If Channel Swimming was Star Wars…
Captain Webb would be Yoda, the ultimate Jedi swimmer.
King of the Channel Kevin Murphy would be Luke Skywalker, while Queen of the Channel Alison Streeter would be Princess Leia. Gertrude Ederle might get a spot as Rey but maybe not, because Star Wars was lacking female characters.
CS&PF President Nick Adams would be dashing Lando Calrissian, (but his cape would be pink instead of baby blue).
Trent Grimsey, English Channel record holder, would be Biggs Darklighter, the other best rebel fighter pilot/swimmer.
Pilot Mike Oram would be Grand Moff Oram, bringing fear to the Channel.
Freda Streeter would be Obi-Wan Kenobi, teaching the younglings (Aspirants) on Dover beach, finger-wielding terror of anyone who breaks Dover harbour swimming rules.
Julie Bradshaw, Secretary of the CSA would be the Sandraider that got a brief scene, screaming at the hero.
Dave and Evelyn Frantzesou of Varne Ridge Channel Swimming Holiday Park would be Han Solo and Chewbacca. I’m not saying who is who.
Evan Morrison of the Marathon Swimmers Federation would be Boba Fett, the fearless bounty hunter: Go anywhere, take on anyone, staying cool all the time, possibly destined to get eaten by a monster.
Sandycove in Cork would obviously be the rebel base on Hoth, while Dover would be the run-down port of Mos Eisley. The White Horse pub would be the cantina, a more wretched hive of swimming scum and villainy you won’t find anywhere.
Channel boat Viking Princess would be the Millennium Falcon, while Reg and Ray Brickell would R2-D2 and C3-PO.
The English Channel would be the Death Star.
The North Channel Would be Death Star Two. Not the other way around.
Most of the rest of you who think you should have starring roles … would be Stormtroopers with a bad aim, or rebels in prosthetic masks. Others will have to wait for a sequel to find out. Just hope you aren’t the Jar Jar Binks of Channel Swimming.
You thought I forgot the bad guys? The Emperor, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren?
How could I. I don’t know about the Emperor, but yes, I know who Vader and Kylo Ren are. But the audience didn’t know who Vader was in the original movie and this a blog and I don’t want to get sued.
Who would I be?
Why, I would be that guy with the fish head of course.
(Thanks to marathon swimmer Mark Robson for his photo of our mutual hero Kevin Murphy).