Ashby 'Brud' Harper is an American open water swimmer who was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in the Class of 1984 as an Honor Swimmer. He died after suffering a heart attack in an open water swimming in Greenwich, Connecticut. He won 9 varsity letters at Princeton University and was the 1939 recipient of the prestigious Roper Trophy.
After earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and four Air Medals as a naval fighter pilot during World War II, Harper spent a lifetime in education in Ecuador and Peru, at the St. Louis Country Day School, with the Peace Corps in Guatemala, and at the Albuquerque Academy.
Open Water Swimming Highlights
- He is one of the oldest people to successfully swim across the English Channel.
- He is a member of the Half Century Club.
- On 28 August 1982, he completed a crossing of the English Channel from England to France in 13 hours 52 minutes at the age of 65 years 332 days and became the oldest swimmer to cross the English Channel at that time.
- On 24 July 1983, he completed a 45.8 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in New York in 9 hours 3 minutes 30 seconds at the age of 66.
- On 18 August 1984, he crossed the Santa Barbara Channel from Santa Cruz Island to the California mainland in 16 hours 24 minutes at the age of 67.
- On 19 August 1990, he completed the 45.8 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in New York in 8 hours 57 minutes 57 seconds at the age of 73.
- On 10 August 1991, he completed the 45.8 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in New York in 9 hours 24 minutes 45 seconds at the age of 74.
- He received the O'Clee Jubilee Award in 1981 by the Channel Swimming Association.
Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
Harper referred to the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming in 1988 as the rare triple - announcing his plan to swim the Catalina Channel - which he didn't accomplish. It is believed to be the earliest mention of Triple Crown as 20 Bridges Manhattan Swim, the English Channel and Catalina Channel. There was mention of the Original Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming in the late 1960s - but it hasn't enjoyed the same popularity.
Oldest Individuals to Cross the English Channel
1. Otto Thaning (South Africa), 73 years, E/F, 12 hours 52 minutes (2014)
2. Cyril Baldock (Australia), 70 years 9 months, E/F, 12 hours 45 minutes (2014)
3. Roger Allsopp (England), 70 years 4 months, E/F, in 17 hours 51 minutes (2011)
4. George Brunstad (USA), 70 years 3 days, E/F, in 15 hours 59 minutes (2004)
5. Chris Shapland (Australia), 69 years, E/F, in 16 hours 28 minutes (2016)
6. Donald Riddington (Australia), 68, E/F, in 19 hours 45 minutes (2013)
7. Clifford Batt (Australia), 67, F/E, in 18 hours 37 minutes (1987)
8. Ashby Harper (USA), 65, E/F, in 13 hours 52 minutes (1982)
9. Joe Smith (England), 65, E/F, in 14 hours 9 minutes (1999)
10. Roger Allsopp (England), 65, E/F, in 15 hours 30 minutes (2006)
11. Sue Oldham (Australia), 65, E/F, in 17 hours 11 minutes (2010)
Santa Barbara Channel Half Century Club Members
- Jim McConica - 12.4 miles (19.9 km) across Anacapa Channel in 2008 (5:26 at age of 57) and 2012 (4:38 and 5:24 at age of 61)
- Emilio Casanueva - 12.4 miles (19.9 km) across Anacapa Channel in 2008 (7:45 at age of 68)
- Dave Van Mouwerik - 12.4 miles (19.9 km) across Anacapa Channel in 2010 (7:00 at age of 52)
- Lynn Kubasek - 12.4 miles (19.9 km) across Anacapa Channel in 2011 (7:08 at age of 53)
- Chris Palfrey - 6 miles (9.7 km) from Santa Rosa Island to Santa Cruz Island in 2008 (2:52 at age of 51)
- Kevin Murphy - 24.8 miles (29.9 km) across the Santa Cruz Channel in 2007 (17:31 at age of 58)
- Ashby Harper - 23.5 miles (37.8 km) across the Santa Cruz Channel in 1984 (16:24 at age of 67)
- Peter Urrea - 12.4 miles (19.9 km) across Anacapa Channel in 2007 (8:15 at age of 67)
- Chris Layton - 12.4 miles (19.9 km) across Anacapa Channel in 2011 (6:00 at age of 52)
- Michael Hird - 12.4 miles (19.9 km) across Anacapa Channel in 2012 (5:48 at age of 50)
- Tom Ball - 12.4 miles (19.9 km) across Anacapa Channel in 2012 (7:39 at age of 52)
- Doc Counsilman Helped Usher In An Increasingly Graying Trend In Channel Swimming
- How Far Is The English Channel?
- Poseidon With Swimmers
- Marcia Cleveland Talks About Balance And Focus On WOWSA Live
- International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
- The Oldest Men and Women in the Sea
- Oldies But Goodies In The Open Water
- Half Century Club Update In Santa Barbara
- Standing Up To The Tests Of Time
- Marathon Swimming
- Open Water Swimming
- Jim McConica Sets The Standard From Santa Cruz
- Michael Jordan Joins The Half Century Club
- James Tout Still Going Strong
- How Old Can They Go? Very Old
- Ashby Taylor Harper ’39
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Daily News of Open Water Swimming
- I Got Stung
- World Marathon Swimming Association
- Chris Shapland En Route To Proving Swimming Is Lifelong
- Marathon Swimmers Federation bio
- Never Too Old Around Manhattan Island