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North Channel

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(Redirected from North (Irish) Channel)
American Steve Walker approaching the Scotish coast on his 11 hour 19 minute crossing of the North Channel
Caroline Block of the U.S.A. swimming from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 14 hours 31 minutes, escorted by Pádraig Mallon of the Infinity Channel Swimming and Piloting Services on 2 August 2016
North Channel as defined by the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association for the purposes of channel swimming and defined by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office's Admiralty Chart 2198 North Channel Southern Part
Graeme Lowe who finished a 12 hour 27 minute crossing of the North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland on 22 July 2015
Irish Long Distance Swimming Association President Billy Wallace, Maureen McCoy, Michelle Macy and Sheena Paterson (left to right) after Michelle Macy's record-breaking North Channel swim
ILDSA observer Andrew Coyle, escort pilot Quinton Nelson, Milko van Gool, and Irish Long Distance Swimming Association President Billy Wallace after van Gool's record-setting North Channel crossing on 30 July 2013

noun - North Channel (or NC or Canal del Norte in Spanish) is a notoriously difficult body of water between Ireland and Scotland that is considered to be the ultimate in difficult channel swimming. It is also part of the Oceans Seven and The Celtic Quadrant.

Courses

A North Channel Swim will only be recognised when the start and finish is within the area defined by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office's Admiralty Chart 2198 North Channel Southern Part. According to the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association, no other route or course is recognised as a North Channel Swim.

It is a distance of 34.5 km (21.4 miles). It is known of fickle weather, rough seas, tough currents and an abundance of jellyfish. Sometimes referred to as the Irish Channel. The North Channel is one of the channels in the Oceans Seven. Its swims, often done in 10.5-14°C (50-54ºF) water, are sanctioned and certified by the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association.

The Dál Riata Channel Swim, previously known as the Mull of Kintyre Swim, is a newer and shorter 17 km (10.5-mile) course between Scotland and Northern Ireland that was pioneered by Wayne Soutter from Mull of Kintyre in Scotland to Ballycastle in Northern Ireland in 2012.

Historical Information

In history, the first successful crossing was in 1947 by Tom Blower...and few others have followed. There were quite a number of unsuccessful attempts in both directions. Nuala Moore explains, "...it is a body of water that requires the utmost of respect. Above both Scotland and Ireland, there are thousands of miles of sea, all raging and wanting to run south and north. When this water tries to squeeze between the two countries, the limited space forces the water to act very erratically. As the water runs through islands and in and out of headlands and bays, it goes every direction. Therefore, to a swimmer, there is no definite system of movement. The air temperature in the summer in the north is often 12-18°C – so this would be a negative on the skin as well. The tides running through Rathlin Island work on nine hours and not the usual six. The erratic nature of these flows is why this stretch of water is the most respected. Add to this the fact that the water temperature is only 12-13°C (upper 50°Fs) and jellyfish are a huge variable. Stings are definite."

Alison Streeter and Kevin Murphy both have three successful crossings. Kevin has two Ireland-to-Scotland crossing and one Scotland-to-Ireland crossing while Alison has one Ireland-to-Scotland and two Scotland-to-Ireland crossings.

Not only is it difficult to cross the North Channel, but it also requires a long road to success: Prior to Ward's first success (whose course is charted above), she tried three separate times to make it across:

  • September 11th 2008 – 17.5 hours swimming and the tide drove nine miles north, the advantage of the new tide wasn’t strong enough to give Anne Marie any benefit so she was taken from the water. It was unlikely that she would have made it.
  • August 2009 - 2.5 hours from Irish coast, the weather took a really bad turn and Anne Marie was rescued from the water. The weather had blown her off-course, north of the Copeland Islands.
  • August 2010- 5 hours swimming through jellyfish in the darkness. There was no let up - her joints and hands froze from the toxins and she asked to be taken out when she was hospitalized. Four weeks later, she was successful.

Solo swimmers of the North Channel

1. Tom Blower (England) on 27 July 1947 in 15 hours 26 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Andrew White
2. Kevin Murphy (England) on 11 September 1970 in 11 hours 21 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Captain William Long
3. Kevin Murphy (England) on 29 August 1971 in 14 hours 27 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Captain William Long
4. Ted Keenan (Northern Ireland) on 11 August 1973 in 18 hours 27 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Captain William Long
5. Alison Streeter (England) on 22 August 1988 in 9 hours 54 minutes 42 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland
6. Margaret (Maggie) Kidd (Scotland) on 23 August 1988 in 15 hours 26 minutes 3 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Quinton Nelson
7. Alison Streeter (England) on 25 August 1989 in 10 hours 4 minutes from Scotland to Northern Ireland with pilot Brian Meharg
8. Kevin Murphy (England) on 7 September 1989 in 17 hours 17 minutes 48 seconds from Scotland to Northern Ireland with pilot Quinton Nelson
9. Alison Streeter (England) on 18 August 1997 in 10 hours 2 minutes 12 seconds from Scotland to Northern Ireland with pilot Brian Meharg
10. Paul Lewis (England) on 27 July 1999 in 14 hours 28 minutes from Scotland to Northern Ireland with pilot Quinton Nelson
11. Stephen Price (England) on 21 July 2000 in 16 hours 56 minutes from Scotland to Northern Ireland with pilot Brian Meharg
12. Colm O'Neill (Ireland) on 31 July 2004 in 11 hours 25 minutes 5 seconds from Scotland to Northern Ireland with pilot Brian Meharg
12. Colleen Blair (Scotland) on 12 September 2008 in 15 hours 23 minutes 59 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Brian Meharg
13. Steven Redmond (Ireland) on 8 August 2010 in 17 hours 17 minutes 1 second from Scotland to Northern Ireland pilot Brian Meharg
14. Anne Marie Ward (Ireland) on 1-2 September 2010 in 18 hours 59 minutes 26 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland in water temperature 12-13.4°C with pilot Derek Flanagan
15. Craig Lenning (USA) on 27 July 2011 in 14 hours 44 minutes 50 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland in water temperature 12-13°C with pilot Brian Meharg
16. Howard James (England) on 2 August 2011 in 13 hours 25 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland in water temperature down to 10.5°C with pilot Brian Meharg
17. Fergal Somerville (Ireland) on 16 June 2013, in 12 hours 21 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland in water temperature a constant 9°C with pilot Quinton Nelson
18. Anna Carin Nordin (Sweden) on 8 July 2013 in 14 hours 21 minutes from Scotland to Northern Ireland with pilot Brian Meharg
19. Michelle Macy (USA) on 15 July 2013 in 9 hours 34 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Quinton Nelson
20. Milko van Gool (Netherlands) on 30 July 2013 in 10 hours 34 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Quinton Nelson
21. Pádraig Mallon (Ireland) on 16 August 2013 in 12 hours 49 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Brian Meharg
22. Darren Miller (USA) on 29 August 2013 in 11 hours 16 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Brian Meharg
24. Finbarr Hedderman (Ireland) on 6 July 2014 in 12 hours 24 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Quinton Nelson
25. Sabrina Wiedmer (Switzerland) on 7 July 2014 in 10 hours 3 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Quinton Nelson
26. Guy Moar (Australia) on 22 July 2014 in 11 hours 9 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Brian Meharg
27. Adam Walker (England) on 5 August 2014 in 10 hours 45 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Quinton Nelson
28. Colleen Mallon (Ireland) on 7 August 2014 in 9 hours 56 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Brian Meharg
29. Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand) on 2 September 2014 in 13 hours 6 minutes with pilot Quinton Nelson
30. Lukasz Kowalczyk (Poland) on 23 June 2015 in 11 hours 49 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Brian Meharg
31. Graeme Lowe (Jersey) on 22 July 2015 in 12 hours 27 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Quinton Nelson
32. Vicky Miller (England) on 28 July 2015 in 12 hours 6 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Brian Meharg
33. Adrian Sarchet (Guernsey) on 7 August 2015 in 14 hours 13 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Quinton Nelson
34. Rohan More (India) on 7 August 2015 in 12 hours 46 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Brian Meharg
35. Ion Lazarenco Tiron (Moldova) on 11 August 2015 in 16 hours 23 minutes 40 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Brian Meharg
36. Thomas Pembroke (Australia) on 9 September 2015 in 12 hours 10 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Quinton Nelson
37. Cameron Bellamy (South Africa) on 14 July 2016 in 12 hours 16 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland
38. Andrew McLaughlin (USA) on 14 July 2016 in 14 hours 20 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland
39. Rachel Ni Dubhghaill (Ireland) on 31 July 2016 in 13 hours 4 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland
40. Caroline Block (USA) on 1 August 2016 in 14 hours 31 minutes 50 seconds with pilot Padraig Mallon
41. Keith Garry (Ireland) on 14 August 2016 in 9 hours 57 minutes 30 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland with pilot Padraig Mallon
42. Steve Walker (USA) on 14 August 2016 in 11 hours 19 minutes in 54°F water from Northern Ireland to Scotland
43. Phia Steyn (South Africa) on 14 August 2016 in 13 hours 40 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland
44. André Wiersig (Germany) on 28 August 2016 in 12 hours 17 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland
45. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) on 24 August 2016 in 14 hours 23 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland
46. Ed Williams (England) on 25 August 2016 in 10 hours 58 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland
47. Simon Olliver (New Zealand) on 5 July 2017 in 11 hours 56 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland
48. Carmel Collins (Ireland) on 5 July 2017 in 15 hours 55 minutes 21 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland
49. Herman van der Westhuizen (South Africa) on 6 July 2017 in 12 hours 30 minutes 37 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland
50. Jonathan Ratcliffe (England) on 7 July 2017 in 14 hours 41 minutes 30 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland
51. Lynton Mortensen (Australia) on 17 July 2017 in 13 hours 49 minutes 17 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland
52. Antonio Argüelles (México) on 3 August 2017 in 13 hours 32 minutes 32 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland
53. Caroline Block (USA) on 4 August 2017 in 15 hours 32 minutes 25 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland
54. Abhejali Bernardová (Czech Republic) on 15 August 2017 in 10 hours 23 minutes 38 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland
55. Dean Summers (Australia) on 30 August 2017 in 13 hours 7 minutes 35 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland
56. Matthias Kaßner (Germany) on 30 August 2017 in 14 hours 24 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland
57. Chris Judge (Ireland) on 1 September 2017 in 13 hours 32 minutes 39 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland
58. Nicholas Murch (England) on 25 June 2018 in 11 hours 48 minutes 57 seconds from Northern Ireland to Scotland at the age of 37.
59. On 6 July 2018, Caroline Block (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 16 hours 46 minutes 6 seconds.
60. On 21 July 2018, Marcia Cleveland (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 15 hours 3 minutes 0 seconds.
61. On 22 July 2018, Amy Gubser (USA]] from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 14 hours 10 minutes 0 seconds.
62. On 4 August 2018, Prabhat Koli (India) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 10 hours 41 minutes 0 seconds.
63. On 4 August 2018, Kieron Palframan (South Africa) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 11 hours 18 minutes 0 seconds.
64. On 5 August 2018, Jaroslav Chytil (Czech Republic) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 16 hours 4 minutes 0 seconds.
65. On 20 August 2018, Jenny Smith (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 13 hours 6 minutes 0 seconds.
66. On 20 August 2018, Mariel Hawley Davila (Mexico) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 13 hours 15 minutes 0 seconds.
67. On 4 September 2018, Ryan Utsumi (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 10 hours 34 minutes 15 seconds.
68. On 5 September 2018, Nora Toledano (Mexico) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 10 hours 26 minutes 0 seconds.
69. On 5 September 2018, Rachael Elkaim (Australia) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 10 hours 35 minutes 0 seconds.
70. On 5 September 2018, Marty Filipowski (Australia) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 12 hours 26 minutes 0 seconds.
71. On 25 June 2019, Catherine Breed (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 11 hours 6 minutes 40 seconds.
72. On 11 July 2019, Susan Knight (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 11 hours 42 minutes 10 seconds.
73. On 29 July 2019, Kamil Resa Alsaran (Turkey) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 13 hours 55 minutes 37 seconds.
74. On 8 August 2019, Joseph Zemaitis (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 10 hours 48 minutes 38 seconds.
75. On 8 August 2019, Samantha Poulsen (Australia) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 11 hours 12 minutes 18 seconds.
76. On 8 August 2019, Arlene Gonzalez (Mexico) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 12 hours 53 minutes 59 seconds.
77. On 13 August 2019, Martyn Webster (England) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 11 hours 12 minutes 30 seconds.
78. On 13 August 2019, John Zemaitis (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 11 hours 3 minutes 19 seconds.
79. On 13 August 2019, Julieanne Goode (Australia) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 13 hours 26 minutes 8 seconds.
80. On 13 August 2019, David Conradie (Ireland) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 13 hours 12 minutes 3 seconds.
81. On 13 August 2019, Caroline Block (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 14 hours 39 minutes 11 seconds.
82. On 25 August 2019, Elizabeth Fry (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 11 hours 13 minutes 11 seconds.
83. On 25 August 2019, Anna Strachan (Australia) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 11 hours 14 minutes 42 seconds.
84. On 25 August 2019, John Haughton (Australia) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 13 hours 12 minutes 29 seconds.
85. On 26 August 2019, Jorge Crivilles Villanueva (Spain) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 12 hours 54 minutes 57 seconds.
86. On 26 August 2019, Attila Manyoki (Hungary) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 12 hours 11 minutes 20 seconds.
87. On 26 August 2019, Pierre Lord (France) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 12 hours 41 minutes 18 seconds.
88. On 8 September 2019, Zach Margolis (USA) from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 14 hours 24 minutes 32 seconds.

The "Dál Riata Channel Swim"

Wayne Soutter was the first person to complete the Dál Riata Channel Swim from Scotland to Ireland on 26 August 2012 in 12 hours 11 minutes.

Synonym

Irish Channel

Oceans Seven

The North Channel is part of the Oceans Seven, a global 7-channel challenge first proposed in June 2008 by Steven Munatones and first achieved by Stephen Redmond on 14 July 2012. It consists of the following 7 waterways around the world:

1. North Channel between Ireland and Scotland
2. Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand
3. Molokai Channel between Oahu and Molokai Islands in Hawaii
4. English Channel between England and France
5. Catalina Channel between Santa Catalina Island and then Southern California mainland
6. Tsugaru Channel between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan
7. Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa

Videos from the North Channel


Video of Pat Gallant-Charette by Fergal Somerville

Sea Donkey Trailer


Documentary of Adrian Sarchet's crossing of the North Channel by James Harrison

Antonio Argüelles North Channel Crossing


A film by Pablo Argüelles Cattori of Antonio Argüelles' 35 km crossing of the North Channel in 13 hours 32 minutes in 2017.

Oceans Seven, The Hell of North


Oceans Seven, The Hell of North, a documentary of Mányoki Attila's 12 hour 11 minute 20 second crossing of the North Channel to complete the Oceans Seven, 18th person in history to do so.

Oldest Swimmers of the Oceans Seven Channels

As of September 2016, the oldest swimmers to have successfully crossed each of the Oceans Seven channels are as follows:

Cook Strait:

  • Tom Hecker (USA) age 60 in 10 hours 36 minutes from north to south in 2012
  • Toshio Ogawa (Japan) age 60 in 11 hours 51 minutes from south to north in 2015 [shown above]
  • Dr. Marilyn Korzekwa (Canada) age 58 in 11 hours 34 minutes from south to north in 2016

English Channel:

  • Dr. Otto Thaning (South Africa) age 73 years in 12 hours 52 minutes from England to France in 2014
  • Sue Oldham (Australia) age 65 in 17 hours 11 minutes from England to France in 2010

Tsugaru Channel:

Molokai Channel:

  • Mike Spalding (USA) age 60 in 15 hours 15 minutes from Molokai to Oahu in 2007
  • Linda Kaiser (USA) age 57 in 15 hours 0 minutes from Molokai to Oahu in 2007
  • Liz Fry (USA) age 57 in 17 hours 30 minutes from Molokai to Oahu in 2016

North Channel:

  • Graeme Lowe (Jersey) age 50 in 12 hours 27 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 2015
  • Fergal Somerville (Ireland) age 50 in 12 hours 21 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 2013
  • Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) age 65 in 14 hours 22 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 2016

Strait of Gibraltar:

  • Dr. Euler Konrad Paul Herbet (Germany) age 74 in 4 hours 9 minutes from Spain to Morocco in 2009
  • Carol Sing (USA) age 64 in 5 hours 27 minutes from Spain to Morocco in 2005

Catalina Channel:

  • Jim McConica (USA) age 64 in 10 hours 48 minutes from Catalina to the mainland in 2015
  • Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) age 60 in 14 hours 11 minutes from Catalina to the mainland in 2011

External links