in 33 hours and 33 minutes with five teammates. She was the first person to swim 64K from Santa Barbara Island to the California mainland in 17 hours and 53 minutes as well as the 27-mile (46K) Santa Barbara Channel from San Miguel Island to the California mainland and the 10K Santa Rosa Island to Santa Cruz Island off of the California coast and tried twice to swim the 72-mile Kaieiewaho Channel between the islands of Oahu and Kauai in Hawaii.
She won the 2008 24-mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim and completed an English Channel crossing in 9 hours and 16 minutes in 2006 and a Strait of Gibraltar crossing in 4 hours and 31 minutes in 2006 and an 8 hour and 27 minute crossing of the Cook Strait in 2006. She completed the Rottnest Channel Swim from 2000 – 2008 and was the Australian 25K national champion in 1993 – 1994 with second in 2001 and 2007.
David Parcells, USA, Honour Swimmer-2012
David was an American marathon swimmer who was posthumously honored by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. David passed away in 2007 while competing in the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in Florida.
He completed the 1989 Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. Parcells was the first non-professional swimmer to complete the Long Island Swim crossing and is the current record holder as the oldest person to complete a double-crossing of the English Channel. Parcells became the marathon swim director of the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Swim Across the Sound, which has raised over $2 million for cancer.
Tom Park, USA, Honour Swimmer-1968
Tom won the 45K (28-mile) Saguenay River swim in 1964 in 9 hours and 18 minutes and several other professional marathon swims. He won the first 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1954. He won the race again in 1955, but lost by two seconds to Canadian Cliff Lumsdon in 1956. Tom and Cliff vied for the top spot for the rest of the decade, usually finishing within a few minutes of each other. In the 1960 edition, they tied for second in ten hours, forty minutes and seven seconds.
Roger Parsons, Great Britain / Spain, 1 Honour Administrator-997
Valerie Parsons, Great Britain / Spain, Honour Administrator-1989
After her retirement as one of England’s premier marathon swimmers, Valerie turned her efforts to the administration of the sport and eventually became the Honorary Chairman of the British Long Distance Swimming Association. Valerie assisted the Lake Windermere International 25K swim held every four years.
When FINA formed a commission to study the feasibility of adding open water events to their program, Roger was selected to represent England on the FINA Open Water Commission and was largely responsible for adapting the British Long Distance Swimming Association and Channel Swimming Association rules into the FINA Open Water Swimming Rules.
When FINA relaxed its rules on professionalism, Roger and Valerie established a FINA World Series of Marathon Swimming under the auspices of the International Marathon Swimming Association (IMSA). Roger became the Executive Secretary of the IMSA and annually attended all of the ten IMSA swims in Europe, South and North America The Parsons combined several independently run professional races into a single cohesive body. Eventually, FINA took over the administrative functions of the IMSA and Roger served as the FINA/IMSA Liaison
Within the same time frame, as the FINA Open Water commitment grew, Roger was appointed to the Open Water Sub-Committee of the Technical Swimming Committee and then to the Technical Open Water Swimming Committee. Usually working behind the scene and as backup to Roger, Valerie made major contributions to Open Water Swimming at all levels and was a driving force behind Roger
Batista Pereira, Portugal, Honour Swimmer-1971
Baptista was the premier marathon swimmer of Portugal from 1938 until 1949. Between 1953 and 1959, he swam several national and international events including the 42K (26-mile) Nile Swim in Egypt, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA, the 30K (18.6-mile) Paris swim, the 18.5K (11.5-mile) Ouver-Sur-Oise swim and the 100K (62-mile) Angers-Ancenis-Nantes swim.
In 1959, Batista swam 204K (127 miles) down the River Tagus in Portugal. He swam the Straits of Gibraltar in 1953 and 1956 while setting records. He was the winner of the 1954 Butlin’s English Channel race and finished third in the1959 race. In l959, he claimed the European Distance record by swimming 206K (128 miles) in the Tejo River in Portugal in a time of 28 hours and 43 minutes.
Dale Petranech, USA, Honour Administrator-1995
In 1977, Dale became the first U.S. Swimming Open Water Swimming Committee Chairman and developed a successful domestic and international program. He assisted U.S. Masters Swimming to form its own independent organization. He was chairman of the FINA Open Water Swimming Commission that made recommendations to FINA for inclusion of Open Water Swimming into their organization and eventually served as Honorary Secretary of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee.
He assisted in writing the FINA Open Water Swimming Rules and served as a FINA Open Water Official at several World Championships and World Cup events. He escorted American swimmers at two FINA World Cups.
In 1985, he became the oldest swimmer to swim across the Catalina Channel and also swam around Manhattan Island. He has served as the 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.
James Pittar, Australia, Honour Swimmer-2009
James swam the English Channel, Catalina Channel and Manhattan Island Marathon Swim to become the first blind swimmer to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. He also completed 21K swim in Phuket, Thailand, an 11K swim in Anzac Cove, Turkey, a 25K swim in the Vaal River in South America, a 60K swim down the Parana River in Argentina, a swim across the Cook Strait in New Zealand, a 19K swim across the Rottnest Channel in Australia and a successful two-way crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Claudio Plit, Argentina, Honour Swimmer-1981
Claudio has won major professional marathon races for over 30 years and was first or second nine times between 1974 and 1984 while finishing first, second or third in 45 professional marathon swims between 1874 and 1984.
He has competed in the prestigious 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada over 25 times. He won the 64K (39.7-mile) double-crossing of the Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada two times. He has won every major professional marathon race, some several times. A partial list of his victories include the 42K (26-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA, the 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo – Capri-Napoli, the 58K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda race in Argentina, 29K (18-mile) Paspebiac swim in Canada, the 51.5K (32-mile) Lake Ontario swim in Canada, he 88K (54.6-mile) Hernandaras-Parana swim in Argentina, the 45K (28-mile) Saguenay River swim in Canada, the 24-hour Lac La Tuque relay in Canada, and the Suez Canal, Port Said and Nile River swims in Egypt.
He is the race director for the 38.6K (24-mile) Mar de Plata and Rosario Marathon Swims in Argentina, coaches and escorts swimmers participating on the professional circuit, and has participated as a guest presenter at FINA Open Water Swimming seminars.
Gilles Potvin, Canada, Honour Coach-2006
Gilles participated in many of the Quebec, Canada professional marathon swims: 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean, the 45K (28-mile) Saguenay River swim, the 24-hour Lac La Tuque relay, and the Trois-Rivières swim.
He also coached several swimmers to victory in the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean including Carlos Larriera, Herman Willemse of the Netherlands in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964, Horacio Iglesias of Argentina in 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973, John Kinsella of the USA from 1974 to 1979, Robert Lachance, Paul Asmuth of the USA, Obert Lachance of Canada in 1982 and 1983, his daughter Christine Cossette of Canada in 1987, 1988 and 1990, and Vicky Keith in 1990.
He also coached Canada’s national long distance teams for the World Swimming Championships in Australia in 1991 and Rome in 1994 and presided over Swim Canada’s long distance swimming committee.
Francis “Frank” Pritchard, USA, Honour Pioneer Swimmer-2009
Frank is an Honor Pioneer Swimmer and was active in marathon swimming between 1927 through 1938. During his early career, Frank finished second in the 1927 National A.A.U. 4.5-mile championships and fourth in the 1928 Olympic Trials in the 1500-meter freestyle.
During his marathon swimming career, Frank out-swam several of the better known marathon swimmers of his era. He beat Americans Marvin Nelson and Clarence Ross, Canadian George Young, Italian Gianni Gambi and German Ernest Vierkoetter.
Between 1930 and 1937, Frank participated in the most prestigious marathon swimming event of the time, the Canadian National Exhibition swims in Toronto, Canada. In 1931, he finished fourth. In 1933, he finished third. In 1934 and 1935, he finished second. In 1936, he finally won. In 1937, he defended his title and set a race record that lasted more than 10 years.
He also won the 1934 Hearst 24K (15-mile) Swim in Lake Michigan in Chicago, USA and the 1934 and 1935 Blue Water Carnival 19.3K (12-mile) Swim from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada to St. Clair, Michigan, USA.
Shadia El Rageb, Egypt, Honour Swimmer-1971
Shadia was the 1971 and 1972 Professional Women’s Marathon swimming champion and was undefeated in 1971 in international races. She won the 32K (20-mile)Maratona del Golfo – Capri Napoli in 1972 and 1973 and the 24-hour Lac La Tuque relay in Canada.
Michael P. Read, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1978
Michael was the King of the Channel® between 1979 and 2005 with 33 successful crossings of the English Channel. He was the first person to complete four swims in a year, the first person to complete five swims in a year and the first person to complete six swims in a year (1984). He also made the latest swim of the season recorded; there was frost on the pebbles as he walked into the sea. His crossings include five unsuccessful double-crossing attempts.
Mike has completed over 110 swims greater than 16K (9.9 miles) with most of his swims in cold water ranging from 6°-15°C (42°-60°F). He was the Lake Windermere Champion between 1969 and 1977, setting a record six times. He swam 96.5K (60 miles) around Isle of Wright in 24 hours and 36 minutes, 35.4K (22 miles) across Loch Lomond, 25.7K (16 miles) across Loch Eurn, 25.7K (16 miles) across Lock Tay, 40K (25 miles) between Jeble and Latakia in Syria 25K, and 25K (15.5 miles) between Evian to Lausanne in Switzerland.
He was the 1960 and 1961 British Long Distance Champion, the double-crossing 33.7K (21-mile) Lake Windermere Champion for nine consecutive years between 1969 and 1977. He was the third person to swim the 38.6K (24-mile) Loch Ness in 14 hours and 23 minutes in 6°-7°C (42.8°-44.7°F) water. He was the first to swim Loch Lomond twice (35.4K or 22 miles) once in 12 hours and 13 minutes and later in 11 hours and 51 minutes. He set record for the 14.4K (9-mile) Loch Rannoch swim in 1975 in 5 hours and 8 minutes and completed the first 16K (10-mile) swim from Kings Lynn to Downham Market in England in 1975 in 4 hours and 54 minutes.
He was the first person to swim 64.3K or 40 miles between Hunstanton and Skegness and Hunstanton, 65K (40 miles) from Mora to Amposta in Spain in 1998 in 14 hours and 57 minutes, 37.8K (23.5 miles) from Perth to Broughty Ferry in Australia in 1974 in 9 hours and 43 minutes, 25.7K (16 miles) between Hunstanton-Skegness in 1975 in 8 hours and 30 minutes, 18K (11.1 miles) in a double-crossing of Lake Sursee in Switzerland, a 49.8K (31-mile) triple-crossing of Lake Windermere in 19 hours and 0 minutes, a 67.5K (42-mile) quadruple-crossing of Lake Windermere in 26 hours and 3 minutes.
He completed a 40.2K (25-mile) Nile International Championship in 1977, 40.2K (25 miles) from Jeble to Latakia in Syria in 1977, 28.9K (18 miles) from Jarach to Sabac in Yugoslavia in 1990, 32K (20 miles) across Lake Como from Dervio to Lecco in 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1989, 48K (28.5 miles) around Manhattan Island in New York, USA in 1989, Torregaveta Baia Bacoli in 1986 and 1987, 32K (20 miles) across Lake Zurich from Rapperswill to Zurich in 1988, was the 25.7K (16-mile) Windermere International Champion in 1970 and did the 25.7K (16-mile) Windermere International in 1974, 1978 and 1982, swum 16.8K (10.5 miles) across Lake Windermere 39 times, swam 20.9K (13 miles) from Fleetwood to Morecambe in England, swam four times in Morecambe Cross Bay race, won the International Olympic Committee Championship between Evian and Lausanne in Switzerland in 1991 and 1993, won the International Olympic Committee Championship between Lausanne and Evian in 1992 and 1994, participated in the 25K (15.5-mile) Gulf of Toroneos swim in Greece in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, swam 9K (5.5 miles) from Proventura to Lerici in Italy in 1993, participated in the British Amateur Swimming Association National 5K Championship in 1966 (3rd), 1967 (3rd), 1968 (3rd), 1969 (5th), 1970 (3rd), 1971 (6th), participated in the 25K (15.5-mile) Amateur Swimming Association National Championship in 1996 (2nd) and 1999 (3rd), Amateur Swimming Association Masters 5K Championship in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, swam 23K (14.2 miles) from Stavoren to Medemblik in Isslmeer in Holland in 1998, 1999 and 2000, 33K (20.5 miles) from Koroni to Kalamata in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005, 33K (20.5 miles) from Kalamata to Koroni in 2003 and 2004, 23K (14.2 miles) across Lake Trichonida in 2000, and 25K (15.5 miles) in the World Marathon Series in Alexandria, Egypt in 2000.
He was elected as the British Long Distance Swimming Association “Swimmer of the Year” in 1979 and 1999, honorary citizen of Dervio (Lake Como) in 1988, Honorary Citizen of Nikiti (Greece) in 1993,
He was the Channel Swimming Association Chairman since 1993 and an alternate member of the British 1960 Olympic team in the 800-meter freestyle relay and has served as a swimming administrator in one capacity or another for almost 50 years. He was a FINA judge, timekeeper, referee and starter between 1969 and 1971, and received the Irving Davids / Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award in 2009.
Karen Burton Reeder, USA, Honour Swimmer-1999
Karen won 6 USA Swimming national championships, including three 15K (9.3-mile) races and one 25K (15.5-mile) race, and a bronze medal in the FINA World Swimming Championship 25K (15.5 miles) in 1991. She won a FINA World Cup race in Lac St-Jean in Canada in 1992, and was a two-time world professional marathon swimming champion in 1996 and 1997. She set the record for the Catalina in 7 hours and 43 minutes in 1994 and swam the English Channel in 9 hours and 4 minutes in 1993. She was on USA Swimming National Team on its record-setting English Channel relay of 6 hours and 52 minutes in 1990. She also served as the USA Swimming Open Water Swimming Coordinator for four years.
Des Renford, Australia, Honour Swimmer-1978
Des was King of the Channel® between 1975 and 1979 with 16 successful crossings of the English Channel that included ten records. He was the first person complete three crossings in a year. He was also King of the Channel® briefly in 1980 when he achieved his eighteenth crossing.
Des swam the 22.5K (13.9-mile) Sydney Harbour swim from Luna Park to Manly and back in Australia. He won a 60K (37.2-mile) race down the Murray River from Mindook Creek to Mildura in Australia in 1969 in 19 hours. He swam a 36.6K (22.7-mile) race across Queensland’s Moreton Bay in Australia in 1973. He completed a 90K (55.9-mile) ocean swim from Watsons Bay to Wollongong in 27 hours and 30 minutes in 1974. He set a record for a swim around Alcatraz Island in 1977.
Hassan Abdel Rheim, Egypt, Honour Swimmer-1966
Hassan swam from France to England in 1948, from England to France in 1949, from France to England in 1950 to win the first Daily Mail Race and finished third in the 1951 Daily Mail Race from France to England.
Francis “Frank” Richards, Great Britain, Honour Administrator-2004
Frank has observed 280 English Channel swims to date during his 31 years of authenticating English Channel swims – thought to be the greatest number by one person.
He was first elected as committee member of the Channel Swimming Association in 1972 and has served on various Channel swimming committees for 31 years. He was a founding member of the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation and was elected its President in 2002.
In 2003 he flew to Malaysia to officially observe Abdul Malik Mydin’s swim from the Malaysian mainland to Langkawi Island.
Julie Ridge, USA, Honour Swimmer-1985
Julie became the first person to complete a double circumnavigation around Manhattan Island in New York City, USA in 21 hours in 1983 and swam the English Channel in 17 hours and 55 minutes in 1982.
Veljko Rogosic, Yugoslavia, Honour Swimmer-1998
Veljko was the International Long Distance Swimming Federation world champion four times between 1971 and 1974 and was selected as a charter member of the International Marathon Swimmers Hall of Fame.
Norman Ross, USA, Honour Swimmer-1984
Norman won 3 gold medals in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics and set 13 world records and won 18 U.S. national championships. For these exploits, he was honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1967.
Known as “Big Moose”, Norman also entered the 1927 Wrigley Ocean Marathon from Catalina Island to the California mainland and the 33.7K (21-mile) Canadian National Exhibition races in 1927 and 1928.
Rottnest Channel Swim Association, Australia, Honour Organisation-2010
The Rottnest Channel Swim Association has conducted over two decades of 19.7K solo and relay crossing of the Rottnest Channel. Formed in 1989, the Rottnest Channel Swim Association priorities are to observe and authenticate people who swim the Rottnest Channel, promote safety, advise and encourage swimmers wanting to make an attempt as well as gathering and preserving historical data from the crossings.
Nearly 25,000 individuals have been certified by the Rottnest Channel Swim Association to have swum the channel as solo and relay swimmers since 1956.
Philip Rush, New Zealand, Honour Swimmer-1985
Philip swam the English Channel in 1985 in a single-crossing and then set a double-crossing record in 17 hours and 56 minutes. He made successful single-crossings in 1986 and 1987 and then became the second swimmer to achieve a triple-crossing in 28 hours and 21 minutes included a first leg of 7 hours and 55 minutes which was the fastest swim of the year. In his epic triple-crossing, he swam his first leg in 7 hours 55 minutes, which was the fastest swim of the year, his second leg in 8 hours 15 minutes to set a double-crossing record, and his third leg in 12 hours 11 minutes for a triple-crossing record of 28 hours 21 minutes. Philip completed his tenth crossing in 1988.
Philip also completed two double-crossings of the 25.7K (16-mile) Cook Strait in New Zealand (16 hours 16 minutes in 1984 and 18 hours 37 minutes in 1988). He also crossed the Cook (North to South) in 8 hours 56 minutes in 1979, placed second in a 38K (23.6-mile) professional marathon race in the Nile River, Egypt in 1979, third in the 30K world championships in Italy in 1979, third in the 32K (20-mile)Maratona del Golfo – Capri Napoli world championships in Italy in 1981, seventh in the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in 1981, first the 22K (13.6-mile) Wellington Harbour in New Zealand race in 1982, first the 22K (13.6-mile) Otago Harbour in New Zealand race in 1982, first in the 24K (14.9-mile) Australian Championships in 1982, crossed the 32K Catalina Channel in 8 hours and 2 minutes in 1982, fifth in the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island professional marathon swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1983, fifth in the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in 1983, fourth in the 48K (29.8-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog professional race in 1983, first in the 29K (18-mile) Paspediac marathon race in Canada in 1983, fifth in the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island professional marathon swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1984, eighth in the 48K (29.8-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in 1984, fourth in the 42K (26-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in 1984, second in the 29K (18-mile) Paspediac marathon race in Canada in 1984, did the first 84K (52-mile) double-crossing of Lake Taupo in 23 hours and 6 minutes in New Zealand in 1985, did the Ironman Enduro Rotorua that included 10 hours of swimming in 1985, finished sixth in the 48K (29.8-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog professional race in 1985, second in the 62K (38.5-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean double-crossing professional race in 1985 and 1986, fourth in the 48K (29.8-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog professional race in 1986, second in the 48K (29.8-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in 1987, seventh in the 48K (29.8-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in 1987 and crossed from Maori Kapiti Island to d’Uurville Island in New Zealand.
Philip continues to play a valuable role as he coaches and advises swimmers who challenge the Cook Strait. To date, he has coached 27 swimmers successfully across the Cook Strait and is helping develop New Zealand’s open water swimming program.
Gus Ryder, Canada, Honour Coach-1981
Gus Ryder was an innovative coach whose athletes achieved national and international success as marathon swimmers including Marilyn Bell and Cliff Lumsdon. He founded Lakeshore Swimming Club in 1930 and was named Canada’s Man of the Year in 1955 and was named to the Order of Canada in 1975 for his work teaching disabled children.
Gus swam in a number of Toronto’s across-the-bay long distance races. In 1917, while playing hockey in Toronto, he rescued two players who had fallen through the ice before himself being trapped under the ice. He recalled that this was when he dedicated his life to swimming. Later, he was credited with 47 lifesaving rescues.
William ‘Bill’ Sadlo, Jr., USA, Honour Pioneer Swimmer-2009
Bill is honored as a Pioneer Swimmer. He competed in at least 31 marathon swims between 1927 and 1957 and was a founding member of the International Professional Swimmers Association while directing swimming programs in New York City for three decades.
Bill was the Vice President of the International Professional Swimmers Association that was established in 1927 in New York City. He participated in the 3-mile President’s Cup Races across the Potomac River between 1922 and 1925 and the 3.5 mile NYC Metropolitan AAU Senior Long Distance Championship at Camp Ruddy. In 1930, he swam 11.6 miles from Coney Island to the Battery in Manhattan, in 3 hours and 39 minutes, and finished seventh in the 1948 Lake George, New York 12-mile race at the age of 46.
Prior to his successful swim from Battery Park to Liberty Island in New York City in 1930, Bill had attempted the same swim in 1925, only to be carried out by a swift ebb tide. In 1927, Bill swam the first of four 28.5-mile races around Manhattan Island, winning in 1928 as the only swimmer to finish.
Bill participated in 20, all but one, of the Canadian National Exhibition long distance swims in Toronto between 1927 and 1955, ranging from 5 to 32 miles with third being his highest finish in 1949 when only three swimmers completed the famously difficult race. Given the nickname ‘The Swimming Grandfather’ in Canada, he remained competitive with younger swimmers into his 50′s.
Bill made two successful Great Lakes crossings in the 1950s. At age 52, he competed in a 31.7-mile race across Lake Erie from Point Pelee Park, Canada to the Cedar Point Resort in Sandusky, Ohio in 15 hours and 30 minutes. In 1957, he became the oldest person to successfully swim 32 miles across Lake Ontario from Fort Niagara, New York to Toronto, Canada.
Bill also participated in the inaugural 22.5-mile swim around Abescon Island in Atlantic City in 1954 where he finished a respectable 11th place at age 52 against the best swimmers of that era.
General Sabry, Egypt, Honour Administrator-1965
Johannes “Johan” Schans, Netherlands, Honour Swimmer- 1970
Johan was a close runner-up in the 1969 World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation ranking. He was second in the 42K (26-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in 10 hours and 12 minutes in 1969 and fourth in 57K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda river swim in Argentina in 8 hours and 1 minute in 1969.
Jan Van Scheyndal, Netherlands, Honour Swimmer-1985
In 1969, Jan was the first person from Holland to swim across the English Channel in 12 hours and 47 minutes and was the Windermere International champion in 1968.
Charlotte “Lottie” Schoemmell, USA, Honour Swimmer-1968
In 1926, Lottie swam 251K (156 miles) down the Hudson River in New York, USA in 57 hours and 11 minutes over an 11-day period, eating lumps of sugar soaked in whiskey while in the water. She also swam around Manhattan Island in New York in 14 hours and 21 minutes in 1926 and nearly finished the 1927 Wrigley Ocean Marathon from Catalina Island to the California mainland, USA.
Ray Scott, Great Britain, Honour Administrator- 1983
Audrey Scott, Great Britain, Honour Administrator- 1983
Audrey and Ray ran the Channel Swimming Association for 33 years. Ray served as its Chairman for 33 years between 1960 and 1993 and then as Secretary from 1993 to 1994. He was made the Channel Swimming Association Honorary Ambassador in1994 for his dedication and service to the Association. Ray acted as an Association Observer on over 300 swims and was present on many of the great occasions in Channel swimming history. Audrey served initially as Assistant Secretary and in the early 1970’s took over as Honorary Secretary until her death in 1993.
Mihir Sen, India, Honour Swimmer-1966
In 1958, Mihir became the first India to swim across the English Channel. He distinguished himself crossing six major straits in 1966: the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka in 25 hours and 44 minutes, the Straits of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco, 51.5K (32 miles) across the Dardanelles from Gallipoli to Sendulbahir, Turkey, the length of the Panama Canal from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean in 35 hours and 30 minutes, and 32K (20 miles) across the Bosphorus (Istanbul Strait) in Turkey.
Mervyn Sharp, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-2006
Mervyn was a former King of the Channel® with seven crossings of the English Channel, done between 1967 and 1974. He also swam 16K (10 miles) from Lulworth Cove to Weymouth, 32K (20 miles) in a double-crossing between Weymouth and Lulworth Cove, 12.8K (8 miles) between Torquay and Brixham, 12.8K (8 miles) in Lake Bala in Wales, 48.2K (30 miles) from Swanage to Weymouth, 14.4K (9 miles) from Swanage to Bournemouth and 25K (15.5 miles) at the 1970 Lake Windermere Championships in England. He also did several professional marathon swims in Canada in 1971 and 1972 including the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada, 37K (23-mile) la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay in Canada and the 24-hour La Tuque Relay in Canada.
His crossings included his 18 hour and 34 minute crossing in 1967 from France to England and his six other crossings from England to France in 1968 (17 hours and 52 minutes), 1969 (14 hours and 29 minutes and 19 hours and 41 minutes), 1970 (15 hours and 14 minutes), 1973 (15 hours and 17 minutes) and 1974 (13 hours and 42 minutes).
Nasser el Shazly, United Arab Emirates, Honour Swimmer-1979
Nasser swam the fastest crossing of the English Channel from France to England in 1977 when he won the Arab Nations English Channel Race in 8 hours and 45 minutes.
Tanarath Narayan Shenoy, India, Honour Swimmer-1987
Taranath, who is a deaf-mute and legally blind, swam across the Strait of Gibraltar in 1988 and made three successful crossings of the English Channel, from France to England in 10 hours and 54 minutes in 1983 and from England to France in 10 hours and 55 minutes in 1984 and in 10 hours and 42 minutes in 1985. He also crossed the Catalina Channel in 10 hours and 15 minutes in 1987.
Brenda Sherratt, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1970
Brenda was the first person to swim 36.2K (22.5 miles) across the length of Loch Ness in Scotland in 31 hours and 27 minutes in 1966.
Charles “Red” Silva, USA, Honour Coach-1978
Red trained several New England-based marathon swimmers for English Channel attempts and was instrumental in organizing man local marathon swims. Charles is also an Honor Contributor to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1976 for having coached more than 200 All-America swimmers and an Olympic gold medal winner and served as its chairman of its board of directors.
Carol Sing, USA, Honour Swimmer-2000
55-year-old Carol became the oldest woman in history to swim the Catalina Channel when she crossed n 10 hours and 38 minutes in 1997. She also completed the 48K (28.5-mile) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 8 hours and 46 minutes in 1998 and in 9 hours and 16 minutes in 2001.
Marty Sinn, USA, Honour Swimmer-1963
Marty finished second overall in the 24K (15-mile) Canadian National Exposition in Lake Ontario in 1963 and was the first woman in the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1964. She also swam a professional marathon swim in the Suez Canal in Egypt.
John Sigmund, USA, Honour Swimmer-1965
John swam 470K (292 miles) down the Mississippi River from St. Louis to Caruthersville, Missouri, USA in 89 hours and 46 minutes in 1940.
John Slater, Great Britain, Honour Administrator-1980
John was one of the founding fathers of the British Long Distance Swimming Association and its first Honorary Secretary in 1956. John swam in Lake Windermere in 1955 and races in Morecambe Cross Bay, Morecambe Inshore, Yorkshire River Race, and the St. Germans to King’s Lynn Championship.
David Smith, USA, Honour Swimmer-1969
David swam across San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge, 48K (30 miles) down the Russian River and 101K (63) miles down the Sacramento River, both in California. In 1966, he swam the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco to Spain, the Hellespont, Bosporus (Istanbul Strait) and competed in professional marathon swims in Italy, Yugoslavia and Egypt. In 1967, he was the first person to swim from Morocco to The Rock of Gibraltar.
Joe Smith, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-2005
Joe won most of the British Long Distance Swimming Association race during the late 1950’s and early 1960. After two failed English Channel attempts in 1961 and 1962, Joe became the oldest Briton to conquer the English Channel in 1999 at the age of 65. He served as a director of the Channel Swimming Association. He was British Long Distance Swimming Association’s Veteran Swimmer of the Year and was awarded an ARP British Gold Hero’s Medal.
Joe won the Morecambe Inshore Championship in 1958 and 1959, the Morecambe Bay Championships in 1959 and 1960, the 10.25-mile Windermere Championship in 1959, the Windermere Cross Lake Championship in 1960, the Champion of Champions race in 1998.
Shelley Taylor-Smith, Australia, Honour Swimmer-1989
Shelly won the inaugural FINA World Swimming Championship 25K in Australia in 1990 and held the professional women’s No.1 world ranking from 1988 to 1995. She set a record for the 48K (28.5-mile) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and several professional marathons. She earned the overall No.1 world ranking on the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit for both men and women in 1981.
Shelley won two 25K world championships and two 25K Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. She was a four-time World and Australian Long Distance Swimmer of the Year between 1988 and 1997, set the record for the 79K (49-mile) Sydney to Wollongong solo swim, won an incredible total of 51 international marathon swimming races, including nine overall (men and women) victories. She crossed the English Channel in 1990, was on a triple-crossing English Channel relay in 1997, was the nine-time Australian Women’s National Open Water Swimming Champion and the five-time overall winner of the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.
She wrote an autobiography Dangerous When Wet and has helped standardize and professionalize the staging of marathon swims around the world through her position as the Honorary Secretary of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee. She has oversight of the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit, the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix series, the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships, the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympics Olympic and the 2012 London Olympics.
Trevor Smith, Great Britain, Honour Administrator-1998
Trevor is one of the founding fathers of the British Long Distance Swimming Association, serving as its Honorary Treasurer for over 25 years until 1981. He was instrumental in establishing the Lake Windermere International every four years as the primer event for amateur marathon swimmers around the world. He was the 1948 Morecambre Cross Champion and was the 1977 British Long Distance Swimming Association Veterans (Masters) Champion.
Vicko Soljan, Yugoslavia/Croatia, Honour Administrator-2007
Vicko founded the Croatian Long Distance Swimming Federation in 1980 and has organized the Croation International Long Distance Swimming Championship (the 16K Faros Marathon) in Stari Grad Bay since 1996 and the Faros Long Distance Swimming Club since 1976. He founded the 5K and 25K LEN Open Water Swimming Championship in 1989. The Faros Marathon Swim was the only international event to continue in Croatia through the 1991-1992 war. Soljan conducted the first LEN Long Distance Championships in 1989 with 5K and 25K distances. He took national teams to 6 European Championships and 4 World Championships.
He has written about open water swimming for various newspapers for 58 years and is the author of Stari Grad – European Centre of Long Distance Swimming.
Skip Storch, USA, Honour Swimmer- 2009
Skip was nominated for the 2008 ESPY Awards as the Best Outdoor Athlete due to his triple circumnavigation of Manhattan Island in 32 hours 52 minutes. Skip has also done the 48K (28.5-mile) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a 32K (20-mile) swim in the Hudson River, a 246K (153-mile) staged swim from Albany to New York City, a 24K (15-mile) swim along the length of the East River through Hell’s Gate, and a 41 hour and 30 minute staged swim in the Hudson River to the Albany Yacht Club to Pier A Battery Park in New York City.
Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria, Honour Swimmer-2009
Peter is the current record-holder for the English Channel in 6 hours and 57 minutes and has won an unprecedented eight consecutive FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix titles, including over 50 victories in individual professional marathon swims, including the 42K (26-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA, the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada, the 32K (20-mile)Maratona del Golfo – Capri Napoli in Italy and several races in Argentina including the 57K (36-mile) Maratón Sante Fe – Coronda and the 15K (9-mile) Maratona Acuatica Internacional Ciudad de Rosario.
He was the flag bearer for the Bulgarian Olympic Team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he swam the 1500 freestyle and got sixth in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.
Alison Streeter M.B.E., Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1985
Alison is the Queen of the Channel® for successfully crossing the English Channel a record 43 times. In 1983, she became the first European woman to complete a double-crossing (78.8K or 49 miles in 21 hours and 16 minutes). In 1990, she became the first woman to complete a triple-crossing (112K or 70 miles in 34 hours). She has completed the Triple Crown of marathon swimming: the English Channel, Catalina Channel and circumnavigation of Manhattan Island.
She has swum the English Channel seven times in one year and is the fastest woman from France to England, the first woman to swim across the Irish Sea (North Channel) and completed three channel swims in five weeks linking Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and France.
Freda Streeter, Great Britain, Honour Coach-2005
Freda is an Honor Observer and Trainer for coaching her daughter, Alison Streeter, the Queen of the Channel®, on her historic 34 hour and 40 minute triple-crossing of the English Channel in 1990. Freda has spent five months every year over the last two decades training English Channel swimmers on the weekends in Dover Harbour. Dozens of English Channel swimmers owe their success to Freda’s training, support and advice.
Greg Steppel, Canada, Honour Swimmer-1996
Greg placed second in the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation rankings. He has won the professional marathon races, the 1995 Pan Pacific 25K Championships, the FINA World Championship Preliminary and the 1994 World Swimming Championships 25K in Italy.
Dr. Chris Stockdale, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1992
Chris, the long-time physician to the Channel Swimming Association, swam the English Channel three times: England-to-France in 17 hours and 30 minutes in 1977 and in 15 hours and 56 minutes in 1981, and France-to-England in 14 hours and 50 minutes in 1984.
Henry Sullivan, USA, Honour Swimmer-1968
Henry became the third person to swim the English Channel on his seventh attempt in 1923 in 26 hours and 50 minutes which remains the longest one-way channel swim on record. He is reported to have made six other English Channel attempts between 1913 and 1921, but they were all unsuccessful. In 1927 he successfully crossed the Catalina Channel in 22 hours and 45 minutes.
Imre Szenasi, Hungary, Honour Swimmer-1973
Between 1962 and 1969, Imre completed a swim of 219K (136 miles) in the River Tisza in Romania in 44 hours and 50 minutes, 228K (142 miles) from Budapest to Bratislava, 130K (81 miles) in 41 hours and 40 minutes in the River Tisza in Romania and several swims between 48 and 96K (30 and 60) miles in Lake Balaton in Hungary and the Danube.
Duncan Taylor, Great Britain, 2005
Duncan has been a Channel Swimming Association pilot since 1992 and the Channel Swimming Association Secretary and Safety Officer from 1996 to 2004. He is responsible for the training of new escort pilots and is the Liaison Officer for the Regulatory Authorities.
He successfully pioneered new starting places for English Channel swims that are now used consistently by other pilots, helping swimmers to achieve faster times. He piloted 64 swims including the crossing of Joe Smith, the second oldest person, and Michael Read’s 33rd crossing.
Stella Taylor, USA, Honour Swimmer-1982
In 1973 and 1975, Stella successfully crossed the English Channel. In 1975, she became the oldest woman to have swum the English Channel at 45 years and 349 days of age.
Bert Thomas, USA, Honour Swimmer-1969
Bert was the first person to cross the 29K (18-mile) Juan de Fuca Strait between Vancouver Island in Canada and the American state of Washington in 11 hours and 17 minutes in 1955 on his fifth attempt in 8.8°C (48°F) water.
Patty Thompson, Canada, Honour Swimmer- 1969
Patty, a Canadian Olympic swimmer at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, was the 1969 women’s World Professional Marathon Swimming Association champion. She won all her professional marathon swims: 16K (10-mile) Hamilton Marathon Swim, 27K (17-mile) Rhode Island Marathon Swim from Narragansett Rhode Island to Block Island, 19K (12-mile) Man and His World Marathon Swim and a 24-hour swim in Santa Fe, Argentina. At age 45 in 1991, Patty became the oldest female to cross Lake Ontario with her time of 19 hours and 18 minutes.
Enrico Tiraboschi, Italy, Honour Swimmer-1971
Enrico was the first person to swim the English Channel from France to England in 16 hours and 23 minutes in 1923.
James Toomey, USA, Honour Administrator-1971
James conceived the idea of the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1953 and served as its race director until 1964.
Giulio Travaglio, Italy, Honour Swimmer-1966
Giulio won the 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo – Capri-Napoli in Italy five times and participated in other World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation races including the 24-hour La Tuque Marathon Relay. He was the 1966 overall world champion of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation.
Montserrat Tresserras, Spain, Honour Swimmer-1970
Montserrat was a pioneer of many swims and was the first Spanish women to swim the Strait of Gibraltar and the first Spaniard to swim the English Channel in 1958. In 1961, she again crossed the English Channel in the opposite direction from France to England to become the first women to swim the English Channel in both directions.
In 1969, she swam from Minorca to Majorca in Spain in 21 hours and 10 minutes. In 1969, she swam across Lough Neagh in 16 hours and 13 minutes. She serves on the Board of the Channel Swimming Association and acts as an official observer on many of the attempts to swim the English Channel and the Strait of Gibraltar. She serves as the Vice President of the Channel Swimming Association and was author of Nadando El Estrecho (Swimming Across the Strait of Gibraltar).
Norman Trusty, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-2003
Norman swam from France-to-England in 1967 in 12 hours and 5 minutes and from England-to-France twice in 1971 in 12 hours and 24 minutes and in 1972 in 13 hours and 41 minutes. He was 6th in the 1966 Windermere Championship and 3rd in the 1974 Windermere 25K Championship. He has participated in several single-crossing English Channel relays and set 3 records with Hetzel’s Texas Volunteers relay in 1974 (England-to-France in 8 hours and 51 minutes, France-to-England in 8 hours and 59 minutes, and England-to-France-to-England in 17 hours and 50 minutes.
He is a long-time Channel Swimming Association committee member and Vice-Chairman and received the Observer of the Year award in 1991. He has observed at least 50 solo swims, 13 relay swims, two double-crossings and four double-crossing relay swims. He received the Channel Swimming Association’s Audrey Scott Memorial Trophy in 1998 for the greatest contribution to English Channel swimming.
Irene Van der Laan, Netherlands, 1 Honour Swimmer-985
Irene was the first person to win the Rolex watch two times for the fastest swim of the year in 1982 and 1983. She also swam the English Channel in 1979 and did a double-crossing in 1983 with a new record and fastest swim of the year on her first leg. She was the first women in several events on the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit in the 1980’s and was still swimming in major international events until 2001, including the 64K (40-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in 19 hours and 5 minutes in 1986, the 64K (40-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in 18 hours and 15 minutes in 1987, the 64K (40-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in 19 hours and 47 minutes in 1988, the 40K (25-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in 10 hours and 54 minutes in 1990, the 40K (25-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in 11 hours and 50 minutes in 1991, and the 40K (25-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in 11 hours and 20 minutes in 1997.
Willy Van Rysal, Netherlands, Honour Swimmer-2002
Willy was the first woman to receive the Davids-Wheeler Award. She traveled throughout Great Britain promoting long distance swimming and setting records. In 1955, she became the first woman and set a record when she swam 24K from Stavoren to Enkhuizen, set a record swimming 18K from Katwijk to Scheveningen, became the first person to swim 18K from Dungeness to Hythe, set a record of 5 hours and 15 minutes swimming 26K from Dover to Ramsgate, set two records swimming 16K in Lake Windermere from Waterhead to Lakeside first in 7 hours and 38 minutes and then again in 6 hours and 50 minutes.
Ernest Vierkoetter, Germany, Honour Swimmer-1978
Ernest, known as the “Black Shark”, set the record for the English Channel in 1926 in 12 hours and 40 minutes that would stand for 24 years. He won $30,000 for winning the 33.7K (21-mile) Canadian National Exhibition in 11 hours and 45 minutes in Toronto in 1927.
Carl Walker, Great Britain, Honour Administrator-2005
Carl was the British Long Distance Swimming Association president in 1991 and again in 2002 and a president of the Braford Long Distance Swimming Club, one of the first long-distance swimming clubs. For 30 years he served as the Honorary Secretary to the British Long Distance Swimming Association’s Pilot lifesaver scheme.
Billy Wallace, Ireland, Honour Administrator-1999
Billy has served as the Honorary Secretary of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association from 1979.
Christof Wandratsch, Germany, Honour Swimmer-2004
Christof set the English Channel record in 7 hours and 3 hours in 2005 after previously missing the record with a 7 hour and 20 minute crossing in 2003. He won the 1991 and 1995 European 25K Championships and won several International Marathon Swimming Association and the FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup events, including the 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo – Capri-Napoli in Italy, the 57K Rio Coronda marathon race in Argentina and the 10K races in Hong Kong, Dubai and the Red Sea. In 2005, he swam around Manhattan Island in New York, across the Strait of Gibraltar in 2005 and 25K in Straußberg, Berlin, Germany. In 2006, he swam 63K in Bodensee, Germany.
Tom Watch, Great Britain, Honour Coach-1986
Tom has coached English Channel swimmers for 57 years. For over 60 years, Tom Watch has been a coach and mentor for long distance and channel swimmers needing support, training, encouragement and advice. Tom’s career began with Geoffrey Chapman in the 1951 Daily Mail Cross Channel race who was the first British swimmer to finish. He has accompanied more than 100 swimmers across the English Channel, both from his native Weymouth, but also from across the world. In 1965, he accompanied Phil Gollop, who became the youngest swimmer to cross at that time. Some of the swimmers he has mentored include Marc Newman, Chad Hunderby who made the fastest Channel Swimming Association crossing on record, Peter Jurzinsky, Jacqui Hampson who was the youngest female at the time, Samantha Druce, who at 12 years of age became the youngest of all time and Doc Counsilman, who was the oldest at that time. In 1982, Tom was an Observer on Jon Erikson’s historic three-way swim.
Barry Watson, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1973
Barry set an English Channel record in 1964 in 9 hours and 35 minutes and also swam the English Channel in 15 hours and 21 minutes in 1968, in 13 hours and 56 minutes in 1969 and in 15 hours and 14 minutes in 1970. He was also the British Long Distance Swimming Association champion in Lake Windermere in 1963 and 1964, the 1967 British Long Distance Swimming Association Loch Lomond champion, the British Long Distance Swimming Association 2-way Lake Windermere champion in 1966, 1967 and 1968, and the British Long Distance Swimming Association champion from Fleetwood to Morecambe in 1963, 1965, 1966 and 1967. He swam Lake Windermere more than 20 times.
Captain Mathew Webb, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1963
Captain Webb became a professional endurance swimmer in 1874. In 1875, Captain Webb became the first person to successfully swim across the English Channel in 21 hours and 45 minutes on his second attempt. He swam breaststroke the entire way. 35 years passed before the second person replicated his feat.
Captain Webb wrote a book, The Art of Swimming, and easily won the 1879 Trials of Endurance when he swam 119K (74 miles) in a 6-day endurance race. He also swam 16K (10 miles) from Sandy Hook Point to Manhattan Beach, USA in 8 hours in 1879. In 1880, he easily won a 5-mile swim in Nantasket Beach, Boston, USA. But, he drowned while trying to complete a dangerous swim through the Whirlpool Rapids in the Niagara Falls in 1883.
James Whelan, USA, Honour Swimmer- 2001
James received the prestigious International Swimming Hall Gold Medallion for his efforts to re-establish the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA. As the Mayor of Atlantic City, he also rowed and acted as coach for several swimmers including Claudio Plit and Samantha Chabotar.
Maarten van der Weijden, Netherlands, Honour Swimmer-2012
Maarten was the gold medalist in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
A renowned Dutch marathon swimmer from Alkmaar, he is most famously known for being the only leukemia cancer survivor to win an Olympic gold medal. Van der Weijden was known as a promising swimming talent in his youth and was Dutch national champion in the pool and open water.
In 2001, he was confronted with leukemia and his career was considered over. He fought back against cancer and made a comeback in 2003 winning three Dutch national titles. In 2004, he swam across the IJsselmeer in 4 hours 20 minutes, setting the record by almost 15 minutes and collecting €50,000 that he donated for cancer research.
He finished fifth in the 2005 World Swimming Championships in the 10K and sixth in the 25K in Canada. He also won three FINA World Cup competitions and continued to gradually move up the ranking. He won the 25K at the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships in Sevilla, Spain. He also won a bronze medal at the 5K and was fourth in the 10K. At the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, he won in dramatic fashion, coming from far back in the pack and narrowly edging out favorites David Davies of Great Britain and Thomas Lurz of Germany down the final straightaway.
He announced the end of his professional swimming career during his acceptance speech as 2008 Dutch Sportsman of the Year award ceremonies. He continues to speak eloquently as a motivational speaker and is a spokesperson for Unilever and blue seventy. He has also written a popular autobiography, documenting his life’s journey on land and in the water.
Johnny Weissmuller, USA, Honour Administrator-1970
Johnny was a five-time Olympic champion at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics and was undefeated in freestyle between 1921 and 1929 with his longest swim being the 3.2K (2 miles) Chicago River Race. In 1970, Johnny accepted an assignment as the International Commissioner of Marathon Swimming and represented the sport of marathon swimming and the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation.
Conrad Wennerberg, USA, Honour Administrator-1977
Conrad is best known for his authoritative book, Wind, Waves and Sunburn: A Brief History of Marathon Swimming that is considered to be the most definitive work on marathon swimming. He swam over 12,874K (8,000 miles) while training with his athletes, including Ted Erickson and Dennis Matuch.
He amassed the largest file on marathon swimming in existence and shared the information with the World Professional Swimming Federation and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He was influential in creating the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
Dave Whyte, Great Britain, Honour Pilot-2007
Dave piloted the first six-way English Channel relay that took 61 hours and 27 minutes. He retired after 22 years of piloting 305 English Channel swimmers from 32 different countries. He piloted a breaststroke solo in 23 hours and 55 minutes and a number of disabled swimmers, paraplegic and multi-amputees, on both solo and relay swims. He has piloted Eric Johnson on his France-to-England record and both Michael Read and Kevin Murphy when they achieved their respective King of the Channel® successes.
Monique Wildschut, Netherlands, Honour Swimmer-1993
Monique dominated the women’s professional marathon swimming circuit from the mid-1980’s to the early 1990’s. She crossed the English Channel in 8 hours and 44 minutes in 1982 and had the fastest swim of the year in 1984 (8 hours and 19 minutes). She was the fastest woman at the 32K (20-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada in 7 hours and 46 minutes in 1983 and was second overall at the 64K (40-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean double-crossing in 17 hours and 28 minutes in 1989.
Herman Willemsee, Netherlands, Honour Swimmer-1963
Herman, known as the Flying Dutchman, dominated professional marathon swimming between 1960 and 1964, winning the 30K (19-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean Lac St Jean in Canada in 10 hours and 7 minutes in 1961, in 9 hours and 3 minutes in 1962 and in 8 hours and 32 minutes in 1963, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA five times from 1960 to 1964, the 24K (15-mile) Canadian National Exhibition race in 1961 and 1962, the 37K (23-mile) la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay in 6 hours and 15 minutes in 1966, four 16K (10-mile) Tois Riviere Swims in 1961 to 1963 in Canada, the 58K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda race in Argentina in 1963 with two third-place finishes in 1964 and 1966, 45K (28-mile) Mar del Plato in Argentina, 42K (26 miles) in the Suez Canal in Egypt, 88K (54.6-mile) Hernandaras-Parana swim in Argentina and 32K (20-mile)Maratona del Golfo – Capri Napoli in Italy. When the World Marathon Swimming Championships, whereby points were awarded for performance in a series of races, started in 1964, he finished second to the Swimming Honoree Abo Heif the next three years.
Herman is credited with changing the image of marathon swimming when he won the Canadian National Exhibition Swim in 1962. He was one of the first to use a scientific approach to a swim. For example, he studied the water conditions including temperature, to develop a race strategy. Teamed with Rejean Lacoursiere, he also won the initial La Tuque 24-hour team race in Canada in both 1965 and 1966.
Ralph Willard, USA, Honour Swimmer-1981
Ralph completed the 37K (23-mile) la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay in 8 hours and 40 minutes in 1963, in 13 hours and 10 minutes in 1964, in 8 hours and 25 minutes in 1966, and 8 hours and 24 minutes in 1967 despite being 30 years older than many of his professional competitors.
Margaret Park Wisniski, Canada, Honour Swimmer-2000
Jaberz Wolffe, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1968
Jaberz made at least 22 unsuccessful English Channel attempts between 1906 and 1913. He was reported to have been beaten by yards in 1911 and by less than a mile on at least 3 other occasions.
Jaberz was one of the first coaches to channel swimmers. His successes included the best women of his era, including Hilda Sharp in 1928, Margaret Duncan in 1930 and Sunny Lowry in 1933. He also wrote a number of books on swimming.
Jaberz was the holder for ten long-distance records including 38K (24-mile) Brighton to Worthing double-crossing, 54K (34-mile) Margate to Herne Bay double-crossing in 9 hours 39 minutes, Southsea to Ryde double-crossing, Eddystone Lighthouse to Plymouth Pier and Dover to Ramsgate.
Steve Wozniak, USA, Honour Swimmer-1979
Steve enjoyed a 50-year marathon swimming career. In 1937, he won the USA National five-mile championship. In 1957, he won the five- and ten-mile events at the Canadian National Exposition, the 54K (32-mile) Nile River Swim in 1956 and in the 88K (55-mile) Parana River swim in Argentina in 1961. He finished third in several 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swims in Atlantic City, USA. He died at the age of 71 while planning for his final English Channel attempt.
William Wrigley, Jr., USA, Honour Administrator-1964
William, the chewing gum magnate, was the founder and sponsor of the first Wrigley Ocean Marathon across the Catalina Channel in January 1927 where he offered a $25,000 winner-take-all prize. 102 swimmers started the race, but only Canadian George Young finished and claimed the winner’s purse. He also sponsored the 1927 Canadian National Exhibition race in Toronto with a $30,000 purse.
John York, USA, Honour Swimmer-1989
John has the most successful crossings of the Catalina Channel, completing swims in 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1984, including the fastest double-crossing of 16 hours and 42 minutes in 1978. He swam the English Channel in 1988 and has coached numerous swimmers across the Catalina Channel, including USA National Team swimmers, as well as run the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation for many years.
Bridget Young, Great Britain, Honour Swimmer-1988
Bridget crossed the English Channel in 9 hours and 58 minutes in 1985.
George Young, Canada, Honour Swimmer-1963
17-year-old George was the sole finisher of the 1927 Wrigley Ocean Marathon across the Catalina Channel in 15 hours and 44 minutes, winning the $25,000 first prize.
Feng Yao‑Hsien, China, Honour Swimmer-1973
At age 36, in 1964, he swam 85K (53 miles) in the Tzuya River in China. In 1965, he swam 156K (97 miles) in the same river to set a Chinese endurance record.
David Yudovin, USA, Honour Swimmer-1999
David competed 14 solo swims including three swims across the Catalina Channel in 11 hours and 51 minutes in 1976, in 13 hours and 45 minutes in 1986, in 11 hours and 49 minutes in 1993, and in 10 hours and 46 minutes in 1995, between North Coronado Island to the Mexican coast in 6 hours and 22 minutes in 1984, from South Coronado Island to the Mexican coast in 4 hours and 6 minutes in 1991, from North Coronado Island to the Mexican coast in 7 hours and 45 minutes in 1991, from the South Coronado Island to the Mexican coast in 4 hours and 20 minutes in 1992 (repeated in 4 hours and 25 minutes again in 1992 and in 4 hours and 15 minutes in 1993), the third person to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco to Spain in 9 hours and 27 minutes, the English Channel in 13 hours and 37 minutes in 1986, the Santa Barbara Channel between Anacapa Island and the California mainland in 8 hours and 27 minutes in 8 hours and 27 minutes in 1982, 16K (10 miles) from Lanai Island to Maui in Hawaii, USA in 4 hours and 47 minutes in 2002, from Molokini Island to Maui, Hawaii, USA in 2 hours and 6 minutes in 2002 (and again in 2003 in 2 hours and 16 minutes), from Maui to Molokai in Hawaii, USA in 4 hours and 41 minutes, 8 miles from Maui to Kahoolawe Island in Hawaii, USA in 4 hours and 18 minutes, 16K (10 miles) from Molokai to Lanai in Hawaii, USA in 5 hours and 11 minutes in 2003, and across the 25K (16-mile) Cook Strait from North Island to South Island in New Zealand in 9 hours and 38 minutes in 2004.
David was the first swimmer to swim 30K from Santa Cruz Island to the California coast in 15 hours and 15 minutes in 1983, 30K across the Tsugaru Channel in 11 hours and 54 minutes in 1990, from Bali to Java in Indonesia in 1 hour and 36 minutes in 1996, from Nusa Penida to Bali in Indonesia in 2 hours and 48 minutes in 1997, across the Sunda Strait from Java to Sumatra, Indonesia in 10 hours and 34 minutes in 2000, and from Cape Wiwiki to Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 5 hours and 23 minutes in 2004.
Charles Zibleman, USA, Honour Swimmer-1966
Charles, who did not have legs, completed a 233K (145-mile) staged swim down the Hudson River in 147 hours in 1937, while he never left the water, losing 12 kg (26 lbs.) during his swim.
Jason Zirganos, Greece, Honour Swimmer-1971
Jason (Greek Ιάσων Ζηργάνος) was a Greek army major, decorated by King Paul in 1949 for being the first Greek ever to swim the English Channel. He raced in the Daily Mail First International Cross English Channel Race in 1950 (16 hours and 19 minutes) and 1951 (14 hours and 1 minute). In 1957, he crossed the Catalina Channel in 17 hours flat and was a four-time Lake Windermere swimmer. He also successfully swam the Bosphorus, the Nile and twice swam around Manhattan Island in New York. He died attempting to swim the North (Irish) Channel from Orlock Head, Co. Down, Ireland to Portpatrick, Scotland when he lost consciousness and died despite the efforts of a doctor who cut him open with a penknife to massage his heart.
Major General Ahmed Zorkani, Egypt, Honour Administrator-1973
Major Zorkani was the founding member and long-serving secretary of the International Long Distance Swimming Federation and organized the Egyptian Long Distance Swimming Federation. He helped organize the annual Capri-Naples race and other International Long Distance Swimming Federation races held in France, Yugoslavia, Egypt and Lebanon between 1954 and 1967.
From Florida to California, from the United Nations to the Queen Mary, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and World Open Water Swimming Association has held its ceremonies in various locations from the West Coast to the East Coast in the US. For the first time in its history since 1961, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame will take its induction ceremony outside the United States. “The luminaries in the sport of open water swimming are celebrated and honored by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of...read more
The acronym IMSHOF refers to both the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame. The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honors swimmers, coaches, pilots, administrators and contributors who have excelled in open water swimming world while the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame recognizes swimmers, divers, synchronized swimmers, water polo players and contributors. Befitting its focus on pool competitions, the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame has a well-defined...read more
International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inducts swimmers, coaches, administrators, organisations and pilots since its founding in 1961. It honours those individuals who have distinguished themselves in the world of open water swimming.In 1961, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame was founded by the Professional Marathon Swimmers Association to recognize marathon swimmers across the world. A year later, the International Swimming Hall of Fame and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) approved the International...read more
Every year, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) honors its marathon swimming heroes and champions. The inductees of the IMSHOF Class of 2012 join 220 other members of this esteemed group of aquatic adventurers.Chris Green (Great Britain), Maarten van der Weijden (Netherlands), Larisa Ilchenko (Russia), David Parcells (USA) and Marcos Díaz (Dominican Republic) were voted into the (IMSHOF) as Honor Swimmers. Sri Chinmoy (India) and Ned Denison (Ireland) were inducted as Honor Administrators. The Faros Maratón in...read more