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Newsletter 39 - March 2017

Posted on: 11th March 2017

Celebrating 90 years of serving Channel Swimmers

Dear Member,

Welcome to our March 2017 newsletter.

Chairman’s message.

Dear CSA friends.

As time flies… we are close to Easter…the bookings are coming in, and I hope they will be on time.

I hope that your swimming condition is improving and will peak on the day of your swim.

I wish you all the best for the event.

For the other members, not planning to conquer the Channel, I hope your condition is good as well.

Our pilots are very busy preparing their boats and equipment, observers are checking the watches, the directors are having a last look at the regulations. All of this to give you the best chance to achieve your goal.

Meanwhile we are waiting for the sun to heat up the water.

As Chairman, I dream of an even more successful year than last year. But considering that 2016 was extremely good it will be difficult.

I am already looking forward to meeting many of you at the Dinner and Presentation evening on Saturday November the 4th at Dover Town Hall. It is an evening to support and meet all the swimmers from this year and some from the past.

50 years ago – we note 1967 – Philip Gollop (13h45) made the England – France swim

In that same season Elaine Gray (10h24) – Thomas J. Hetzel (18h54) – Norman Trusty (12h05) – Mervyn Sharp (18h34) - Geofrrey S. Lake (15h21) – Rosemary George (17h50) and Linda Gill (13h02 & 09h59) did the France – England crossing.

For Rosemary, it was her second successful swim. Philip also successfully completed his second swim but together with Thomas, Norman and Mervin were to come back for more.

As a worldwide Association, we continuously want to update the website. Therefore, we need your help and as it is all about the swimmers please forward stories and photos of your big day to our webmaster. So, we can share your experience with our Channel Swimming family.

If by occasion you have not yet renewed your membership for 2017 I hope that you will think about staying with the CSA Ltd.

Thanks, and success,

Peter Van Vooren.


Ray was Chairman of the CSA from 1960-1993 and Audrey was Secretary from 1973-1993. Whilst they could, they did everything, Ray was a great writer, he observed probably 50 swims, he wrote wonderful accounts of the swims, but nothing about himself or Audrey. Audrey saw almost every swimmer off and welcomed every swimmer back on their arrival. Their home was an open house for swimmers 24 hours/day, and 7 days/week.

As there is very little written about Ray and Audrey Scott. It would be nice if swimmers could be invited to write in their memories to the CSA so that we can get them on record.

If you have any stories or memories please do get in touch: secretary@channelswimmingassociation.com

Audrey Scott Ray Scott

Audrey Scott

Ray Scott

Last year’s Associate members: Don’t miss out on your opportunity to become a Full Member and enjoy full voting rights

Message from Eric Hartley (CSA Pilot)

Eric Hartley

Eric Hartley

Swimmers, please remember to keep in touch with your pilots.
I have sent all my swimmers’ e-mails asking for bits of information and have only had a handful of replies. It is vitally important that you keep your pilot updated and informed as to what is going on and how training and the application process is progressing.

Training swims

Training swims and practice swims are available with Eric Hartley on board Pathfinder or with Stuart Gleeson on board Sea Leopard.

All swimmers are welcome and the session will last a minimum of 2 hours but can be as long as you like, plus it would be a good chance to test your crew out. For costs email

Eric info@pathfindercharter.com

Stuart sealeopardcharter@gmail.com

CSA Roles and jobs

Would you like to become a CSA Observer?

Every year we need more Observers. If you are local to the Dover area and are interested in the role, please contact us to get further information. We are already planning our 2017 annual meeting for existing and potential Observers at the Burstin Hotel in Folkestone on Saturday 6th May 2017, 10.00hrs. Here you will learn more about the role and have on hand first aid training. Coffee and lunch will be provided.

Please bear in mind that this is a role best suited to people who live locally and are willing to make themselves available at the drop of a hat.

Please register your interest with Kat Percival, Assistant Administrative Secretary, e-mail admin@channelswimmingassociation.com

Movers and shakers within the CSA team of board members

Due to their new roles, as Administrative Secretary and Assistant Administrative Secretary; Susan Ractliffe and Kat Percival have now stood down from the CSA Board of Directors.

This gives an opportunity for two new exciting people to be co-opted in:

Fiona Southwell
Fiona has been the Head of the Sea Section for Brighton Swimming Club for many years, and swims all year round.

She is an Open Water Coach and trains swimmers from all over the world. In her youth Fiona swam for England. She found her passion for open water in her early 20’s while living in Australia.

Fiona swam the channel in 2009.

Marc Newman

Marc Newman took an interest in Channel Swimming at the age of 15 when he was a companion swimmer for the youngest ever girl, Samantha Druce who at the age of 12 swam the Channel. Marc then first swam the Channel in 1985 at the age of 17. He was on course to break the record for the fastest crossing when he was stopped by the French Coastguard and was made to tread water for over two hours before being allowed to swim into French Coastal waters and complete his swim. Over the next several years he completed a further four Channel Swims chasing that illusive record. He completed three of these swims in under 9 hours, his fastest being 8 hours 35 minutes but never managed to break the record.

Marc was also a member of the GB open water swimming team and had numerous successes at International level. These include being the first ever FINA World Cup Long Distance Swimming Champion 25km in 1986 which was swum in Lake Windermere. He defended this title in 1988 when he won the World Cup again in Lake Geneva. He has also twice won the 32km race at Lac St Jean in Canada. In 1988 Marc was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

After a long period away from the sport (with the exception of being part of two 6 person Channel relays) Marc started swimming again in 2014 when he was part of a four person two way Channel relay team. He again had the Channel swimming bug and in 2016 he completed the first ever Channel swim starting at Dungeness and landing near Boulogne. This was a swim that he and his coach, Tom Watch had talked about doing for many years.

Message from the Secretary:

To all 2017 swimmers,

I hope you are all training hard and looking forward to the swim season ahead. Thank you to those of you who have already registered but for those of you that have not, please DO REMEMBER the swim deadlines. If you are participating in a relay swim, get your forms in NOW! The deadline is the end of March.

For all solo swimmers, you have until the end of April but the sooner you get them in, the better. Don't be complacent. Please, please do not incur unnecessary late payment fees.

Go through your registration checklist to ensure you have included everything required. We do give leeway for the swim certificate - if you haven't completed this. Make a note on your form when you plan to do this so I can chase it up if need be!!

Payments for your swims can be made online after submitting your forms now. There is no need to send cheques with your registration unless you prefer to do so. After receiving your documents, I will send you a link via e-mail.

Any questions or worries, please feel free to call or e-mail us. We are here to help.

If you are swimming for charity, we would love to hear from you. Send us your pictures and fund raising stories and we can help promote your cause.

Contact: swimsecretary@channelswimmingassociation.com

Best of luck to you all - happy swimming :)

Susan Ractliffe
CSA Administrative Secretary

Contact details:

E-mail: secretary@channelswimmingassociation.com
Tel: +44 (0)1304 600610

Channel Swimming Association Ltd
PO Box 10580

I look forward to hearing from you all soon.
Happy Swimming,

Susan Ractliffe
(CSA Administrative Secretary)