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Half Century Club

There are a very special group of individuals – marathon swimmers over the age of 50 years – who have successfully swum across channels around the world: members of the Half Century Club.

Their grit and determination are admirable at any age. These aquatic adventurers are generally self-motivated individuals who are humble and quiet by nature, although there are exceptions.  They are pillars in their communities who thrive in the Fountain of Youth that oceans offer and prove that some things do get better with age.

The members of these exclusive clubs are listed in the Open Water Source:

Half Century Club – English Channel
Half Century Club – Catalina Channel
Half Century Club – Strait of Gibraltar
Half Century Club – Cook Strait
Half Century Club – Molokai Channel
Half Century Club – Rottnest Channel
Half Century Club – Manhattan Island

If you know of any individuals who are not listed or who join the club, please send information on the swimmer’s name, country, official time, date and location to Open Water Source via email (headcoach@openwatersource.com).


Half Century Club for the English Channel

The Half Century Club prove that some things do get better with age (athletes listed below by age):

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 Batt (Australia), 67, France-to-English in 18:37 in 1987
4. Ashby Harper (USA), 65, E/F in 13:52 in 1982
5. Joe Smith (England), 65, E/F in 14:09 in 1999
6. Roger Allsopp (England), 65, E/F in 15:30 in 2006
7. Sue Oldham (Australia), 65, E/F in 17:11 in 2010
8. Michael Read (England), 63, E/F in 15:29 in 2004
9. Veljko Rogosic (Croatia), 63, E/F in 11:27 in 2004
10. Robert West (USA), 61, E/F in 15:35 in 1996
11. Sue Oldham (Australia), 61, E/F in 16:03 in 2006
12. Jean-Paul Madelenat (France), 60, E/F in 14:46 in 2002
13. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA), 60, E/F in 15:57 in 2011
14. Linda Ashmore (England), 60, E/F in 15:11 in 2007
15. Vijaya Claxton (USA), 59, E/F in 22:27 in 2007
16. James “Doc” Counsilman (USA), 58, E/F in 13:07 in 1979
17. Mo Siegel (USA), 58, E/F in 14:18 in 2010
18. Barbara Held (USA), 58, E/F in 12:10 in 2012
19. Carol Sing (USA), 57, E/F in 12:32 in 1999
20. Kevin Murphy (England), 57, E/F in 15:14 in 2006
21. Alan Macleay (England), 57, E/F in 22:14 in 2006
22. Richard Haan (Czech Republic), 57 in 14:07 in 2005
23. Peter Urrea (USA), 56, E/F in 14:38 in 1996
24. Kevin Murphy (England), 56, E/F in 13:35 in 2005
25. Jackie Cobell (England), 56, E/F in 28:44 in 2010
26. Duke Dahlin (USA), 55, E/F in 14:37 in 2003
27. Christopher Blakeslee (USA), 54, E/F in 14:44 in 2004
28. Michael Miller (USA), 54, E/F in 16:10 in 2008
29. Roger Finch (South Africa), 54, E/F in 12:39 in 2011
30. Marilyn Korzekwa (Canada), 54, E/F in 16:28 in 2011
31. George Hunihan (USA), 54, E/F in 16:30 in 2008
32. Otto Thaning (South Africa), 53, E/F in 10:29 in 1994
33. Klaus Stutzer (Germany), 53, E/F in 14:09 in 1997
34. Morris Finkelstein (USA), 53, E/F in 15:21 in 2003
35. Bill Hoehn (USA), 53, E/F in 15:53 in 2004
36. Hugh Tucker (South Africa), 53, E/F in 13:37 in 2004
37. Tom Hecker (USA), 53, E/F in 15:21 in 2005
38. Steven Smith (England), 53, E/F in 14:28 in 2005
39. Vasanti Niemz (Germany), 53, E/F in 16:50 in 2010
40. Dan Richards (USA), 53, E/F in 12:32 in 2010
41. Doug McConnell (USA), 53, E/F in 14:18 in 2010
42. Henry Eckstein (USA), 52, E/F in 14:24 in 2000
43. Peter Jurzynski (USA), 53, E/F in 17:18 in 2004
44. Peter Jurzynski (USA), 52, E/F in 14:57 in 2003
45. Dennis Dressel (USA), 52, E/F in 12:08 in 2003
46. Jorge Rikarday (Mexico), 52, E/F in 20:24 in 2003
47. Tim Cheesman (England), 52, E/F in 15:07 in 2007
48. Elizabeth Fry (USA), 52, E/F/E in 24:39 (two-way in 13:20 + 11:19) in 2011
49. Tim Cheesman (England), 52, E/F in 15:07 in 2007
50. Gilles Chalandon (USA), 52, E/F in 14:31 in 2010
51. Mark Stone (USA), 52, E/F in 13:07 in 2009
52. Kevin Murphy (England), 51, E/F in 14:29 in 2000
53. Peter Jurzynski (USA), 51, E/F in 17:08 in 2002
54. Anne Cleveland (USA), 51, E/F in 11:33 in 2007
55. Michael Ball (England), 51, E/F in 12:55 in 2009
56. Paul Downie (Australia), 51 E/F in 12:39 in 2011
57. Nancy Steadman-Martin (USA), 50, E/F in 11:20 in 2004
58. James Fitzpatrick (USA), 50, E/F in 14:32 in 2005
59. Frank Chalmers (Scotland), 50, E/F in 16:48 in 2005
60. Tim Cheesman (England), 50, E/F in 16:14 in 2005
61. Terry O’Brien (Australia), 50, E/F in 15:50 in 2006
62. Antonio Argüelles (Mexico), 50, E/F in 12:54 in 2009
63. Jim Bayles (USA), 50, E/F in 10:59 in 2002
64. Jim Boucher (Ireland), 50, E/F in 16:51 in 2011
65. Andrew Hunt (Australia), 50 E/F in 13:54 in 2011

Television Reports on 56-year-old Jackie Cobell

70-year-old World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nominee