Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Channel Icons - The Sequel

Ever the obsessive, I've been unable to leave the mystery of which UK woman was the first to swim the Channel. Here are my latest research findings:
1.   1927 - 7 October  - Mercedes Gleitze - 15h 15m
2.   1927 - 13 October  - Ivy Gill - 15h 09m
3.   1928 - 10 August - Ivy Hawke - 19h 16m
4.   1928 - 24 August - Hilda Winifred Sharp - 14h 58m
5.   1933 - 28/29 August - Ethel 'Sunny' Lowry - 15h 41m


  1. I live in Marrickville in Sydney. One of our municipal pools is named the Annette Kellerman centre after the locally-born first woman to attempt to swim the channel in 1905. In all, she made 3 attempts, but noted that she was unable to complete the swim not because she lacked endurance but because she lacked sufficient strength. She's also celebrated as the advocate of the one piece bathing costume for women (getting arrested for indecency in the States while wearing one in 1906.

  2. That's really interesting Chris, I've had a quick google around to find out more about Annette. Gertrude Ederle wore a two-piece silk suit she designed herself, and Sunny Lowry wore a light two-piece suit for her swim (more like vest and bloomers than our idea of a bikini!) and was also castigated as a harlot for her raciness in letting her knees be seen!!