Flying Dutchman

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The Flying Dutchman was the nickname of famed marathon swimmer Herman Willemse who was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honour Swimmer in 1963 and is also inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honoree.

The Flying Dutchman dominated professional marathon swimming between 1960 and 1964, winning the 30K (19-mile) Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean in Canada in 10 hours and 7 minutes in 1961, in 9 hours and 3 minutes in 1962 and in 8 hours and 32 minutes in 1963, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA five times from 1960 to 1964, the 24K (15-mile) Canadian National Exhibition race in 1961 and 1962, the 37K (23-mile) la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay in 6 hours and 15 minutes in 1966, four 16K (10-mile) Tois Riviere Swims in 1961 to 1963 in Canada, the 58K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda race in Argentina in 1963 with two third-place finishes in 1964 and 1966, 45K (28-mile) Mar del Plato in Argentina, 42K (26 miles) in the Suez Canal in Egypt, 88K (54.6-mile) Hernandaras-Parana swim in Argentina and 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in Italy. When the World Marathon Swimming Championships, whereby points were awarded for performance in a series of races, started in 1964, he finished second to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer Abdul Latif Abou Heif the next three years.

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