Sally Minty-Gravett, Otto Thaning, Ned Denison Give Tribute To Varne Ridge On WOWSA Live

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International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Swimmer Sally Minty-Gravett, MBE from Jersey, and Dr. Otto Thaning of Cape Town, South Africa recalled their time at the Varne Ridge Holiday Park in Folkestone, England.

Owned and operated by Evelyn Frantzeskou and her husband David Frantzeskou who passed away in 2017, Varne Ridge has long been a popular gathering place for channel swimmers. David and Evelyn made everything feel a part of a greater channel swimming family and helped celebrate successful English Channel crossings and commiserate unsuccessful attempts in a genuinely warm way.

Minty-Gravett, who had her most recent English Channel attempt postponed due to the pandemic (that would have been her a crossing performed in her 6th consecutive decade), and Dr. Thaning, who reigns as the oldest person to cross the Channel at the age of 73, are well-versed in the lore surrounding and challenge of channel swimming.

Ned Denison, chairperson of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, hosted their interviewed on today’s WOWSA Live program. They collectively recounted the following:

* David Yudovin being the first English Channel swimmer to stay at Varne Ridge in Folkestone as the guest of proprietors David Frantzeskou and Evelyn Frantzeskou
* how David and Evelyn created personal plaques to celebrate and commemorate successful crossings
* Dr. Thaning remembering his time at Varne Ridge with Tracy Clark and Roger Finch and his first time there in 1992 when he went to the English Channel with Lewis Pugh
* Minty-Gravett remembering enjoying the ceremonies for Prabhat Koli and her own two-way crossing
* Denison remembering the stay of Lisa Cummins on her two-way crossing
* remembering the Varne Ridge English Channel Swim Camp
* Dr. Thaning finishing his English Channel swim with a penguin, created by the shadows of a large search light directed onshore by escort pilot Michael Oram

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