Don Riddington Gets Spirited Away In The English Channel

Don Riddington Gets Spirited Away In The English Channel

68-year-old Don Riddington had achieved many things in life, but in the open water swimming world, he was a newbie.

The Australian owner of a kayaking company called Spirited Away wanted to do something out-of-the-ordinary and special. So he turned to Grant Siedle and asked how he could swim the English Channel. He listened and learned. For 3 years, they worked together on this dream. Slowly, stroke-by-stroke they never blinked and transformed a dream into a reality on July 15th this year.

In support of Autism Awareness, Riddington crossed the English Channel in 19 hours 45 minutes to become the third oldest person to swim across. “The neat fact about the swim was my time of 19:45 matching my birth year of 1945 – I think the pilots must do that so we can remember our time!

The full list of English Channel Half Century Club members is below:

1. Roger Allsopp (England), 70 years and 4 months, England-to-France in 17:51 in 2011
2. George Brunstad (USA), 70 years and 3 days, England-to-France in 15:59 in 2004
3. Don Riddington, 68 years and 38 days, E/F in 19:45 in 2013
4. Clifford Batt (Australia), 67, France-to-English in 18:37 in 1987
5. Ashby Harper (USA), 65, E/F in 13:52 in 1982
6. Joe Smith (England), 65, E/F in 14:09 in 1999
7. Roger Allsopp (England), 65, E/F in 15:30 in 2006
8. Sue Oldham (Australia), 65, E/F in 17:11 in 2010
9. Michael Read (England), 63, E/F in 15:29 in 2004
10. Veljko Rogosic (Croatia), 63, E/F in 11:27 in 2004
11. Robert West (USA), 61, E/F in 15:35 in 1996
12. Sue Oldham (Australia), 61, E/F in 16:03 in 2006
13. Jean-Paul Madelenat (France), 60, E/F in 14:46 in 2002
14. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA), 60, E/F in 15:57 in 2011
15. Linda Ashmore (England), 60, E/F in 15:11 in 2007
16. Vijaya Claxton (USA), 59, E/F in 22:27 in 2007
17. James “Doc” Counsilman (USA), 58, E/F in 13:07 in 1979
18. Mo Siegel (USA), 58, E/F in 14:18 in 2010
19. Barbara Held (USA), 58, E/F in 12:10 in 2012
20. Carol Sing (USA), 57, E/F in 12:32 in 1999
21. Kevin Murphy (England), 57, E/F in 15:14 in 2006
22. Alan Macleay (England), 57, E/F in 22:14 in 2006
23. Richard Haan (Czech Republic), 57 in 14:07 in 2005
24. Peter Urrea (USA), 56, E/F in 14:38 in 1996
25. Kevin Murphy (England), 56, E/F in 13:35 in 2005
26. Jackie Cobell (England), 56, E/F in 28:44 in 2010
27. Duke Dahlin (USA), 55, E/F in 14:37 in 2003
28. Christopher Blakeslee (USA), 54, E/F in 14:44 in 2004
29. Michael Miller (USA), 54, E/F in 16:10 in 2008
30. Roger Finch (South Africa), 54, E/F in 12:39 in 2011
31. Marilyn Korzekwa (Canada), 54, E/F in 16:28 in 2011
32. George Hunihan (USA), 54, E/F in 16:30 in 2008
33. Otto Thaning (South Africa), 53, E/F in 10:29 in 1994
34. Klaus Stutzer (Germany), 53, E/F in 14:09 in 1997
35. Morris Finkelstein (USA), 53, E/F in 15:21 in 2003
36. Bill Hoehn (USA), 53, E/F in 15:53 in 2004
37. Hugh Tucker (South Africa), 53, E/F in 13:37 in 2004
38. Tom Hecker (USA), 53, E/F in 15:21 in 2005
40. Steven Smith (England), 53, E/F in 14:28 in 2005
41. Vasanti Niemz (Germany), 53, E/F in 16:50 in 2010
42. Dan Richards (USA), 53, E/F in 12:32 in 2010
43. Doug McConnell (USA), 53, E/F in 14:18 in 2010
44. Kathy Batts (UK), 53, E/F in 22:30 in 2013
45. Kevin Blick (UK), 52, E/F in 14.06 in 2012
46. Kevin Blick (UK), 52, E/F in 15.54 in 2012
47. Henry Eckstein (USA), 52, E/F in 14:24 in 2000
48. Peter Jurzynski (USA), 53, E/F in 17:18 in 2004
49. Peter Jurzynski (USA), 52, E/F in 14:57 in 2003
50. Dennis Dressel (USA), 52, E/F in 12:08 in 2003
51. Jorge Rikarday (Mexico), 52, E/F in 20:24 in 2003
52. Tim Cheesman (England), 52, E/F in 15:07 in 2007
53. Elizabeth Fry (USA), 52, E/F/E in 24:39 (two-way in 13:20 + 11:19) in 2011
54. Tim Cheesman (England), 52, E/F in 15:07 in 2007
55. Gilles Chalandon (USA), 52, E/F in 14:31 in 2010
56. Mark Stone (USA), 52, E/F in 13:07 in 2009
57. Kevin Murphy (England), 51, E/F in 14:29 in 2000
58. Peter Jurzynski (USA), 51, E/F in 17:08 in 2002
59. Anne Cleveland (USA), 51, E/F in 11:33 in 2007
60. Michael Ball (England), 51, E/F in 12:55 in 2009
61. Paul Downie (Australia), 51 E/F in 12:39 in 2011
62. Nancy Steadman-Martin (USA), 50, E/F in 11:20 in 2004
63. James Fitzpatrick (USA), 50, E/F in 14:32 in 2005
64. Frank Chalmers (Scotland), 50, E/F in 16:48 in 2005
65. Tim Cheesman (England), 50, E/F in 16:14 in 2005
66. Terry O’Brien (Australia), 50, E/F in 15:50 in 2006
67. Antonio Argüelles (Mexico), 50, E/F in 12:54 in 2009
68. Jim Bayles (USA), 50, E/F in 10:59 in 2002
69. Jim Boucher (Ireland), 50, E/F in 16:51 in 2011
70. Andrew Hunt (Australia), 50 E/F in 13:54 in 2011



Photos courtesy of Don Riddington’s England2France website.

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