Howard Keech and Brian Meharg before crossing the North Channel

Brian Meharg To Speak At WOWSA Ocean Fest In Redondo Beach
Courtesy of Brian Meharg, Bangor, Ireland It is widely acknowledged that the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland is 35 km of the toughest water on Planet Earth for channel swimmers.   Lion’s mane jellyfish, cold water between 9 – 12°C (48 – 54°F), and tidal flows are three primary obstacles to success. Brian Meharg of Bangor Boat has been at the forefront of planning, escorting and navigating solo and relay swimmers across this difficult stretch of water. With the growth of open water swimming, the attempts on the North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland are increasing. True to his nature, Meharg has helped usher in a new generation of escort pilots. “After years of being on the fringes of open water swimming, the Oceans Seven has firmly put the North Channel on the map. While I focus on three attempts per season, I look to persuade other captains to take up the mantle on each side, in both Scotland and Ireland, by providing advice and courses to take.” It is hardened, experienced veterans like Meharg who have guided and elevated the sport for decades and formed a solid foundation for the sport of channel swimming to take off in the early 21st century. Meharg will speak about his experiences across the North Channel, what is arguably the most difficult marathon crossing in the world at the 2019 WOWSA Ocean Fest in Redondo Beach, California on October 5th. “In addition to the early years with Alison Streeter, I was the pilot for Stephen Redmond, the first man, and Anna-Carin Nordin, the first women to accomplish the Oceans Seven. I escorted many swimmers who started from Scotland.” I will speak about the first 60 years of crossing the North Channel, from 1928 to 1988. The first was Mercedes Gleitze in 1928 and in 1988 I was the pilot to take Alison Streeter and have her touch the Scottish coast. Meharg will join Shelley Taylor-Smith, Melissa Blaustein, Paul Asmuth, Craig Dietz, Pam Lazzarotto, Ned Denison and other featured speakers at the WOWSA Ocean Fest where Guinness World Record holders from Alex Kostich to Sarah Ferguson will be honored along with several WOWSA Award winners (Ion Lazarenco Tiron of the Republic of Moldava, Aleksandra Bednarek of Poland, Ross Edgley of the UK, and Icebears Hintertux in Austria by Josef Köberl) and Swimming World Magazine Swimmers of the Year. To register for the WOWSA Ocean Fest, visit here. Soloists and Relays Escorted by Brian Meharg Across the North Channel:* 1. August 22nd 1988: Alison Streeter (England) 9 hours 53 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland at the age of 23 2. August 25th 1989: Alison Streeter (England) 10 hours 4 minutes from Scotland to Northern Ireland at the age of 24 3. August 27th 1990″ Ireland 1 Relay 4. August 14th 1993: City of Liverpool Relay [see video below] 5. June 23rd 1996: Irish (Dublin) Relay [see video below] 6. August 18th 1997: Alison Streeter (England) 10 hours 2 minutes from Scotland to Northern Ireland at the age of 32 7. July 27th 1999: Paul Lewis (England) 14 hours 28 minutes from Scotland to Northern Ireland at the age of 35 8. 20 Aug 1999 Californian Relay [see video below] 9. July 21st 2000: Stephen Price (England) 16 hours 56 minutes from Scotland to Northern Ireland in 16 hours 56 minutes at the age of 38 10. August 26th 2002: City of Liverpool Relay [see video below] 11. July 6th 2004: City of Derry Relay (Ireland) [see video below] 12. July 31st 2004: Colm O’Neill (Ireland) 11 hours 25 minutes at the age of 33 from Scotland to Northern Ireland 13. September 12th 2008: Colleen Blair (Scotland) 15 hours 23 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland 14. August 31st 2010: Stephen Redmond (Ireland) 17 hours 17 minutes at the age of 45 from Scotland to Northern Ireland 15. July 27th 2011: Craig Lenning (USA) 11 hours 25 minutes at the age of 41 from Northern Ireland to Scotland 16. August 2nd 2011: Howard Keech (England) 13 hours 25 minutes at the age of 32 from Northern Ireland to Scotland 17. August 21st 2011: Camlough Relay (Ireland) 18. July 8th 2013: Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden) 14 hours 21 minutes at the age of 42 from Scotland to Northern Ireland 19. August 16th 2013 Pádraig Mallon (Ireland) 12 hours 49 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland 20. August 29th 2013 Darren Miller (USA) 11 hours 16 minutes at the age of 30 from Northern Ireland to Scotland 21. July 5th 2014 Eleven Feet Relay (Ireland) 12 hours 52 minutes 22. July 22nd 2014 Guy Moar (Australia) 11 hours 9 minutes at the age of 47 from Northern Ireland to Scotland 23. 7 Aug 2014 Colleen Mallon (Ireland) 9 hours 56 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland 24. July 28th 2015: Vicky Miller (England) 12 hours 6 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland 25. August 7th 2015: Rohan More (India) 12 hours 46 minutes at the age of 29 from Northern Ireland to Scotland 26. August 11th 2015: Ion Lazarenco Tiron (Moldova) 16 hours 23 minutes at the age of 37 from Northern Ireland to Scotland 27. August 14th 2016: Phia Steyn (South Africa) 13 hours 36 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland 28. July 5th 2017: Simon Olliver (New Zealand) 11 hours 56 minutes at the age of 53 from Northern Ireland to Scotland 29. July 6th 2018: Doiri II Relay (Ireland) 30. July 22nd 2018: Suili Relay (Northern Ireland) * not including DNF crossings For more information on Meharg and his Bangor Boat, visit here.
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