Courtesy of Chris Stockdale.

Professor Dr. Ulrich Haevecker passed away on February 26th.

Dr. Chris Stockdale reported, “He was not just a fine and gentle man, but also a superb breaststroke swimmer. I have known him for many years and was honored to attend his funeral in Berlin on April 5th and deliver a eulogy.

He was a great supporter of the Channel Swimming Association, loved England and made many friends over here.

The food chemist was born on May 5th 1932 and lived in Berlin and became a Life Member of the Channel Swimming Association in 1980 and of the Solent Swimming Club in 1982. He described breaststroke as is somewhat slower, but in rough water, it is the most seaworthy stroke.”

He competed in most of the classical distances from 1.6 km to the English Channel where his 17 hour 5 minute crossing from England to France remained a breaststroke record for 20 years and his exploits notched four entries in the Guinness Book of Records.

When his swimsuit was dry, he served as one of the vice presidents of the Channel Swimming Association for a decade and was the Channel Swimming Association observer for Alison Streeter’s three-way crossing in the Channel.

Outside the swimming world, Ricky as he was known within the swimming fraternity also earned his doctorate and was a professor of chemistry.

All his swims were completed breaststroke:

August 1975: 7th in the 1.8 km Lac de Léon, France
August 1978: 6th in the 2.0 km Traversée de Mimizan, France
June 1980: 25 km from Pichelsdorf to Pfaueninsel to Pichelsdorf in Havel, Berlin, Germany (pioneering swim)
July 1980: English Channel attempt from England to France (retired after 1 hour 45 minutes)
August 1980: 10 km in Lac de la Forět d’Orient, France (pioneering two-way swim)
August 1980: 25.6 km in 10h-Marathon St. Pierre-du-Mont, France (breaststroke world record in a pool)
August 1980: 14th in the 2.0 km Traversée de Mimizan, France
august 1981: 12.9 km from Sylt to Amrum, Germany (pioneering swim)
August 1981: 13.6 km Solent two-way, England
August 1981: English Channel attempt from England to France (retired after 11 hours 45 minutes)
January 1982: 52.6 km in 24h-Marathon Brüssels, Belgium (breaststroke world record in a pool)
August 1982: 25 km Windermere International, England
August 1982: 19.4 km from Dover to Folkestone to Dover (men’s breaststroke record)
August 1982: 6.8 km Solent, England (over 50 year category breaststroke record)
August 1982: 17 hour 5 minute English Channel crossing from England to France (Channel breaststroke record)
September 1982: 15.8 km in Stari Grad, Yugoslavia
July 1983: 14 km in Ischia, Italy
August 1983: 33 km Windermere two-way crossing, England (breaststroke record)
August 1983: 6.8 km Solent, England (over 50 year category breaststroke record)
September 1983: 1.6 km Windermere Cross Lake, England
August 1983: 16.5 km Lake Windermere, England
July 1984: 2.1 km Tegeler See Berlin (Around the Island of Scharfenberg), Germany (Gold class)
August 1984: 8.5 km Coniston Water Veterans, England (men’s breaststroke record)
September 1984: 55.1 km 24h-Marathon St. Pierre-du-Mont, France (breaststroke world record in a pool)
February 1985: 1.5 km Sydney Charity Swim, Australia
July 1985: 2.1 km Tegeler See Berlin (Around the Island of Scharfenberg), Germany (Gold class)
July 1986: 16 km from Scilla, Italy to Messina, Sicily (2nd place over 50 year category)
September 1986: 25 km in Suez Channel, Egypt (retired after 6 hours 30 minutes due to water quality)

Professor Haevecker is photographed above with Marina Charpentier Haevecker.

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