Dr Robert Christopher Stockdale MBE is an Honour Swimmer from Great Britain who was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1992. Dr. Stockdale, the long-time physician to the Channel Swimming Association, swam the English Channel three times: England-to-France in 17 hours 30 minutes in 1977 and in 15 hours 56 minutes in 1981, and France-to-England in 14 hours 50 minutes in 1984.
He was recognised with an MBE for his long-term services to charitable causes. Dr. Stockdale has raised £300,000 for charity over 33 years, largely through marathon swims including the English Channel and one 31-hour swim across Lake Garda as a member of the 24-hour club.
Endurance Athletic Career
In 1977, he kicked off his career with a 17 hour 30 minute English Channel swim that resulted in Dr. Stockdale being awarded the Channel Swimming Association’s Audenaerde Endurance Trophy.
In 1981, he completed a 3-way 9.6-mile Lake Bala swim in 5 hours 50 minutes, another English Channel swim of 15 hours 56 minutes, and a one-way 10.25-mile crossing of Windermere in 8 hours 5 minutes.
In 1982, he won the World Medical Olympic Games 1.5km swim in Cannes, completed the 33km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in 11 hours 33 minutes, and the 3 Lakes Swim (5.5 miles across Coniston in 3 hours 22 minutes, 7.25 miles across Ullswater in 5 hours 20 minutes, and 10.25 miles across Windermere in 10 hours 50 minutes).
In 1983, he swam from Walton to Clacton in 2 hours 43 minutes, a 2-way of Lake Bala in 3 hours 11 minutes, and 30km across Lake Como in 16 hours 26 minutes.
In 1984, he swam Windermere again in 5 hours 51 minutes, the 30km Lake Como again in 10 hours 54 minutes, and a triathlon of the English Channel in 14 hours 50 minutes followed by a 203-mile bike ride from Folkestone to Birmingham and a 26-mile marathon run in 4 hours 25 minutes.
In 1985, he swam 30km in Lake Como in 12 hours 45 minutes and 16km in Ischia in 4 hours 28 minutes.
In 1986, he swam 8 miles in Torbay in 4 hours 7 minutes, 10.25 miles in Windermere in 5 hours 59 minutes, 30km Lake Como in 10 hours 14 minutes, and became the first person to swim 26.3 miles across the Gulf of Naples from Ischia to Castellammare in 17 hours 48 minutes.
In 1987, he swam 8km in the Cyclades from Paros to Antiparos, 10.25 miles across Windermere in 6 hours 11 minutes, 28.5 miles around Manhattan Island in 8 hours 40 minutes, and took part in the Channel Swimming Association Diamond Jubilee Channel Relay in 9 hours 52 minutes.
In 1988, he swam Windermere for the 6th time in 6 hours 38 minutes, 12 miles in Torbay in 6 hours 6 minutes, 10.5 miles from Torregaveta to Baia to Bacoli in Italy in 5 hours 13 minutes, and took part in the 25th Anniversary English Channel Relay in 10 hours 32 minutes to receive the Stan Maycock Shield given to the fastest male relay swim of the year.
In 1989, he swam Windermere in 5 hours 12 minutes, 11 miles in Lago Di Mergozzo in 5 hours 44 minutes, and 32 miles in an unprecedented effort across Lake Garda in Italy in 31 hours 10 minutes to join the 24-hour club.
In 1990, he swam 26 miles from Anadolukavagi to Buyukada in Turkey in 16 hours 15 minutes, set a new world record from Anadolukavagi to Kiz Kulesi in 3 hours 33 minutes, 11.2 miles in Isola D’Elba from Marino Di Campo to Punta Di Fetovaia, and did a 20.8-mile pool swim in 10 hours 10 minutes.
In 1991, he swam 9km in the Primero Maratone Riviera Ligure in Alassio, Italy in 3 hours 10 minutes, 26.4km across Lake Zürich from Rapperswil to Zürich in Switzerland in 11 hours 24 minutes, 11 miles in Isola Di Capri, and was the first person to swim the Cyclades 27km from Naxos to Paros (Aliki).
In 1992, he completed the 6-mile Dover to Folkestone Challenge in 2 hours 54 minutes and completed the 3 Islands Swim in the Gulf of Naples where he swam 19 miles around Ischia in 11 hours 33 minutes, 11 miles in Capri in 6 hours 52 minutes, and 8 miles in Procida in 3 hours 55 minutes.
In 1993, he did a 6.4-mile 2-way Lake Bala swim in 3 hours 26 minutes, 3.25-mile Coniston’s Veteran’s Championship in 1 hour 46 minutes, and 26.4km across Lake Zürich in 9 hours 17 minutes and received the British Long Distance Swimming Association’s Hans Belay Trophy for the Swim of the Year.
In 1994, he was the first person to swim 37km from Ventotene to Forio D’Ischia in Italy in 20 hours 21 minutes, and participated on both the Aquatic Tomidi Channel Relay from England to France in 12 hours 36 minutes and the Audrey Scott Commemorative Men’s Channel Relay from England to France in 11 hours 11 minutes.
In 1995, he swam 8 miles in Torbay in 5 hours 15 minutes and complete a 21-mile Double Windermere in 16 hours 7 minutes.
In 1996, he completed the Triathlon ’96: he swam 10.25 miles in Windermere in 7 hours 47 minutes, cycled Fell Foot in Windermere to Norman Green Athletics Centre in Solihull in 22 hours 30 minutes, and ran a Half Marathon in 2 hours 17 minutes. He also completed the London Marathon.
In 1997, he swam 3.2 miles in Lake Bala in 1 hour 47 minutes, completed another Windermere 10.25-mile crossing in 7 hours 13 minutes, participated on the Channel Swimming Association 70th Anniversary Channel Relay from England to France in 12 hours 11 minutes.
In 1999, he completed the Nice Triathlon in 13 hours 12 minutes and the Great Britain Masters in Coventry as well as the Great North Run.
In 2000, he completed a 6.4-mile 2-way Lake Bala swim in 3 hours 11 minutes, swam across Windermere under Force 4 conditions in 9 hours 4 minutes, and swam 16.5 miles from Delos to Paros in the Aegean Sea where he was later made an Honorary Citizen.
In 2001, he swam 18 miles from Ischia to Capri in Italy in 10 hours 20 minutes.
In 2005, he cycled 2,000 miles from London to Athens, Greece over 3 weeks and 3 days.
In 2006, he swam a 6.4-mile 2-way Lake Bala in 3 hours 24 minutes, a 9.6-mile 3-way Lake Bala in 6 hours 7 minutes, and 16 miles in Lake Erie from Port Colborne in Canada to Sturgeon Point in the USA in 14 hours 15 minutes.
In 2009 – 2010, he cycled 3,594 miles around the coastline of England, Scotland and Wales.