Willy Van Rysel

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(Redirected from Willy van Rijsel)

Willy van Rysel (born Wilhemina Magdalena van Rijsel in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on 30 July 1916; died in Bournemouth on 19 September 2012) was an Honour Swimmer from the Netherlands who was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2002 and in the Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2008 as an Honor Swimmer. She passed away at the age of 96 on 19 September 2012.

Open Water Swimming Career Highlights

  • She was the first woman to receive the Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1973.
  • She traveled throughout Great Britain promoting long distance swimming and setting records.
  • In 1949, she attempted a crossing of the English Channel from France to England that was aborted only 500 yards from shore.
  • In 1948, she became the first woman to swim across IJsselmeer and set a record when she swam 24 km from Stavoren to Enkhuizen
  • In 1955, she set a record swimming 18 km from Katwijk to Scheveningen.
  • In 1950, she became the first person to swim 18 km from Dungeness to Hythe.
  • In 1950, she set a record of 5 hours 15 minutes swimming 26 km from Dover to Ramsgate in 5 hours 15 minutes.
  • In 1951, she set a record swimming 16 km in Lake Windermere from Waterhead to Lakeside first in 7 hours 38 minutes.
  • In 1955, she set a record swimming 16 km in Lake Windermere again in 6 hours 50 minutes (at age 40) and at age 51 set the record for the Solent swim.
  • She established the fastest female crossing of Falmouth Harbour in 1969 in 4 hours 24 minutes.
  • She completed more than 100 lake, sea and river swims in Europe and North America and broke records in many.
  • In 1953, she coached a team of 16 women and two boys for a water ballet show marking the Coronation.
  • She completed the 12.9 km Torbay swim five times between 1964 and 1976.
  • She became the first female member of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association in 1969.
  • She also broke hundreds of masters swimming records and set world records in seven masters age groups from 60-64 years to 90-94 years.
  • At her death, she held two world, 22 European and 33 British masters records.
  • One of her husbands was water polo Olympian and two-way English Channel swimmer Ted Temme.
  • She competed in the 1950 ppDaily Mail Race]] covering 7.5 miles in 4 hours 10 minutes before retiring from the swim; the pilot boat was Rose Marie II at the age of 33.
  • She made an attempt across the English Channel on 29 July 1949 when she swam for 14 hours 15 minutes starting at Cap Gris Nez and another when she startws at Cap Gris Nez and swam for 16 hours 52 minutes when she became sick several times and was unable to take much food and was within 2 miles of Dover when she gave up. Her pilot was John”Pop” Burwell and the boat the ”June Rose”. Her trainer was Ted Temme whom she later married.

1950 Daily Mail Race

She participated in the 1950 Daily Mail race across the English Channel.

International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame

Her induction description includes: Willy van Rysel, may have done just as much out of the pool as in the pool for Masters Swimming in Great Britain. In addition to the more than 40+ Masters World Records, she helped bring Masters Swimming to the forefront in Great Britain.

Willy has competed all over the world, swimming in both long distance open water events and in the pool. At 92, Willy has held world records in seven age groups over a 30-year period – from 60-64 years through 90-94 years. Since 1977,Willy was in the Masters Top 10 for 20+ years, has set 42 FINA Masters World Records, has had 28 number 1 long course rankings and 50 number 1 short course rankings.

In 1972, Willy was the first woman to receive the prestigious Davids Wheeler Memorial Trophy, presented by the Marathon Swimming Foundation. Her citation read: "for gaining acceptance of women distance swimmers and for promoting long distance swimming over the age of 40 in England." Throughout the years, Willy has fought a vigorous and occasional solo campaign in Great Britain to offer every event in every age group in Masters Swimming. In 1987, her dream of a National Championship was realized with the inaugural GB Masters Championships in Port Talbot. Her vision has now largely materialized, although she still gets annoyed by Masters favoring the younger swimmers.

At 92, Willy retired from her swimming career but is always be remembered for the huge impact she had on Masters Swimming, on the local, national and international levels.

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