Celebrating Bryan Finlay And Breaststroking Across The English Channel

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Bryan Finlay will be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Administrator in the Class of 2020.

Finlay, born in Coventry England in 1943 and currently living in Ontario, Canada, is an open water swimmer who has favored breaststroke in his long, storied career, and has served as a race director, webmaster, historian and documentarist for Solo Swims of Ontario for decades.

Breaststroke is the world’s most popular recreational swimming style that has remained popular as a competitive open water swimming stroke in places from the Netherlands to regions where cold water swimming is practiced.

Breaststroke is certainly far from being the fastest stroke, but it can be swum comfortably at slow speeds – and for at least 16 people in history – their chosen style to swim across the English Channel:

1. Matthew Webb, 21 hours 45 minutes in 1875
2. Thomas Burgess, 22 hours 35 minutes in 1911
3. Henry Sullivan, 26 hours 50 minutes in 1923
4. Enrico Tiraboschi, 16 hours 33 minutes in 1923
5. Charles Toth, 15 hours 9 minutes in 1923
6. Pierre Van Vooren, 15 hours 9 minutes in 1963
7. Pierre Van Vooren, 17 hours 55 minutes in 1965
8. Ulrich Haevecker, 17 hours 5 minutes in 1982
9. Caroline Plummer, 16 hours 32 minutes in 1986
10. Trevor James, 23 hours 55 minutes in 1991
11. Richard Blatny, 23 hours 38 minutes in 1998
12. Jackie MacDonald, 21 hours 19 minutes in 2000
13. Patrick Ghysel, 14 hours 42 minutes in 2002
14. Frederik Jacques, 13 hours 31 minutes in 2005
15. Tony Bailey, 25 hours 56 minutes 41 seconds in 2014
16. Philip Yorke, 18 hours 2 minutes in 2015

Interview above with Finlay shows him talking about the crossing of Lake Huron by Elizabeth Fry.

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