Thomas Took Time

Courtesy of WOWSA, English Channel.

With the English Channel season being kicked off this week, swimmers from around the world are converging to the shores of Dover.

Many are swimming for charity; many are taking instruction from Freda Streeter. And a few are attempting the Channel for the second time.

Attempting the Channel for the second – or third – time takes persistence and patience. And not a small amount of cash. But there are those who stick to it, so completely driven by their goal that they will attempt the Channel over and over again until they realize their dream.

Thomas Burgess was one example.

As a 1900 Olympic pool swimmer from Great Britain and an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer, Burgess became the second man to swim the English Channel in 22 hours 35 minutes in 1911 on his 16th attempt.

After moving to Paris, he bought a summer home at Cap Gris Nez as a summer base to train English Channel swimmers. Stationed there from 1922 to 1934, he famously trained Gertrude Ederle in 1926 when she became the first woman to swim the English Channel.

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