Oldies But Goodies In The Open Water

Oldies But Goodies In The Open Water

The members of the Half Century Club prove that some things do get better with age.

Even if the weather does not cooperate.

This year, 72-year-old George Thornton, a psychology professor at Colorado State University, wanted to become the oldest person to cross the English Channel.

As he waited out the fickle weather, the professor’s two-week window came and went. “I can’t put into words at this point how I felt the past few days and what I feel now,” Thornton said in an e-mail to the Denver Post.

Like many others who are temporarily defeated by the elements, Professor Thorton is committed to trying again next year…at the age where he clearly qualifies for the Half Century Club, individuals who successfully completed a marathon or channel swim at least 50 years ago. There are Half Century Clubs in the English Channel (see below), Catalina Channel, Molokai Channel, Rottnest Channel Swim, Strait of Gibraltar, Cook Strait, Lake Ontario, Lake Zurich and many other open bodies of water around the world.

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

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