Honouree Pilots

This list of the escort pilots recognized and inducted by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame is below and is updated annually.

Reg Bricknell, Sr., Great Britain, 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, 2009
Ray Brickell, Great Britain, 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..

Captain Leonard Hutchinson, Great Britain, 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.

William J. Long, Great Britain, 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.

Michael Oram, Great Britain, 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).

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.

Dave Whyte, Great Britain, 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.