Mercedes Gleitze and the Vindication Swim

Well-known Californian swimmer Jamie Patrick earlier in the year mentioned in the blog comments that he liked reading articles about the history of open water swimming. Apart from what already appears in various books it’s hard to find such stories. But I shortly thereafter carried the story of Tom Blower and the first North Channel…

Limiting Factors in Marathon Swimming – Part 2 – Environmental Factors

In Part One I covered the physiological limiting factors in marathon swimming. The various environmental aspects of a swim are not insignificant. They are especially important in that they all lay outside the swimmer’s control and often even outside the control of the support crew. Water Temperature This is generally a known factor prior to a…

Tom Blower and the first successful North Channel swim

I came across this gem from 1963 in Sports Illustrated archives a couple of years ago. I’m just going to reprint it. Hey, an easy day, no writing! * From Donaghadee in Northern Ireland to Portpatrick in Scotland is a fraction under 21 miles. Between the two land masses the sea rages in swollen tides and hungry eddies. Out…

photo 1946

Wayne Soutter’s historic new North Channel route – Part 3

Wayne’s narrative in grey on the left, Paul’s in green on the right. I was cold. So cold. Colder than I had ever been. I needed this to end. I suspected that I was going hypothermic… as I started to feel warmer… and I hadn’t changed anything – so that was impossible. And feeling warmer…when very cold, is a sign of…

Kevin Murphy on the North Channel

Since Anne-Marie Ward & Stephen Redmond succeeded on crossing it in the last few days… (Anne-Marie’s fourth attempt, btw). “I’ve done 56-mile swims. I’ve done 52-hour swims. I’ve done a high-altitude lake swim. I’ve done Loch Ness where the temperature falls to 7°C (44.6°F). I’ve swum in air temperature of -34°C. I’ve done a Norwegian…