Hall Of Famer Barry Watson Passes Away

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International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame chairman Ned Denison interviewed fellow Hall of Famer Barry Watson on the May 9th edition of WOWSA Live.

Barry was so engaged talking about his life in the water,” said Denison.

Watson was sponsored by his home town to cross the English Channel in 1964. He proved their investment in him was a wise one.

Mark Sheridan remember Watson, “Barry was one of the true pioneers of our sport. He was swimming huge distances without weather forecasts and the benefit of modern technology and nutrition. He worked in the print industry so he relied on sponsorship from the company and the generous donations of others to get to the start line. He was a brave pioneer indeed.

I first got to know Barry trying to sort out the records of Loch Lomond swimming as he was one of the first to swim it. He swum the channel 4 times breaking the record during the process on August 16th 1964. The one thing I loved about Barry was that he always championed the efforts of the youngsters and, in the process, won the hearts of many swimmers plus triathletes such as the Brownlee Brothers. The world has lost an amazing man.”

In his WOWSA Live interview, the 82-year-old British marathon swimmer recalled the parade and large number of well-wishers who greeted him upon his return home. He also talked about:

* his world record crossing of the English Channel in 9 hours 35 minutes in August 1964 at the age of 25 from France to England
* 5,000 to 6,000 people who greeted him back at his hometown after his record swim [see below]
* the history of the British Long Distance Swimming Association
* his victories in Windermere including the 1966 International Long Distance Swimming Championships
* swimming against rival Kevin Murphy
* his attempts at two-way crossings of the English Channel
* his friendship with Olympic triathletes Alistair Brownlee and Jonathan Brownlee

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