Adam Walker

Adam Walker

Adam Walker (or Mad Adam or Ocean Walker) is a British open water swimmer who is one of the six people in history who have completed the Oceans Seven

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Adam Walker (or Mad Adam or Ocean Walker) (born 9 July 1978) is a 39-year-old British open water swimmer who is one of the six people in history who have completed the Oceans Seven. He was a nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

Professional Career

  • Walker does motivational talks and technical swim camps in the United Kingdom and across the European continent, including the Swim Camp Malta as well as doing one-to-one clinics.
  • Walker serves as a Counsellor for One Young World and as an Ambassador of the Royal Life Saving Society made a presentation at the 2014 One Young World Summit in Dublin, Ireland.
  • He was appointed as Zoggs’ Open Water / Triathlon Swimming Ambassador.
  • He endorses men’s skin care products like Clarins SkinFit.
  • He appears on British television promoting open water swimming.

2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nomination

Walker was nominated for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.


Adam Walker never had it easy on any of his Oceans Seven channel crossings, but he endured and became the fifth person in history to complete the most difficult global channel challenge. Ocean Walker as he is known, not only does attempts tough swims himself, but he also offers clinics and camps as well as gives motivational speeches and offers open water swimming commentary on television. He completed his final 2 Oceans Seven channels in 2014 in the coldest channels of all – the Cook Strait in 8 hours 46 minutes and the North Channel in 10 hours 45 minutes For his wildly popular video that went viral globally with over 5 million YouTube views when he was protected from sharks by dolphins, for his successful completion of the Oceans Seven, for his passionate educational offerings and coaching clinics from Malta to the airways of Great Britain, and his charitable efforts on behalf of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Adam Walker is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.”

2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nominees

1. Adam Walker (Great Britain), Oceans Seven Swimmer 2. Allan Lopes Mamédio do Carmo (Brazil), FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup Champion 4. Colin Hill (Great Britain), Race Director & Open Water Ambassador 4. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands), 2-time European Champion 5. Henri Kaarma (Estonia), Ice Swimmer & Cold Water Ambassador 6. Joanes Hedel (France), FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Champion 6. Joseph Locke (U.S.A.), Farallons Freestyler 8. Lewis Pugh, OIG (Great Britain), Ocean Advocate 9. Otto Thaning, M.D. (South Africa), Oldest English Channel Swimmer 10. Phil White (U.S.A.), Outstanding Organizer 11. Tomi Stefanovski (Macedonia), Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean Co-Champion 12. Xavier Desharnais (Canada), Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean Co-Champion

Marathon Swimming Career

Walker has successfully completed the English Channel (solo in 2008 in 11 hour 31 minute and relays in 2006 and 2008), the Molokai Channel (in 16 hours 2 minutes on 21 June 2012), a two-way crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar (in 9 hours 41 minutes, together with Chris Sheppard, the Catalina Channel (on 16 October 2012 in 12 hours 15 minutes), the Tsugaru Channel in 15 hours 41 minutes on 12 August 2014, the Cook Strait in 8 hours 46 minutes on 22 April 2014, and the North Channel in 10 hours 45 minutes on 6 August 2014. Walker and Sheppard were the first British swimmers to complete a two-way crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar and set a British record on their first leg to Morocco. Walker completed his charity swim on 21 June 2012 despite being hit by box jellyfish. His effort was performed on behalf of Sportsaid and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. Walker was the first British swimmer to attempt and complete the 26-mile crossing across the Molokai Channel in 16 hours 59 minutes and the Tsugaru Channel in Japan.


He also participated in the international Swim of Peace Ouma – Djerba in Tunisia on 2 June 2014, organized by Nejib Belhedi.

Aquatic Career Highlights

  • Swam solo across English Channel in July 2008 in 11 hours 31 minutes
  • Completed two relay English Channel swims in 2006 and 2008
  • Play for Bedford in Waterpolo National League
  • Staffordshire and University National Finalist in swimming 1998
  • Swam two-way Strait of Gibraltar in 9 hours 41 minutes in 2010
  • Swam solo across the Molokai Channel in 16 hours 2 minutes on 21 June 2012 at the age of 34
  • Swam solo across the Catalina Channel in 12 hours 15 minutes on 16 October 2012
  • Swim of Peace Ouma – Djerba in Tunisia in June 2014
  • Swam solo across the Tsugaru Channel in 15 hours 41 minutes on 12 August 2014
  • Swam solo across the Cook Strait on 22 April 2014 in 8 hours 46 minutes at the age of 36
  • Swam solo across the North Channel on 6 August 2014 in 10 hours 45 minutes at the age of 36

Strait of Gibraltar Impressions

It was the hardest swim I had ever done, including the English Channel, due to the speed they had to swim to overcome the strong tides which potentially were taking them out to sea and the time limit before the pilot would pull the swim due to the local shipping rules in the Straits which forbade swimming at night.”

Strait of Gibraltar Crew

Melanie Sheppard, Emily Walker, Angela Hopkins, Anne Sheppard, Peter Walker, Margaret Walker, Gareth Hughes, and Antonio (Pilot), Fernando (Zodiac driver) and Rafael (President of the ACNEG).

Strait of Gibraltar Sponsors

ZOGGS swimwear, Everyone Active (Lammas Leisure Centre), Clem and Margaret Turner, Colin Slaven, Teressa Dixon, Dave and Sharon Young.

Purpose for Molokai Channel Swim

There is no humane way to kill a whale at sea. The hunting process can never be an exact exercise – whales are a moving target, shot at from a moving vessel which sits on a moving sea. Grenade harpoons are often used to kill whales forcing them to be subjected to a long, slow and painful death. They are often killed under the guise of conducting scientific research, a practice backed by many governments.

World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men

Walker was named one of the World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men in 2015 by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

Man vs. Ocean

Walker wrote a book called Man vs. Ocean that was released in December 2015. “Adam Walker is not your everyday record-breaking sportsman. He took on arguably the toughest extreme sport on the planet – to swim non-stop across seven of the world’s deadliest oceans wearing only swim trunks, cap and goggles. It is not a test for the faint-hearted: swimmers face freezing temperatures, huge swells and treacherous currents, potentially deadly marine life (from sharks to Portuguese man o’ war), vomiting and burning off a week’s calories in a single swim. In 2006, Adam, then a toaster salesman, saw a film about a man attempting to swim the English Channel and change his life in doing so. Inspired by this, he decided to try to emulate the feat. After a year of rigorous training without a coach – his first open-water swim was in 9ºC and he nearly died from hypothermia – Adam achieved his goal in 11 hours 45 minutes, despite a ruptured bicep tendon leading to medical advice to give up long-distance swimming. In 2011, after two operations and a change to his swimming style to take pressure off his injured shoulder, he became the first Briton to achieve a two-way crossing from Spain to Morocco and back. In the process, he broke the British record one way. Shortly afterwards, the Oceans Seven challenge was born, a gruelling equivalent to the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. At first it seemed that injury would prevent Adam from participating but, ignoring medical advice, he developed an innovative technique – the Ocean Walker stroke – that would enable him to continue with the ultimate aim of completing this seemingly impossible feat. Whether man would triumph over ocean, or fail in the attempt, forms the core of this extraordinary autobiography. Always intriguing, sometimes terrifying, and occasionally very funny, Adam’s story is about sport in its truest form: rather than competitions between teams and individuals, it is about man against nature – and against his own failings and demons. In that, it is truly inspirational.

Role in Swimming Community


Special Honors Marathon/Channel Swimming

Oceans Seven








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