Norman Trusty Passes Away, Leaving a Legacy in the Open Water

Norman Trusty Passes Away, Leaving a Legacy in the Open Water

Norman Trusty passed away this week. The famed British marathon swimmer and observer was inducted as an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Class of 2003.

His marathon swimming career spanned from 1963:

  • He swam 16.9 km across Lake Windermere in England in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1974 including racing in the first and third Windermere International Championships, placing 6th and 3rd respectively.
  • He swam from France to England in 1967 in 12 hours 5 minutes.
  • He swam from England to France twice in 1971 (12 hours 24 minutes and 13 hours 41 minutes).
  • He participated in several English Channel relays, including helping set 3 records with Hetzel’s Texas Volunteers relay in 1974: England-to-France in 8 hours 51 minutes, France-to-England in 8 hours 59 minutes, and England-to-France-to-England in 17 hours 50 minutes.
  • He served as a long-time Channel Swimming Association committee member and its Vice Chairman.
  • He received the 1998 CSA Audrey Scott Memorial Trophy for the greatest contribution to English Channel swimming.
  • He received the 1991 CSA Observer of the Year award when he observed at least 50 solo crossings, 13 relay swims, two double crossings and four double crossing relays. He ultimately served as an observer for 37 years.

Kevin Murphy reported, “Sadly, one of the great names of Channel swimming history has passed away. He maintained his interest in Channel swimming to the end and has been instrumental with Joe Smith in updating Dover Museum’s swim records. He observed many crossings including my first one in 1968.”

From Dover Museum:

Norman Trusty swam the Channel on three occasions; France to England 1967, time 12hrs 05mins. England to France 1971, five weeks apart, time 12hrs 24mins and 13hrs 41mins.

Other Swimming Events included; 1954 British Long Distance Swimming Association Torbay Champion, 1966 British Long Distance Swimming Association International Windermere Championship (10 1/4 Miles), 1974 British Long Distance Swimming Association International Windermere Championship (26km)

 Norman also swam Windermere on 5 occasions. Morecambe Bay, 2nd place, 3hrs 27mins14secs; Bala Two Way 1963, third place; and the Coniston Vets 1979 finished 1st place, and 1981 3rd place.

As a youngster, he was Kent County Backstroke, and Long Distance Champion from 1954 to 1957. A member of the Otter Swimming Club, to win the ASA National Championships in the Medley & Free Style Relay Teams in 1953, 54, 55, 56.

Norman has served as an Official Channel Swimming Association Observer since 1967 and continued in that capacity a total of 37 years. For many years he served as Observer Liason Officer responsible for appointing independent observers for Channel swims. He received the Channel Swimming Associations Audrey Scott Memorial Trophy in 1998 for the greatest contribution to Channel Swimming and he was awarded the Observer of the year trophy in 1991.

Today he has observed at least 50 solo swims, 13 successful relay teams, 2 double crossings and 4 two way relay teams. Norman was the team manager and coach for the swimming section of the Metropolitan Police Relay Team for the inaugural championship of the London to Paris 1984 Triathlon.

Photo above shows Norman Trusty receiving his IMSHOF certificate at the Channel Swimming Association dinner in Dover from Dale Petranech. Credit: Dover Museum.

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Steven Munatones