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Roger Finch

From Openwaterpedia
Lewis Pugh, Dr. Otto Thaning, pace swimmer Martin Goodman and escort pilot Roger Finch after the 7.4 km crossing from Robben Island by 80-year-old Dr. Otto Thaning and Martin Goodman on 4 April 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa
Roger Finch, a nominee for the 2016 WOWSA Awards, a recognition of outstanding men, women, performances and offerings around the globe sponsored by the World Open Water Swimming Association in the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year category
Roger Finch
Roger Finch on right with S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge race director Kent Nicholas
Samantha Cowen, coach Roger Finch, and Caren Strydom

Roger Finch (born 15 August 1957) is an open water swimmer, escort pilot of the False Bay Swimming Association, and an open water swimming coach from South Africa. He is the first South African swimmer and 66th person in history to achieve the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. He is the celebrity swimmer for the Sun City Swim in Gauteng, South Africa.

Open Water Swimming Career

Open Water Coaching

Finch also coaches open water swimmers, from newbies to veterans, including Samantha Cowen and Caren Strydom. He also served as a crew member and pace swimmer for Dr. Otto Thaning who is the oldest person to cross the English Channel at the age of 73 years.

Half Century Club

Finch is a member of the Half Century Club for his successful English Channel crossing performed at the age of 54 in 12 hours 39 minutes on 20 August 2011, the Rottnest Channel Swim in 6 hours 28 minutes at the age of 54, a completion of the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim on 23 June 2012, and a 9 hour 45 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel on 1 October 2012 as a 55-year-old.

Catalina Channel Half Century Club

1. Jim Clifford (USA), 62 years 11 months, CM in 9:49 on 28 September 2014
2. Bob West (USA), 62, CM in 15:49 in 1998
3. Gary Greenwood (USA), 62, CM in 13:08 in 2004
4. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA), 60, CM in 14:11 in 2011
5. Mo Siegel (USA), 60, CM in 13:08 in 2011
6. Scott Lautman (USA), 60 CM in 12:09 in 2013
7. Bob Needham (USA), 58, CM in 13:10 in 2011
8. Tom Hecker (USA), 57, CM in 10:45 in 2009
9. Richard Knepper (USA), 56, MC in 11:56 in 2005
10. Barbara Held (USA), 56, CM in 9:36 in 2010
11. Mark Smitherman (USA), 56, CM in 11:52 in 2014
12. Carol Sing (USA), 55, CM in 10:38 in 1997
13. Bill Hoehn (USA), 55, CM in 12:57 in 2005
14. Roger Finch (South Africa), 55, CM in 9:45:02 in 2012
15. Kevin Murphy (Great Britain), 54, CM in 15:23 in 2003
16. Dave Van Mouwerik (USA), 54, CM in 12:09:07 in 2012
17. Ned Denison (Ireland), 54, CM 8:50:04 in 2012
18. Peter Tanham (Australia), 54, CM in 10:07 in 2014
19. Anthony McCarley (USA), 54, CM in 13:00.3 in 2014
20. Nick Almos-Lau (Mexico), 53, CM in 12:40 in 1999
21. James Fitzpatrick (USA), 53, CM in 14:59 in 2008 (to Newport Beach)
22. Jim McConica (USA), 53, CM in 10:19 in 2004
23. Douglas McConnell (USA), 53, CM in 12:41:13 in 2012
24. David Cooper (USA), 52, CM in 13:19 in 2005
25. Dan Richards (USA), 52, CM in 10:10 2008
26. Chris Burke (USA), 52, CM in 11:22 in 2014
27. Alan Bell (USA), 51, CM in 9:28 in 2001
28. Chris Palfrey (Australia), 51, CM in 10:30 in 2009
29. Lynn Kubasek (USA), 51, CM in 15:53 in 2009
30. Daniel Robinson (USA), 51, CM in 9:57 in 2008
31. Ron Collins (USA), 51, CM in 10:05 on 10 September 2013
32. Antonio Argüelles (Mexico), 50, CM in 10:25 in 2009
33. William Newbern (USA), 50, CM in 12:48 in 2005
34. Ray Meltvedt (USA), 50, CM in 15:25 in 2010
35. Suzie Dods (USA), 50, MC in 18:36 in 2010
36. Dale Petranech (USA), 50, CM in 13:28 in 1985
37. John Hill (USA), 50, CM in 19:15 in 1985
38. Frank Reynolds (USA), 50, CM in 10:34 in 1987
39. Jim Barber (USA), 50, CM in 8:43 in 2010
40. Sue Free (USA), 50, CM in 11:23 in 2012
41. Bridgette Hobart Janeczko (USA), 50, CM 11:27:16 in 2012
42. Hendrik Meerman (USA), CM, 50, 12:48:30 in 2012
43. Scott Tapley (USA), MC, 50, 17:43:12 in 2014


2016 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Award nomination

Roger Finch has literally traveled the world, smiling, swigging and swimming to his heart's desire...and to the rest of the global open water swimming community's joy. Finch trained in South Africa for a Cook Strait swim that never got off the shore due to inclement weather, but he was able to get in a Robben Island crossing in Cape Town, encourage David Barra to set up the 20 Bridges Swim around Manhattan in New York for his friend Tracy Clark, and then crew for her and many others crossing the English Channel. Along the way, Finch unexpectedly had a stroke and was hospitalized. Down, but not out, his revival was touch-and-go, but his physicality and mindset enabled him to recover well enough to later complete a Boston Light Swim as well as head up the Varne Ridge English Channel Swim Camp outside of Dover and raise money for a new wheelchair for Ros Hardiman, a fellow English Channel swimmer. For his globally-renowned good nature and high spirits, for his remarkable rebound from what could have been a debilitating stroke, and for his humble, wholehearted generosity in helping other open water swimmers around the world, Roger Finch is a well-deserving nominee for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

Finish of English Channel Swim

Character Uncovered

Robben Island Crossing on Super Swimmer

with Roger Finch, Stuart Hopwood, Martin Goodman and Theodore Yach

External Links