80 Years And Counting In The English Channel

80 Years And Counting In The English Channel

Courtesy of George Thornton, English Channel.

George Thorton is looking for another teammate for an Octogenarian English Channel relay.

The window for the 80-something relay of six swimmers is September 12th – 20th. Thornton [shown above] describes the team, “Will you be 80+ years old by September 12th? Do you want to set the record for the oldest relay to swim the Channel? Join Roger Allsopp from the UK, Dave Cummings from the UK, Otto Thaning from South Africa, John Thorpe from the UK and me. We invite you to complete our team of six swimmers to make the crossing.  

We have Eddie Spelling, captain of Anastasia, reserved as our escort pilot. Each person may swim 3 one-hour legs. The best estimate is the water temperature will be 17°C (64 – 65°F) at the beginning of September. To register for the swim, each relay swimmer is required to complete the following qualifier in water 60°F (15.5°C) or less: a 1½-hour swim, followed by 1 hour out of water, then another 1-hour swim.

For more information, contact George Thorton at [email protected] or Dr. Otto Thaning at [email protected] The team includes swimmers who are the crème de la crème of the open water octogenarians around the world:  

  • Dr. Roger Allsopp, born June 4th 1940 in Guernsey England: completed an English Channel crossing in 2006 and 2011 as the oldest man.
  • Dave Cummings, born March 11th 1938 in Eastbourne, East Sussex. UK: completed septuagenarian relay in 2015, won gold medals in 100m and 200m butterfly and 3 km open water swim at the 2019 FINA World Masters Championships in South Korea.
  • Dr. Otto Thaning, born March 13th 1941 in Cape Town, South Africa: completed English Channel crossing in 1994 and 2014 as the oldest man with multiple Robben Island crossings.
  • George Thornton, born February 2nd 1940 in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA: 20-time Horsetooth 10K Swim, attempted English Channel crossing in 2012 in 9+ hours), completed 95 triathlons including 12 Ironman Triathlons including 2 Hawaiian Ironman World Championship in Kona.
  • John Thorpe, born March 6th 1940 in Dover, England: completed a 5-person English Channel relay in 2010, 2-hour qualifier in 2010, 2011, and 2012, swimming intermittently in Dover Harbor in 2019, completed marathon runs and triathlons.

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