Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Who's Who of Open Water Swimming

We researched the biographies of the 196 individuals inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and found the following:

-- 77% are men vs. 29% are women.
-- 52% of the inductees are affiliated with or have done the English Channel.
-- 38% of the inductees have done professional marathon races.
-- 29% of the inductees have completed an unprecedented swim somewhere in the world.
-- 19% of the inductees are race organizers or work in recognized governing bodies.
-- 8% are or were authors or reporters of open water swimming.
-- 7% were Olympians.
-- 3.5% are or were escort boat pilots.

The inductees are from 30 different countries as follows:

63 are from America
50 are from Great Britain
16 are from Canada
11 are from from Argentina
8 are from the Netherlands
7 are from Egypt
6 are from Australia
5 are from Germany
5 are from Spain
4 are from Italy
3 are from Hungary
3 are from Ireland
2 are from India
2 are from the United Arab Emirates
2 are from New Zealand
2 are from Yugoslavia
2 are from France
2 are from Brazil
1 is from Bangladesh
1 is from Cuba
1 is from Belgium
1 is from Portugal
1 is from Bulgaria
1 is from Croatia
1 is from Turkey
1 is from China
1 is from Greece
1 is from Denmark
1 is from Mexico
1 is from Peru

Upper photo shows Montserrat Tresserras from Spain who was honored in 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.

Lower photo shows Eva Morrison from Massachusetts, USA who was honored in 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.

Check out the formal wear of her escort boat crew.

No comments: