Kevin Murphy (swimmer)

Kevin Murphy (swimmer)

Kevin Murphy (born 1949) has swum the English Channel 34 times, more than any other man in history, earning him the title as King Of the Channel (the title was previously held by his great rival Michael Read). The overall title of greatest number of successful English Channel swims is held by Alison Streeter with 43 to her name.

Kevin's total of 34 includes three double-channel swims. [Channel Swimming Association Solo 2-way successes [] ] He also holds the record for the earliest Channel crossing of the year, set on 29 May 1990. [Channel Swimming Association Records [] ]

In 1964, aged just 15, he completed his first long distance swim - 6 hours 29 minutes for the 10 miles of Lake Windermere.

In 1968, he completed his first Channel swim - England to France in 15 hours 15 minutes [Channel Swimming Association Solo England to France [] ]

In 1970, he became only the third person at that time to complete the two-way Channel swim in 35 hrs 10 mins.

In his 1975 two-way swim, he was ordered out of the water because of awful weather after swimming non-stop for 52hrs 30mins. At that point he was half way back on what would have been a record breaking third leg. This decision by the boat crew wouldn't have been taken lightly, given his famed stamina and ability to withstand the coldest and harshest water conditions, as typified in 1988, when he won the Loch Lomond Scottish ASA Centenary Championship. The conditions were so dreadful that none of the other swimmers were actually able to finish the race. [Alcatraz Invitantional Swim - Kevin Murphy Bio [] ]

In 2000, 32 years after his first Channel success and at the age of 51, he completed his 32nd crossing of the English Channel in a time of 15 hours 10mins, a time faster than his very first crossing in 1968. He thereby became King of the Channel, setting a new record for the most successful Channel swims by a man. [Solo Swims of Ontario Inc. - Hall of Fame [] ]

He lost this title temporarily, due in part to pursuing several swims overseas and then from being forced to succumb to major shoulder surgery to remove bones spurs, an affliction caused by 40 years of relentless marathon swimming and training. However, on 29 August 2005, and just 18 months after having surgery, Kevin completed his 33rd crossing in 13 hours 31 mins to become joint holder of the King of the Channel title.

Kevin completed his last (34th) Channel swim on 21 July 2006 in a time of 15 h 14 mins to make him the undisputed "King of the Channel". [ BBC News Article on Kevin Murphy [] ]

As of 2006 Kevin still worked as an ITN journalist.

In 2008 he appeared on "The Great British Body" where he was chosen to represent the British male because of his extraordinary achievements


External links

* [ CS&PF]
* [ Channel Swimming Association]
* [ Channel Swimming Information - Swimmer Profile: Kevin Murphy]
* [ BBC News Article on Channel Swimming]

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