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Jenny James

From Openwaterpedia
Jenny James getting greased up with lanolin before her English Channel crossing in 1951
Jenny James swimming across the English Channel crossing in 1951

Jenny Eileen James was a Welsh open water swimmer from Pontypridd.

Open Water Swimming Career

  • The 24-year-old swam from France to England in 13 hours 55 minutes on 16 August 1951 to become the first Welsh woman to swim across the English Channel
  • She was the first woman to swim across the Bristol Channel both ways
  • She carried on as a swimming coach and lifeguard

1951 Daily Mail Race

Egyptian, 34-year-old Mareeh Hassan Hamad, won the 1951 Daily Mail race in 12 hours 12 minutes by 1 minute over Frenchman Roger Le Morvan. The results were as follows:

1. Mareeh Hassan Hamad (Egypt) 12:12
2. Roger Le Morvan (France) 12:13
3. Hassan Abdel Rehim (Egypt) - 12:25
4. Saied El Arabi (Egypt) 12:42
5. Brenda Fisher (England) 12:42 - First woman
6. Godfrey Chapman (England) 12:56
7. Winnie Roach (Canada) 13:25
8. Enriqueta Duarte (Argentina) 13:26
9. Lars Beril Warle (Sweden) 13:28
10. Raphael Morand (France) 13:45
11. Jenny James (Wales) 13:55
12. Jason Zirganos (Greece) 14:01
13. Jan Van Hemsbergen (Netherlands) 14:03
14. Sally Bauer (Sweden) 14:04
15. Antonio Abertondo (Argentina) 14:14
16. William E. (Ned) Barnie (Scotland) 15:01
17. Jenny Kammersgaard (Denmark) 15:38
18. Daniel Carpio (Peru) 23:05

Photo from the Sam Rockett collection shows the swimmers of the 1956 Butlin's International Cross-Channel Swimming Race

1956 Billy Butlin English Channel race

She participated in the 1956 Billy Butlin English Channel race where the entrants for the 1956 Billy Butlin's International Cross-Channel Swimming Race included (left hand corner and going down the photograph) 1. Jack McClelland (32 from Belfast), 2 Jack Cloutier (24) Canada, 3 Dogan Sahin (25 from Turkey), 4 Ronald Tarr (19 from London), 5 Clarence Conza (33 from New Zealand), 6 Ian Tirrell (33 from South Africa), 7 Erik Martin (53 from Sweden), 8 Jenny James (28 from Wales), 9 Maria Meesters (17 from Holland), 10 Baptista Pereira (35 from Portugal), 11 Margaret Sweeney (26 from New Zealand), 12 Greta Andersen (29 from Denmark), 13 Elizabeth Wild (22 from New Zealand), 14 Florence Burdett (27 from America), 15 Diana Cleverley (22 from New Zealand), 16 Brenda Fisher (28 from Grimsby), 17 Thomas Park (32 from California), 18 Harold Bracewell (47 from Blackpool), 19 Edward (Ned) Barnie (59 from Scotland), 20 Arthur Rizzo (28 from Malta), 21 Mohammed El Soussi (28 from Syria), 22 Fredrick Oldman (40 from Huddersfield). 23 Mihir Zen (27 from India), 24 Alfredos Camarero (25 from Argentina). Toufic Bleik (25 from Lebanon), Kurt Feilen (30 from Germany), John Healey (29 from Ireland), and Edna Borenstein (19 from Israel) are not included in the photo. 14 escort pilots turned back without attempting to land. There was an opinion that the race should not have been started under the prevailing weather conditions which were forecast. 8 swimmers started, but none were successful.

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