Jonathan Ratcliffe

Jonathan Ratcliffe

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Jonathan Ratcliffe is a 46-year-old open water swimmer and father of five children from Peterborough, England who has achieved the Oceans Seven on 10 December 2019 with a crossing of the Cook Strait.

Open Water Swimming Career Highlights

  • On 19 August 2016, he completed a 33.5 km crossing of the English Channel from England to France in 11 hours 59 minutes at the age of 43.
  • On 7 July 2017, he completed a 35 km crossing of the North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 14 hours 41 minutes 30 seconds at the age of 43.
  • On 27 May 2017, he finished 5th in the 7.5 km Battle of Carlingford Lough in 1 hour 44 minutes 37 seconds at the age of 43.
  • On 19 August 2018, he completed a 42 km crossing of the Molokai Channel from Molokai to Oahu in Hawaii in 14 hours 9 minutes 0 seconds at the age of 45.
  • On 16 April 2019, he completed a 14.4 km crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco in 4 hours 3 minutes at the age of 45.
  • On 19 July 2019, he completed a 19.5 km crossing of the Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido in 11 hours 7 minutes at the age of 45.
  • On 21 October 2019, he completed a 32.3 km crossing of the Catalina Channel from Santa Catalina Island to the Southern California mainland in 11 hours 23 minutes 1 second at the age of 46.
  • On 10 December 2019, he completed a 23 km crossing of the Cook Strait from North Island to South Island in New Zealand in 11 hours 15 minutes at the age of 46 and achieved the Oceans Seven, the 19th individual in history to do so.
  • He is a trustee of CROPS (Christian Options in Peterborough Schools). Through his swims, he raises money and awareness for the CROPS charity that provide mentors for pupils in Peterborough (UK) schools.

2019 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nomination

Ratcliffe’s Oceans Seven Cook Strait crossing was nominated for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year award as follows:

Jonathan Ratcliff uses his Oceans Seven channel swims to raise money and awareness for CROPS. He valiantly completed the last 4 of his Oceans Seven channels in the final 8 months of 2019 with a massively difficult crossing of the 23 km Cook Strait in New Zealand. The 46-year-old father – whose wife and children accompany him in his escort boats – faced tidal challenges, whirlpools, currents and large ocean swells on his tough 11 hour 15 minute crossing from the North Island to Sound Island. Despite the cold water and difficult conditions that he faced right from the start until his last stroke, Ratcliffe was mentally focused and physically determined to become the 19th person in history to complete the Oceans Seven. For his charitable acts and swims that fund mentors to help develop the untapped potential of teenagers in Peterborough, for his difficult 8-month push to complete the Oceans Seven as a family affair, and for his long, difficult crossing of the Cook Strait on the last possible day of his swim window, Jonathan Ratcliffe’s Ocean Seven is a worthy nominee for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

Role in Swimming Community


Special Honors Marathon/Channel Swimming

Oceans Seven









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