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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines


Butlin’s Holiday Parks sponsored a series of races across the English Channel in the 1950s. By Elaine K Howley WEATHER

Herman Willemse 1959

The second Dutchman to cross the English Channel, with a time of 12 hrs 49mins

Since history was first written, and possibly long before, the English Channel has been a dividing line in geopolitics. Similarly, it’s often considered a dividing line among marathon swimmers – there are those who have swum the Channel and those who have yet to tackle this most famous of marathon swims.

Human nature being what it is, it’s likely that someone somewhere in the distant past first began dreaming of making his way between the two chalky, white landmasses that border this 21-mile-wide international waterway. However, documented interest in swimming across the English Channel only began to gather steam in the mid-1800s, with various individuals giving it a go. These efforts culminated in the first successful solo swim completed by Captain Matthew Webb on 24 August 1875.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Flicking through my Facebook feed on a weekend I am always astounded by the sheer variety of challenges swimmers around the world take on, from wild dips to awe-inspiring marathon swims. This past month Caroline Block finished just short of a two-way North Channel crossing; Chloë McCardel announced her new world record attempt – a four-way English Channel; and Sarah Thomas swam into the record books with a 104-mile swim in Lake Champlain. It often makes me feel very inadequate! But sometimes swimming is about more than just swimming This issue we look at how you can give back to the swimming community, and Becky Horsbrugh visits Bangladesh to work for a drowning prevention charity. Author Victoria Whitworth talks about the transformative power of swimming outdoors and coach Mat Hudson explains how to swim strong for life. Plus, wildlife, nutrition, training, wild swimming and reviews. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor